BT 5G premium pricing yet to reflect on first quarter revenue

BT CEO Philip Jansen has revealed the telecom operator’s key achievements during the June quarter of 2019.
BT Capex revenue June quarter 2019
BT’s fixed telephony churn fell to 1.3 percent, while EE mobile services churn remained low at 1.1 percent during the first quarter of fiscal 2019-20.

BT did not reveal the number of broadband and mobile customers it added or lost during the quarter.

The latest Ofcom report said UK had 26.7 million fixed broadband connections at the end of Q1 2019. BT’s share of fixed broadband lines was 34.4 percent, a decrease of 1.3pp year-on-year.

Ofcom said UK fixed voice service revenues generated £1.8 billion in revenues in Q1 2019, a decrease of 3.6 percent quarter-on-quarter and down 8.1 percent from Q1 2018.

BT’s share of fixed voice service revenues was 41.9 percent, a decrease of 2.8 percentage points from the previous year.

BT’s share of fixed exchange lines (including PSTN and ISDN channels) was 38.6 percent in Q1 2019, a decrease of 0.4pp from the previous quarter.

Ofcom said UK-based operators’ mobile telephony services generated £3.4 billion in retail revenues in Q1 2019, a £25 million (0.7 percent) decrease from a year previously.

Average revenue per subscriber (ARPU) in Q1 2019 was £13.45. Post-pay ARPU was £17.26 and pre-pay ARPU was £4.74.

The number of mobile subscriptions (excluding M2M) was 83.9 million in Q1 2019, down 0.2 million (0.2 percent) from a year previously. Mobile broadband subscriptions decreased by 0.5 million (9.2 percent), to 4.5 million.

BT, during the earnings report, did not reveal the number of 5G customers it added during the quarter. BT today said it launched a range of 5G devices for business with good early interest and take up, particularly amongst SMEs.

EE was the first operator to launch 5G in the UK with the five-city launch. The company’s premium pricing for 5G services was in line with its more-for-more strategy. BT will launch 5G under the BT brand in autumn.

BT reported revenue of £5.633 billion (–1 percent) generating £2.550 billion (–1 percent) from Consumer, £1.516 billion (–5 percent) from Enterprise, £1.085 billion (–5 percent) Global and £1.268 billion (+1 percent) from Openreach.

Capital expenditure

BT’s capital expenditure was £931 million, including network investment of £494 million, up 15 percent. The increase in network investment reflects higher investment in 5G and Fibre Cities program. £839 million was the Capex during the first quarter fiscal 2018-19.

BT said it spent £236 million on customer driven investments, £169 million on systems and IT, and £32 million on non-network infrastructure.

“We made good progress during the quarter, including launching the UK’s first 5G network, delivering an improvement to our group net promoter score for the twelfth consecutive quarter,” Philip Jansen said.

BT plans to roll out fiber to 4 million premises by March 2021, and it could connect 15 million by the mid-2020s if the UK government and regulator make it worthwhile.

Philip Jansen said taking fiber to all premises across the UK by 2025 would be a major feat of engineering that will require significant investment, planning and also manpower.

Philip Jansen said Ofcom needed to be clear about the return BT would be allowed to secure on its investment, given that the cost of roll-out for the whole country would be 30 billion pounds or $36.4 billion plus.

Baburajan K