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Virgin Media O2’s 5G Network Reaches Half of UK Population

2024-02-19 11:43:00| Source:Rcrwireless

Virgin Media O2 said its total mobile base grew to 44.9 million in full year 2023

U.K. telco Virgin Media O2 said its 5G network reached a coverage of 50% of the country’s population as of the end of 2023, the company said in its earning statement.

The company also noted that its fixed network serviceable footprint reached 17 million premises as of the end of December, after an increase of 833,100 premises last year.

In the mobile segment, the telco added a total of 46,600 customers while fixed and broadband subscribers grew by 31,300 and 63,800 respectively. The total mobile base grew to 44.9 million in full year 2023, with 211,200 net additions supported by growth in contract and IoT segments and partially offset by wholesale and prepaid, the carrier said.

“Operationally, we invested another £2 billion ($2.5 billion) in our networks and services, with 2023 being the fastest year of fiber rollout as our fiber footprint reached over 4 million premises. In aggregate, our fully gigabit serviceable footprint now reaches over half of all UK homes, and our 5G network covers half the U.K. population,” said Lutz Schüler, CEO of Virgin Media O2.

“Looking ahead, the 2024 outlook will be impacted by incremental investment in key initiatives to drive future growth, including increased marketing across our rapidly expanding fixed footprint, new commercial initiatives and wider digital and IT efficiency programs. We remain focused on delivering against our core strategy and these key investments will help us to lay down strong foundations for future success,” the executive added.

Virgin Media O2 posted a £3.3 billion loss in 2023 after the carrier added a huge goodwill impairment to its accounts. “We recorded a non-cash goodwill impairment of £3.1 billion primarily related to an increase in the weighted average cost of capital and the impacts of the broader macroeconomic conditions in the U.K. on estimated future cash flows,” the telco said.

Virgin Media O2 said consumer fixed revenue decreased 2.3% to £3.3 billion during the year as “spend optimization on mid-tier TV and home phone as household budgets were squeezed by the increased cost-of-living.” Total mobile revenue increased by 0.6% to £5.9 billion as the firm said growth had been impacted by “low-margin handset revenue performance which weakened through the year” while B2B fixed revenue declined 2.4% to £554 million due to “pricing headwinds.”

Virgin Media O2 had launched services in June 2021 as a joint venture between Liberty Global and Telefónica in the U.K.

Liberty Global and Telefonica had reached an agreement to merge their U.K. operations in a 50-50 joint venture in May of 2020. That same month, the U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) decided to allow the proposed merger between mobile operator O2 and Virgin Media.