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January 29, 2014

UK mobile service spend dropped in last decade

Volume of calls up, but average spend is down, says Ofcom.

By CBR Staff Writer

The amount spent by UK individuals on mobile services per month has dropped by 23% from £24.99 to £19.13 between 2003 and 2012, a new Ofcom report revealed.

During the period, the volume of voice calls doubled to 125 billion minutes per year, with SMS volume reaching 172 billion and the number of adults using mobiles reaching 92%, while consumers’ utilisation of mobile data doubled between 2011 and 2012.

The British telecom watchdog also noted that average amount spent on a residential fixed broadband connection dropped by 48% between 2004 and 2012 to £16.38 against conditions of rising broadband take-up and extensive availability and adoption of high speed broadband packages.

In addition, there has been a 28% drop in amount spent on landline services per month between 2003 and 2012, from £29.71 to £21.47 as well as a huge drop in landline call volumes, reaching 60 billion per year in 2012 than 88 billion in 2003.

According to the report, customer satisfaction with reliability has been the highest for landline telephones (94%) and digital TV (93%), followed by 82% of mobile phone customers being happy with reception and network access, while satisfaction levels for broadband services dropped to 83% in 2013.

However, Ofcom found the highest levels of dissatisfaction among rural consumers, with 17% not satisfied with reliability of their broadband service and 19% with the consistency of their mobile service.

Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards said that the quality and value of communications services matters as much as their availability.

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"The record in the last decade is good but we are determined to maintain focus on these important areas to ensure that communications markets continue to work in the best interests of consumers,: Richards said.

Ofcom is also considering ensuring quick repairs for landline and broadband installations by BT Openreach, which is responsible for managing the UK’s copper network.

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