Telefónica UK posts positive results, will trial autonomous cars in London

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Total revenue reached £1,598 million in the quarter to the end of September, up 4.1% year on year; the number of direct and indirect individual customers hit 34.1 million.

Telefónica UK, which operates under the brand name O2, has a number of mobile virtual network operators that use its network, including giffgaff, Tesco Mobile, Sky Mobile and Lycamobile.

The combined total of their customers and O2’s (at 26 million) grew by 5.6% year on year to reach 34.1 million. Nett additions were 43,000 (496,000 including M2M accounts), and contract customers account for 66.9% of its customer base, the company says.

The churn rate for consumer customers was 1% in the quarter.

Increased revenues were mostly due to its “innovative” tariffs, Custom Plans, higher handset revenues, progress in the Smart Metering Implementation Programme (SMIP) and increased MVNO revenues.

Profitability

Operating income before depreciation and amortisation for the quarter was £489 million, an increase of 5.7% year-on-year. CapEx in the quarter was £218 million, invested in continued investment expansion of network capacity, customer experience and the laying of foundations for 5G.

Driverless car tests in London

O2 has signed an agreement to participate in testing driverless vehicles in London using its 5G tech, starting at a test bed in Greenwich in south London and at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford in the east of the city.

O2 research predicts that a 5G powered road network will cut traffic and make road journeys safer and easier, saving the economy £880 million a year and reduce CO2 emissions by 370,000 metric tonnes a year.