H3G switches focus to higher revenue users, ARPU falls, Christmas to blame

30 Aug 2005

Hutchison Whampoa’s UK 3G operator 3 has announced that it signed up 200,000 new subscribers between April and 24 August, taking its customer base to 3.2 million. Although it does not provide a breakdown of figures it is estimated that the cellco actually signed up 400,000 users in the period, but shed around half as many low revenue users as it switched its focus to higher spending customers. Despite this, average revenue per user (ARPU) in the three months to the end of June fell to GBP33.83, down from GBP40.30 at the end of April. 3 attempted to explain away the drastic fall by saying that the figures were skewed by a large rise in pre-pay customers over the Christmas period which has eaten into average revenues over the course of the year. It also rightly pointed out that its user revenues remained the highest in the UK market by some margin, with rivals Vodafone and O2 reporting ARPU of GBP25 and GBP22.58 respectively in the second quarter.

United Kingdom, Hutchison 3G UK (Three UK)