Telefonica Deutschland has revealed that it ended March 2015 with a total of 5.146 million LTE subscribers, up from 3.098 million three months earlier and 464,000 at the end of Q1 2014, and the operator says it is aiming to increase 4G coverage to 75% of the population by the end of the year. Telefonica stated that the growth in 4G customer numbers was driven by a ‘conscious approach to maximise the usage of the LTE network via portfolio design, including handsets and the opening of access to LTE to the whole O2 post-paid customer base’. At the end of March 2015 Telefonica Deutschland reported a wireless subscriber total of 42.179 million (of which 44.8% were post-paid customers), an increase of 2.5% year-on-year, while fixed accesses declined by 4.4% year-on-year to 5.479 million. In total, customer accesses rose 1.6% over the twelve-month period to 47.658 million in 1Q15.
Telefonica Deutschland posted consolidated revenue of EUR1.901 billion (USD2.12 billion) for the first three months of 2015, an increase of 2.9% from EUR1.85 billion in the year-ago quarter, driven by higher mobile service revenue, which rose 1.5% year-on-year to EUR1.354 billion, and significantly stronger handset sales (+28.8% year-on-year to EUR282 million). Mobile data revenue totalled EUR692 million in 1Q15, with the share of non-SMS mobile data revenue increasing to 70.5% from 68.9% in the fourth quarter of 2014, driven by the monetisation of customers’ rising mobile data volumes. OIBDA excluding special items rose by 5.7% from EUR357 million in Q1 2014 to EUR378 million a year later, party attributed to a focus on customer base retention and a value-based handset sales model, although Telefonica Deutschland posted a net loss of EUR176 million, mainly impacted by higher depreciation and amortisation charges following the merger with E-Plus in October 2014 which were not compensated by OIBDA.
Commenting on the results, CEO of Telefonica Deutschland Thorsten Dirks said: ‘We came out of the blocks well at the start of the year. Based on new products and further network enhancements we continued to make good progress on our way to become the leading digital telco. During the coming months we will continue working on creating the best network and service experience for our customers.’