TalkTalk Targets Future Fibre And Business Growth But Urges Regulators To Maintain Competition

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Revenues rises as TalkTalk business unit grows, but CEO Dido Harding has message for regulators

TalkTalk wants to double the market share of its business unit over the next year as the division increased its customer base by fifty percent over the past 12 months, contributing to overall group revenues of £1.8 billion for the financial year – a 3.9 percent year-on-year increase.

Demand for TalkTalk Business’s data service jumped by 40 percent, while the firm won several new Ethernet contracts, adding 9,000 new lines.

The division now has 26,000 customers, but has grand ambitions to boost its market share from 18 percent, citing the fragmented nature of the enterprise market as a great opportunity. TalkTalk has just bought SIP trunking provider tIPicall, which it says will allow it to offer VoIP services to business.

Quad-play

Dido Harding TalkTalk CEO LandscapeThe TalkTalk Group as a whole increased revenues by six percent year-on-year to £475 million, adding 66,000 new mobile customers and 82,000 new television customers as it pushes ahead with its quad-play strategy. TalkTalk now has 464,000 mobile customers, 12 percent of its phone and broadband user base, and 500,000 TV users

The company increased its broadband user base by 67,000 as it integrates Virgin Media’s ADSL users and will increase this in the future through the recent acquisition of Tesco Mobiles’ broadband business.

Eighty-three thousand fibre users were also added during the quarter and TalkTalk thinks demand for faster speeds will boost these figures in the future. However it does not expect Ofcom’s imposition of a minimum price margin on BT will drive down prices in the short term.

Fibre & competition

TalkTalk CEO Dido Harding (pictured) said its results demonstrated the appeal of its “value for money” quad play services and that the company plans to cement its position as a leader in the market over the coming year.

However she also urged Ofcom, which is carrying out its first major review of the communications market in a decade, to promote competition and encourage investment. TalkTalk has been a long-term critic of BT’s allegedly dominant position in the market, especially in fibre.

“British consumers and businesses increasingly appreciate TalkTalk’s value for money products, and we are focused on improving our customers’ experience still further and growing our already flourishing quad play business,” she said.

“We believe firmly that competition will drive the innovation and investment that Britain needs in this essential infrastructure and urge the respective regulatory bodies currently reviewing the various mergers and industry structure, to put strong competition at the heart of their decisions.”

Future plans

TalkTalk is to press ahead with plans for its Fibre to the Premise (FTTP) joint-venture with Sky and CityFibre in York, with the first customers connected soon, and has grand plans for its mobile services once a new Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) partnership with O2 comes into effect.

The new deal is less restrictive than its previous carrier agreement and eventually allows for the creation of an ‘inside out’ mobile network where as much traffic as possible is carried through the TalkTalk fixed network. This will be facilitated by the rollout of upgraded home routers, which act as femtocells.

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