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Recession boosts UK telecoms bundle uptake

07 августа 2009

The uptake of telecoms service bundles has been boosted by the recession as U.K. consumers look to save money without cutting back on usage, according to a new report published by Ofcom.



The regulator's latest annual communications market report found that 46% of households were receiving bundled services during the first quarter of 2009, up from 39% a year earlier, and that 47% were more likely to opt for a bundle than they were 12 months ago.

Ofcom's survey also revealed that the average monthly spend on telecom services – which includes Internet services, mobile voice and text, and fixed voice services – declined to £65.01 in 2008 from £68.84 per household the previous year. In 2006 the figure stood at £70.09 per household per month.

"We are becoming more canny about the way we pay for these services," said Peter Phillips, Ofcom partner for strategy and market developments, in a statement.

"Almost half of us economise by taking a bundle of communications services from a single supplier, while one fifth opt for cheaper mobile contracts which don't include an expensive new phone," he said.

Indeed, according to Ofcom 20% of all mobile contracts taken out since September 2008 have been SIM-only deals.

What's more a quarter of new mobile packages sold in the first three months of 2009 were rolling one-month contracts.

At the opposite end of the scale, a higher proportion of consumers are taking out longer 24-month contracts in return for lower monthly fees and heavily subsidised handsets, said Ofcom.

The research revealed that 12-month contracts, which accounted for 88% of postpaid mobile phone sales back in 2005, accounted for just 3% in the first quarter of 2009.

Meanwhile Ofcom also found that the recession has not stifled the uptake and usage of Internet services. Far from it.

"In May this year U.K. consumers spent an average of 25 minutes a day online at home – up from nine minutes in 2004," said Ofcom.

According to the survey, 68% of households had a broadband connection by the end of the first quarter of 2009, compared to 58% a year ago.

Ofcom also said mobile broadband connection growth is increasing, with over a quarter of a million new connections recorded in May 2009, compared to 139,000 in May 2008.

Furthermore, the watchdog said one in 10 households now have a mobile broadband connection, and that three quarters of these households also access broadband services through a fixed-line.

"This suggests that many consumers are using mobile broadband to complement their landline connection rather than replace it," said Ofcom.

However, fixed-line voice usage continued to decline, falling 5.5% in 2008, while the number of households opting to get rid of their landlines altogether in favour of using just mobile services is still rising.

Ofcom reported that Cardiff leads the U.K. in terms of fixed-mobile substitution with 29% of households opting for mobile-only services; Glasgow and Leicester follow with 27% and 25% respectively.

Источник: Total Telecom

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