Everything Everywhere benefits from increase in smartphones

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THE owner of mobile phone networks Orange and T-Mobile saw its half-year revenues rise after signing up more customers on lucrative smartphone contracts.

Everything Everywhere – Britain’s biggest mobile phone operator – reported a 3.1 per cent rise in underlying revenues in the first half of 2012 thanks to a 6.5 per cent year-on-year rise in customers on contracts, of which nearly three quarters have smartphones such as Apple’s iPhone and Android products.

The group held interim earnings largely firm at £673m, down 1.3 per cent on a year earlier, in the six months to June 30.

But Everything Everywhere, which was formed by the merger of T-Mobile and Orange in 2010, saw a 36 per cent drop in net customer additions – those joining the group less those leaving – to 150,000 in the second quarter amid tougher economic conditions and intense competition in the market.

Olaf Swantee, chief executive of Everything Everywhere, said it was vital for the UK to push ahead with plans for super-fast 4G services to help Britain to recover from its double-dip recession.

He said it would generate £5.5bn of investment in the economy and bring “tremendous economic benefits”.

“We need to get Britain back on track and get 4G on the move.”

On Tuesday Ofcom announced 4G auction plans would start before the end of the year.

Everything Everywhere said it had already achieved £316m of the £445m a year in annual costs it aims to save following the merger of T-Mobile and Orange.