3 UK's ambitions checked by termination rates

3 UK, owned by Hutchison, aims to double its subscribers to around 6.8 million by 2012. CEO Kevin Russell told the Financial Times. 'Over the next three to four years I would like to more than double the net revenue in the business, and double the customer base'.

According to the latest figures from Hutchison, 3 UK had 3.4 million active customers at the end of last year, and the business generated £1.6 billion (€2.01 billion) of revenue in 2007, up 5% on 2006.

Russell is expected to give evidence on Friday to the UK's Competition Commission, which is holding an inquiry into termination rates. 3 UK is believed to favour the abolition of termination rates, or their reduction to minimal levels.

The operator reported a pre-tax loss of £840.7 million (€1,058 million) in 2006, the last year for which accounts are available. Profitability has been affected by the termination rates it pays other operators, according to Hutchison.