SIM-only and iPhone boost O2 subscriber numbers

Telefonica O2 has reported a set of strong Q4 results due, in part, to its promotion of SIM-only deals and the upsurge in the UK from data traffic as a result of increased iPhone sales. Revenues rose 10.4 per cent in Q4--climbing to €1.755 billion, with over 22 million mobile customers--a 7.5 per cent increase.

The company said its SIM-only Simplicity tariff accounted for around a quarter of new consumer contracts and now represented more than 10 per cent of the operator's consumer postpay base. The appetite for high-end handsets, in essence the iPhone and Blackberry devices, also helped to account for the operator's strong performance in the UK.

The impact of these smartphone handsets can be seen from O2's UK figures, where revenues rose by 10.4 per cent in Q4, boosted by increased activity around the iPhone at the end of the year. By comparison, revenues in Germany were flat, while Ireland declined 2.8 per cent.

Following the announcement of these results, Societe Generale issued a research note expressing its disappointment with Telefonica's 2009 outlook of an operating cashflow of between 8 per cent and 11 per cent. The company also confirmed that it would make a writedown of €146 million from its shareholding in Telecom Italia.

For more on this story:
Mobile Today and Total Telecom

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