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Mobile Communications in the United Kingdom (UK) - Statistics & Facts

With 95 percent of households in the United Kingdom (UK) owning at least one mobile phone, mobile communication is well-established as the UK’s preferred method for getting in touch over the phone. The gap between the mobile and fixed-line call volumes has been increasing since 2009, with the number of mobile phone minutes more than doubling fixed line telephone minutes by 2016.

Mobile services are largely provided by seven companies in the UK, with the leading four companies claiming the vast majority of the market. EE, O2, Vodafone and Three account for 89 percent of the total subscriber base , while Tesco Mobile, Virgin Mobile and Talk Talk customers make up the remainder.

Despite the growth in the number of active mobile subscribers , from 73.8 million subscribers in 2007 to 92 million subscribers in 2016, overall revenue generated within the sector has only risen slightly over the same period. Mobile retail revenue reached 15.3 billion British pounds in 2016, compared with 15 billion British pounds in 2007.

The average revenue per user (ARPU) data reflects this phenomenon, with mobile telephony apparently getting cheaper for users in the UK. Whereas a post-pay customer could be expected to generate 34.58 British pounds in revenue for a mobile service provider in 2007, that figure fell to 21.25 British pounds by 2016.

Data also makes up an increasingly important part of the UK's mobile communication landscape. Currently enabled by three generations of techonology, 2G, 3G and 4G, the amount of data being transferred on the UK networks has increased significantly in recent years. In March 2011, just 9 petabytes of data was transferred across mobile networks in the UK, a figure that would climb to 105.5 petabytes by June 2016. The average monthly amount of data used per SIM card also increased by around 1000 percent from 2012 to 2016, , rising from just over 100 megabytes in June 2012, to reach 1.26 gigabytes in June 2016.

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Mobile communication industry in the UK

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