Telecoms in the United Kingdom - statistics & facts
The United Kingdom is home to a highly competitive telecommunications market providing fixed and wireless services to the country’s 68 million residents. The UK telecoms industry generated revenue of 31.8 billion British pounds in 2022, a slight increase from 2021, with growth of around 8.5 percent forecast in 2023. The deployment of next-generation networks has been a core focus for operators, with fiber broadband and 5G mobile services bringing faster download speeds to consumers and businesses across the British Isles.
Household spending on mobile services continues to fall
The rollout of fiber-optic networks across the UK has prompted a shift in fixed broadband connection types. Of the 28 million fixed connections in the UK in 2022, 17 million were fiber-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) connections, while three million were classified as fiber-to-the premises (FTTP) connections, up from two million the previous year. FTTP is considered ‘full fiber’, as only fiber-optic cables are used to carry a connection to an address. Meanwhile, FTTC connections utilize traditional copper telephone cables to carry a connection over the final stage from the street cabinet to the address, and thus deliver slower download speeds. The increase in FTTP connections has helped spur a surge in average download speeds, which surpassed 100 Mbit/s for the first time in 2022.
BT is still a leader in fixed telecoms
BT, formerly British Telecom, has remained the leading player in UK fixed telecoms segment, having operated the nation’s telecoms networks prior to the liberalization of the market in the 1980s. The company serviced a third of all broadband subscriptions in 2022, and generated almost 5.2 billion British pounds in revenue in the first quarter of its 2024 financial year. BT also owns Openreach, a legally separate company which maintains the fixed network infrastructure used by the majority of UK providers.
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