UK overhauls Germany in broadband battle

Britain is now a mid-table player for broadband in Europe, at a time when mobile data services are also thriving

High-speed Internet access and mobile services are continuing to boom in the UK, according to latest figures from Ofcom.

The communications regulator announced on Friday that the UK overtook Germany for broadband penetration this summer. In June 2004 the UK had 7.5 broadband connections per hundred people, compared to Germany's 6.7 per hundred.

These figures show that the UK is still lagging behind France, which has 8.3 broadband connections per hundred people, Sweden (with 12.1), the Netherlands (with 15.8) and Denmark (15.6).

More recent figures show that by the end of September 2004 there were 5.3 million broadband subscribers in the UK. The passing of the 5 million customer milestone received relatively little attention, showing that Britain's fast-growing broadband market is no longer a surprise after the bad times of 2000 and 2001.

Ofcom's figures also contained some bad news for BT. Its share of the fixed voice call market had dropped from 56.7 percent to 55.4 percent by the end of September.

But there was better news for companies providing mobility solutions. According to Ofcom, business users are spending £1bn on fixed data services and £100m on mobile data services every quarter.

Mobile and date revenues totalled £2.9bn between April and June 2004, compared to £2.8bn for fixed calls and access for the same period.

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