UK telco market worth £37.5bn, Ofcom reports

Breaking Bad was the most-streamed series of 2015

Total UK telecoms revenues grew for the first time in five years – increasing by £0.2bn to £37.5bn between 2014 and 2015, according to research from communications regulator Ofcom.

This was partly due to a sharp increase in people switching to superfast broadband, with 9.2 million homes having speeds of up to 30Mbps in 2015 compared with 7.1 million in 2014.

Average monthly household spending on telecoms services increased in real terms between 2014 and 2015 by £2.52 to £82.17, found the Communications Market Report, which will be available Thursday.

Ofcom found that superfast broadband is generally around £10 more per month than standard broadband. It noted that line rental prices have also increased.

Meanwhile, mobile subscriptions increased by 1.8 per cent to 91.5 million during 2015. Almost half were 4G (39.5 million).

However, the total number of text and multimedia messages sent each year continued to decline – from 110 billion in 2014 to 101 billion in 2015, as consumers switched to over-the-top services such as WhatsApp.

More than half of UK adults (59 per cent) used a video-on-demand service during 2015 – up from 57 per cent in 2014. Breaking Bad was the most-watched programme across these three services in 2015.

The report also included a study of 2,025 adults' and 500 teenagers' internet habits. It found that 71 per cent of UK adults now own a smartphone – up from 66 per cent a year ago.

Nearly half of internet users (49 per cent) said they were guilty of "connectivity creep" – spending longer online than they originally intended each day. As a result, almost half (48 per cent) neglected housework; 47 per cent said they had missed out on sleep or were tired the next day; and 31 per cent had missed out on spending time with friends and family.

According to the survey, 41 per cent said if they couldn't access the internet their lives would be more boring. Which is ironic, considering ubiquitous connectivity has also meant an increase in people documenting their every banality on social media. ®

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