So with a blanket monopoly on the next "must-have" technology, they got 200,000 new customers (how many do they tend to get each year anyway?) but still didn't make a profit. And if they had done (adjusted for those regulatory costs), they would have made a paltry increase over what they made in 2011 (which didn't have those 200,000 customers).
From that, I take away that nobody's really buying 4G anyway, or certainly not using it as a major factor to buy on, and the business is just growing as per normal. Hope all those licensing fees were worth it.
Given what I've learned by just looking at a 4G ISP (Now, which is one of the most stupid names in the world for Google-ability), it's not surprising. They cost as much as a phone contract, still have a pitiful data allowance, you have to use their box, and they don't cover a major town inside the M25 at all (and I have a huge mast visible just down the road).
I think we just stumbled on the hurdle that is 4G rather than actually made it a viable upgrade. If we'd just let everybody bid, rolled it out to everybody, and not had this exclusivity, I think we'd have been better off as a nation (and the fact that other nations already have this kinda proves the point).
I don't know anyone with a 4G-capable phone, and judging by the figures in this article there's a reason - nobody is buying FOR 4G, they just happen to end up with it. I'd like to know the percentage of cell sessions that are actually 4G over the whole network, averaged appropriately. If it's more than 1% (given the amount of coverage, the number of supported phones, the number of customers who choose to use it, the amount of time it can actually get a signal, and the amount of time that 3G just isn't enough and the phone decides it needs to use 4G), I'll be amazed.
Another technology broken by people who can't work out how to sell it. Hell, the prices and data allowance alone were enough to make me run a mile. It'll become viable when the other providers get it, I imagine. By then, we'll have some more price competition, more handsets supporting it, and maybe some coverage.