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Strong mobile broadband demand helped O2 UK to deliver a strong performance in 2010, according to new figures.

The firm's revenue growth reached nine per cent year-on-year in the fourth quarter, reaching £6,176 million, although operating income fell 3.8 per cent year-on-year.

Mobile broadband customers increased by 38 per cent over the course of 2010, taking the company's customer base to nine million.

Matthew Key, Chairman and Chief Executive of Telefonica Europe, said: "Strong results in a highly competitive environment from Telefonica O2 UK were underpinned by the growth of mobile broadband and customers upgrading to smartphones, which now account for 70 per cent of new contracts."

He added that O2 expects one in three customers to have a smartphone by the end of this year.

O2 recently stated that the price hikes on its broadband services were to help fund improved customer service and investment in the network.

The price hikes will see most people paying between 14p and 58p a month more.  

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