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2006-2007 Europe - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband in Italy and Malta


Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

This report covers Italy and Malta, together representing one of the largest and most influential telecom markets in Europe, as well as one of the smallest yet technologically proficient. Trends and developments in telecommunications, mobile, Internet, broadband, digital TV and converging media including VoIP, VoD and IPTV developments. Subjects include:

  • Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
  • Facts, figures and statistics;
  • Industry and regulatory issues;
  • Research, Marketing, Benchmarking;
  • Major Players, Revenues, Subscribers, Prepaid;
  • VoIP, IPTV, VoD, digital TV and DTTV;
  • Converging media


BuddeComm’s latest Italy and Malta Annual Publication, ‘2006/2007 Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband in Italy and Malta’, profiles two contrasting telecom markets. Italy’s large population is the furnace for one of Europe’s more important telecoms services markets, and nurtures a sophisticated mobile, broadband and digital TV presence. The cable footprint remains relatively insignificant, while the nation’s fibre sector continues to be an innovative leader, providing Italians with one of the fastest broadband infrastructures on the continent. This has helped to boost popular enthusiasm for triple play services, and will provide a strong foundation for IPTV, VoD and VoIP in 2007 and coming years.

Malta has Europe’s smallest telecom market, but the country has close infrastructural ties to Italy, particularly in the mobile and broadband sectors. These were cemented further following the sale of the incumbent Maltacom in May 2006, since the new owners were required to invest over the next three years to increase data bandwidth between Malta and Italy, enter the digital TV market, launch interactive TV and enhance VoIP services. 2006 saw the launch of 3G services from Vodafone, though its monopoly will be lost in early 2007 as Maltacom’s 3G network comes online. Malta was slow to liberalise certain market sectors, but effective management by the regulator has in recent years has lead to introduction of number portability as well as other important measures to develop competition in a market restricted by its size and the incumbent’s dominance in the fixed-line sector.

This report presents a concise overview of sector liberalisation and privatisation in Italy and Malta, and the development of product offerings for both mobile and broadband as providers mould their strategies in markets expected to be more competitive during 2007. It also provides essential operator statistics highlighting sector development, assesses regulatory changes and their implications, and analyses the emergence of convergence and triple play services.

Key Highlights
The sale of Malta’s incumbent operator in mid-2006 was conditional on a substantial three-year investment program which will have enormous implications for the development of broadband and digital TV in coming years. Malta’s 3G sector was among the last in Europe to be licensed. Vodafone launched services during 2006 and will face competition from Maltacom as its network progresses with the financial backing of its parent Tecom.

Italy’s crowded mobile market is among the more competitive in Europe. Take-up of 3G has increased from 4% of mobile subscribers in 2004 to 19% by mid-2006, one of the highest proportions in Europe. Growth in 2007 is likely to be rapid in the wake of sophisticated mobile TV launches and the spread of advanced technologies such as HSDPA.

Italy is poorly served by cable, but the country has an enviable fibre network, with FASTWEB providing one of the most comprehensive footprints in Europe, expected to reach more than ten million homes in early 2007 as the effects of a €3 billion network investment bear fruit. Italy’s triple play development is one of the strongest in Europe, gaining maturity in 2006 on the back of ADSL2+ and fibre roll-outs. FASTWEB continues to be a leader for fibre deployment in Italy, and an innovator for consumer services. Its popular REPLAYtv and joint partnership agreements with Sky Italia offers a new direction for Italian consumers to access broadband content, and may serve as a model for other operators in Europe in 2007. Telecom Italia’s IPTV service Alice Home TV serviced more than 100 areas by the end of 2006, providing a considerable boost for content suppliers.

For those needing high level strategic information and objective analysis on this region, this 80+ page report is essential reading and gives further information on:
How the privatisation of Maltacom will affect take-up of digital TV and broadband;
How Telecom Italia’s reasserted commitment to convergence will affect the company’s strategy as a quad play provider;
The favourable technical and economic conditions for Local Loop Unbundling in Italy, valid until 2010, and how they provide a realistic chance for alternative operators to compete in the market;
How increasing demand for IPTV, VoD and other triple play services will further stimulate higher bandwidth connections in both Italy and Malta;
The impact which Malta’s 3G operators will have in boosting the country’s mobile penetration and opening up emerging mobile data services;
The changing face of converged media with widespread triple play services becoming a standard feature in homes.

1. ITALY
1.1 Key statistics
1.2 Telecommunications market
1.2.1 Overview of Italy’s telecom market
1.3 Regulatory environment
1.3.1 EU Regulatory Framework
1.3.1.1 Framework Directive
1.3.1.2 Authorisation Directive
1.3.1.3 Access Directive
1.3.1.4 Universal Service Directive
1.3.2 Regulatory authority
1.3.2.1 Communications Regulatory Authority (AGCOM)
1.3.3 Telecom sector liberalisation in Italy
1.3.3.1 Privatisation of Telecom Italia
1.3.3.2 Interconnect
1.3.3.3 Access
1.3.3.3.1 Wholesale Line Rental (WLR)
1.3.3.3.2 Bitstream access
1.3.3.4 Number portability
1.3.3.5 Carrier PreSelection (CPS)
1.4 Fixed network operators in Italy
1.4.1 Overview of operators
1.4.2 Telecom Italia
1.4.2.1 Structural separation?
1.4.3 Wind
1.4.4 BT Italia
1.5 Telecommunications infrastructure
1.5.1 National telecom network
1.5.2 International infrastructure
1.5.2.1 Submarine cable networks
1.5.2.2 Satellite networks
1.6 Broadband market
1.6.1 Overview
1.6.1.1 Broadband statistics
1.6.1.2 Broadband forecasts to 2015
1.6.1.2.1 Scenario 1 - stronger broadband subscriber growth
1.6.1.2.2 Scenario 2 - weaker broadband subscriber growth
1.6.1.3 Government support
1.6.1.4 Regional development
1.6.2 Cable modems
1.6.3 Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)
1.6.3.1 Wholesale market
1.6.3.2 Telecom Italia
1.6.3.3 FASTWEB
1.6.3.4 Tiscali
1.6.3.5 Wind
1.6.3.6 ADSL2+
1.6.3.7 Naked DSL
1.6.4 Fibre-to-the-Home (FttH) networks
1.6.4.1 FASTWEB
1.6.5 Wireless broadband
1.6.5.1 Wireless Local Loop (WLL)
1.6.5.2 Wireless LANs/WiFi
1.6.5.2.1 Megabeam
1.6.5.2.2 Telecom Italia
1.6.5.3 WiMAX
1.6.5.4 Internet via satellite
1.7 Convergence
1.7.1 Overview of media convergence
1.7.2 Key general trends
1.7.3 Triple play models
1.7.4 Regulatory issues
1.7.4.1 VoIP
1.7.5 Fixed-mobile convergence
1.7.6 Digital TV (DTV)
1.7.6.1 TV-over-DSL (IPTV)
1.7.6.1.1 Video-on-Demand (VoD)
1.7.6.2 Cable TV (CATV)
1.7.6.3 Satellite-based digital pay TV developments
1.7.6.3.1 Sky Italia
1.7.6.3.2 Personal Video Recorders (PVRs)
1.7.6.4 Digital Terrestrial TV (DTTV)
1.7.6.4.1 Framework 2001
1.7.6.4.2 Framework 2003
1.7.6.4.3 First services launched
1.7.6.4.4 The digital TV network in Italy
1.7.6.4.5 Digital cinema
1.7.6.5 Free-to-Air (FTA) TV
1.7.6.6 VoIP
1.8 Mobile communications
1.8.1 Overview of Italy’s mobile market
1.8.1.1 Mobile statistics
1.8.1.2 Operator market shares
1.8.2 Regulatory issues
1.8.2.1 Spectrum regulations and spectrum auctions
1.8.2.1.1 Spectrum trading
1.8.2.2 Roaming
1.8.2.3 Number portability
1.8.2.4 Fixed-to-mobile call charges
1.8.2.5 Fixed-mobile convergence
1.8.3 Mobile technologies
1.8.3.1 Analogue
1.8.3.2 Digital
1.8.3.3 Third Generation (3G) mobile
1.8.3.3.1 Postponed start dates
1.8.3.3.2 Plans and launches
1.8.3.3.2.1 3 Italia
1.8.3.3.2.2 Telecom Italia Mobile (TIM)
1.8.3.3.2.3 Vodafone Italy
1.8.3.3.2.4 Wind
1.8.4 Major mobile operators
1.8.4.1 H3 Italia
1.8.4.2 TIM
1.8.4.3 Vodafone Italy
1.8.4.4 Wind
1.8.4.5 MVNOs
1.8.5 Mobile voice services
1.8.5.1 Prepaid
1.8.6 Mobile data services
1.8.6.1 Short Message Service (SMS)
1.8.6.2 Multimedia Messaging Services (MMS)
1.8.6.3 Mobile banking
1.8.6.4 Wireless Application Protocol (WAP)
1.8.6.5 General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)
1.8.6.6 High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA)
1.8.6.7 i-Mode
1.8.6.8 Vodafone live!
1.8.6.9 Mobile TV
1.8.6.9.1 3 Italia
1.8.6.9.2 TIM
1.8.6.10 Mobile positioning
1.8.6.11 WiBro
1.8.7 Mobile content and applications
1.8.7.1 Location-based services

2. MALTA
2.1 Key statistics
2.2 Telecommunications market
2.2.1 Overview of Malta’s telecom market
2.3 Regulatory environment
2.3.1 History
2.3.2 Regulatory authority
2.3.3 Telecom sector liberalisation in Malta
2.3.4 Privatisation of Telemalta
2.3.5 Interconnect
2.3.6 Access
2.3.7 Carrier PreSelection (CPS)
2.3.8 Number Portability (NP)
2.3.8.1 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
2.4 Fixed network operator in Malta
2.4.1 Maltacom
2.5 Fixed voice market
2.5.1 Overview
2.5.2 Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
2.6 Telecommunications infrastructure
2.6.1 National telecom network
2.6.1.1 Coastal defence
2.6.2 International infrastructure
2.7 Broadband and Internet market
2.7.1 Overview
2.7.2 Broadband statistics
2.7.2.1 Bitstream access: DSL and cable networks
2.7.3 Broadband forecasts to 2015
2.7.3.1 Scenario 1 - stronger broadband subscriber growth
2.7.3.2 Scenario 2 - weaker broadband subscriber growth
2.7.4 Cable modems
2.7.5 Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)
2.7.6 Satellite
2.7.7 Wireless broadband
2.7.7.1 WiFi
2.7.7.2 WiMAX
2.7.8 Wholesaling
2.8 Convergence
2.8.1 Overview of media convergence
2.8.2 Digital TV
2.8.2.1 Cable TV (CATV)
2.8.2.2 Digital Terrestrial TV (DTTV)
2.9 Mobile communications
2.9.1 Overview of Malta’s mobile market
2.9.2 Regulatory issues
2.9.2.1 Roaming
2.9.2.2 Spectrum regulations and spectrum auctions
2.9.3 Mobile technologies
2.9.3.1 Analogue
2.9.3.2 Digital
2.9.3.3 Third Generation (3G) mobile
2.9.4 Major mobile operators
2.9.4.1 Vodafone Malta
2.9.4.2 MobIsle Communications / go mobile
2.9.5 Mobile voice services
2.9.5.1 Prepaid
2.9.6 Mobile data services
2.9.6.1 Short Message Service (SMS)
2.9.6.2 Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
2.9.6.3 General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)
2.9.6.4 Enhanced Data for GSM evolution (EDGE)
2.9.6.5 Mobile Internet
2.9.6.6 Mobile TV

3. GLOSSARY OF ABBREVIATIONS


LIST OF TABLES
Table 1 - Country statistics Italy - 2006
Table 2 - Telecom revenue and investment statistics - 2005
Table 3 - Telephone network statistics - 2005
Table 4 - Internet user statistics - September 2006
Table 5 - Broadband statistics - March 2006
Table 6 - Mobile statistics - June 2006
Table 7 - National telecommunications authority
Table 8 - Telecommunications channels in Italy - 2000 - 2005
Table 9 - Telecom Italia unbundled lines - 2005 - 2006
Table 10 - Unbundled loops and access lines - 2004 - 2006
Table 11 - LLU, shared access price − connection, monthly rental (€) - 2004 - 2005
Table 12 - Numbers ported - 2002 - 2005
Table 13 - Carrier preselection lines - 2005 - 2006
Table 14 - Fixed network traffic - 2000 - 2005
Table 15 - Telecom Italia operating statistics - 2005 - 2006
Table 16 - Telecom Italia Group operating statistics and annual change - 2005
Table 17 - Telecom Italia fixed-line operating statistics - 2005 - 2006
Table 18 - Wind financial statistics and annual change - 2005
Table 19 - Wind financial statistics and annual change - 2005 - 2006
Table 20 - Wind subscriber statistics and annual change - 2005 - 2006
Table 21 - Overview of Telecom Italia’s international network
Table 22 - Unbundled loops and access lines - 2005 - 2006
Table 23 - Internet users and penetration - 1991 - 2006
Table 24 - Total fixed broadband subscribers by access type - 2002 - 2006
Table 25 - Broadband penetration by technology - 2004 - 2006
Table 26 - Forecast broadband subscriber growth - stronger market growth scenario - 2005 - 2010;
2015
Table 27 - Forecast broadband subscriber growth - weaker market growth scenario - 2005 - 2010;
2015
Table 28 - ADSL subscribers - 2002 - 2006
Table 29 - Telecom Italia broadband subscribers - 2005 - 2006
Table 30 - FASTWEB operating statistics - 2005 - 2006
Table 31 - Tiscali Group ADSL subscribers - 2004 - 2006
Table 32 - Tiscali ADSL and dial-up subscribers by country, % of total - Q1 2006
Table 33 - Tiscali subscribers (Italy) and annual change - 2005 - 2006
Table 34 - Tiscali financial statistics (Italy) and annual change - 2005 - 2006
Table 35 - Tiscali Group financial statistics and annual change - 2004 - 2006
Table 36 - Naked DSL access charges - 2006
Table 37 - Fibre accesses by sector - 2004 - 2006
Table 38 - FASTWEB financial statistics, subscribers and annual change - 2006
Table 39 - Statistical overview of Italy’s broadcasting market - 2006
Table 40 - Pay TV subscribers by technology, and forecasts - 2003 - 2008
Table 41 - Digital pay TV revenue in Italy - 2000 - 2004
Table 42 - Digital TV subscribers by technology - 2004 - 2005
Table 43 - FASTWEB telecom, video services and ARPU - 2005 - 2006
Table 44 - Cable TV subscribers and penetration - 1996 - 2006
Table 45 - Cable TV subscribers and growth forecast - 2007 - 2013
Table 46 - Satellite TV subscribers and penetration - 1993 - 2006
Table 47 - Satellite TV subscriber forecasts - 2007- 2013
Table 48 - DTTV receivers and annual growth - 2004 - 2006
Table 49 - DTTV households and annual growth forecasts - 2007- 2013
Table 50 - Mobile subscribers by operator and annual change - June 2006
Table 51 - Mobile subscribers and penetration - 1994 - 2006
Table 52 - Comparative COST of mobile services; contract and prepaid - 2004 - 2006
Table 53 - Mobile market share by operator - 2005 - 2006
Table 54 - Share of new subscribers by operator - 2005 - 2006
Table 55 - Mobile numbers ported - 2003 - 2006
Table 56 - Fixed-mobile interconnection - 2004 - 2005
Table 57 - Vodafone 3G subscriber - 2005 - 2006
Table 58 - 3 Italia revenue - 2005 - 2006
Table 59 - TIM mobile subscribers and traffic - 2005 - 2006
Table 60 - TIM financial data - 2005 - 2006
Table 61 - Vodafone operating traffic and APRU - 2005 - 2006
Table 62 - Wind SMS, traffic, revenue statistics and annual change - 2005
Table 63 - Wind financial and subscriber statistics and annual change - Q2 2006
Table 64 - 3 Italia prepaid and contract subscribers - August 2006
Table 65 - Regular SMS users and annual change - 2000 - 2005
Table 66 - Vodafone data as proportion of revenue - 2005 - 2006
Table 67 - Vodafone live! customers (Italy) - 2002 - 2006
Table 68 - Country statistics Malta - 2006
Table 69 - Telephone network statistics - March 2006
Table 70 - Internet user statistics - September 2006
Table 71 - Broadband statistics - March 2006
Table 72 - Mobile statistics - June 2006
Table 73 - National telecommunications authority
Table 74 - Fixed / mobile telephony turnover - 2001 - 2005
Table 75 - Fixed telephony subscriptions - 2001 - 2005
Table 76 - Interconnection rates - January 2006
Table 77 - Mobile termination rates - 2002 - 2004
Table 78 - Number porting charges - 2006
Table 79 - Maltacom Group financial statistics - 2004 - 2006
Table 80 - VoIP Minutes of Use (MOU) - 2003 - 2006
Table 81 - Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 1995 - 2006
Table 82 - Broadband technologies: availability and coverage - July 2006
Table 83 - Dial up traffic - 2004 - 2006
Table 84 - Internet users and penetration - 2001 - 2005
Table 85 - Internet subscribers - 2001 - 2006
Table 86 - Broadband penetration - 2002 - 2006
Table 87 - Broadband subscribers by access method - 2002 - 2006
Table 88 - Proportion of Internet connections by type - 2003 - 2005
Table 89 - Internet connections by type - 2001 - 2006
Table 90 - Retail market shares by operator - 2003 - 2005
Table 91 - Forecast broadband subscriber growth - stronger market growth scenario - 2005 - 2010;
2015
Table 92 - Forecast broadband subscriber growth - weaker market growth scenario - 2005 - 2010;
2015
Table 93 - Wholesale market shares by operator - 2005
Table 94 - Wholesale revenue share by operator - 2005
Table 95 - Wholesale broadband access market shares by operator - 2003 - 2005
Table 96 - Wholesale subscribers by operator - 2005
Table 97 - Cable and digital TV subscribers - 2001 - 2006
Table 98 - Mobile subscribers by operator and annual change - June 2006
Table 99 - Mobile subscribers and penetration - 1998 - 2006
Table 100 - Vodafone Malta subscribers and ARPU - 2005 - 2006
Table 101 - Contract and prepaid subscribers - 2005 - 2006
Table 102 - SMS messages - 2005 - 2006
Table 103 - MMS messages - 2005 - 2006


LIST OF EXHIBITS
Exhibit 1 − Principal backbone providers − 2005
Exhibit 2 - UMTS auction results - October 2000
Exhibit 3 - Mobile operators and spectrum allocation range - 2006
Exhibit 4 - 3G licence allocations - August 2005

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