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2006-2007 Europe - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband in United Kingdom and Ireland


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

This report covers the UK and Ireland, representing key and influential telecom markets. 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
Convergent media


BuddeComm’s latest UK and Ireland Annual Publication, ‘2006 Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband in the UK and Ireland’, profiles two contrasting countries within Europe. Whereas Ireland has a small telecom market and has been slow to adopt broadband and digital TV, its larger neighbour has one of the largest economies in the European Union (EU) has been among the more progressive in promoting and using emerging technologies. Ireland’s incumbent, eircom, was taken over in 2006 and despite assurances to the contrary, the company faces being broken up within the next two years. By contrast, the privatisation of BT, which helped to develop the UK into one of the most competitive telecom environments in the world, has propelled the company on all fronts. Its recent operating performance has led to growth in all sectors, while it has also set the pace in its Next Generation Network (NGN) plans. The strong competitive environment in the broadband sector has been bolstered by the creation of BT’s retail division, Openreach in January 2006. These developments have pushed the UK into becoming a telecoms powerhouse in Europe, with comprehensive DSL coverage, advanced digital services and progressive convergence between all platforms.

The markets for IPTV and other IP-based triple play services such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and Video-on-Demand (VoD) continued to mature during 2006, while mergers and commercial deals have expanded the quad-play format by blending in mobile services to the traditional voice, Internet and TV formula. Although Ireland’s cable networks have been built out considerably during the year, particularly to the southern and western regions, both cable and Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) services remain comparatively expensive and offer relatively low-bandwidth.

Digital TV is widely available in both countries, but digital terrestrial TV in Ireland still requires focus and direction while initial trials are underway at the close of the year. The UK has switched to digital signals in a number of areas, and the regulator’s plans for national switchover have been well managed. This report presents an overview of telecoms liberalisation and privatisation in the UK and Ireland, together with the prodigious product offerings for both the mobile and broadband sectors. It provides the latest essential statistics for operators in all sectors, highlighting market and technological developments and detailing the emergence of media convergence and triple and quad-play offerings in these two important markets. The report also covers the latest regulatory developments, together with an analysis of NGNs and the strategies of the main players in coming years.

Key Highlights
2006 saw the emergence of quad-play services in the UK as a result of major deals between providers. Ntl Incorporated was the first off the block, following its purchase of Virgin Mobile. The company’s ‘4 for £40’ concept has targeted growing consumer demand for a one-stop-shop provider for services.
Numerous providers have launched 8Mb/s services, including BT which spent much of 2006 catching up with its competitors for bandwidth speed. The wider availability of ADSL2+ networks has fostered triple play services in a far larger geographic footprint. Meanwhile, ntl and Telewest have responded to DSL’s reach and higher-bandwidth development by upgrading their own national networks and trialling a 100Mb/s service, thereby adding an important competitive dimension for 2007.
Ireland’s underdeveloped broadband network showed real signs of improvement in 2006, though strong growth has been masked by its low starting point, and by customer dissatisfaction with the quality of broadband on offer outside the major towns. Nevertheless, both the government and the private sector have responded to the bad pressed resulting from the country’s lamentable position in Europe for broadband, and developments during 2006 promise rapid improvement in coming years.
The UK continues to have one of the most developed digital and pay TV markets in Europe, with diverse on-demand services. 2006 was characterised by major deals between network operators and content providers, including the BBC and most of the Hollywood studios. These now pose a more dangerous threat to BSkyB’s cable TV movie distribution business.
BT’s has seen the fruits of its structural separation, with the emergence of Openreach in early 2006 and strong growth in its broadband sector. Openreach will continue to show great promise for the UK’s competitive environment in 2007.
BT’s 21CN was close to being switched on in areas of South Wales, and the project remains the largest national NGN infrastructure undertaking in Europe. Together with BT’s structural separation, the NGN investment is an audacious signal that the company is preparing the UK for a new and rich era in digital services in coming years.
The UK’s mobile penetration broke the 100% mark in 2005, yet growth continues at one of the fastest rates in Europe. Ireland’s small mobile market has become increasingly competitive and looks set to continue its strong growth record in 2006, as services mature and competition and a determined regulator drive down prices.

1. UNITED KINGDOM
1.1 Key statistics
1.2 Telecommunications market
1.2.1 Overview of the UK’s telecom market
1.3 Regulatory environment
1.3.1 History
1.3.2 Regulatory authority
1.3.3 BT’s structural separation
1.3.4 Next Generation Networks (NGN)
1.3.5 Telecom sector liberalisation in the UK
1.4 Major fixed network operators in the UK
1.4.1 New regulations
1.4.2 British Telecom
1.4.3 Kingston Communications
1.4.4 Cable & Wireless
1.4.5 ntl
1.4.6 Telewest
1.4.7 Energis
1.4.8 COLT Telecom
1.4.9 THUS
1.4.10 Carphone Warehouse
1.4.11 Post Office re-entry
1.4.12 Orange
1.5 Telecommunications infrastructure
1.5.1 National telecom network
1.5.2 International
1.6 Broadband market
1.6.1 Overview
1.6.2 Cable modems
1.6.3 Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)
1.6.4 Fibre-to-the-Home (FttH) networks
1.6.5 Broadband Powerline (BPL)
1.6.6 Wireless broadband
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 Regulator issues
1.7.5 Digital TV (DTV)
1.8 Mobile communications
1.8.1 Overview of the UK’s mobile market
1.8.2 Regulatory issues
1.8.3 Mobile technologies
1.8.4 Major mobile operators
1.8.5 Mobile voice services
1.8.6 Mobile data services
1.8.7 Mobile applications
2. IRELAND
2.1 Key statistics
2.2 Telecommunications market
2.2.1 Overview of Ireland’s telecom market
2.3 Regulatory environment
2.3.1 History
2.3.2 Regulatory authority
2.3.3 Telecom sector liberalisation in Ireland
2.3.4 Number Portability (NP)
2.3.5 Carrier PreSelection (CPS)
2.4 Fixed network operators in Ireland
2.4.1 Operator market shares
2.4.2 eircom
2.4.3 BT Ireland
2.4.4 Smart Telecom
2.4.5 Tele2
2.4.6 Other operators
2.5 Telecommunications infrastructure
2.5.1 National telecom network
2.5.2 International
2.6 Broadband market
2.6.1 Overview
2.6.2 Broadband statistics
2.6.3 Cable modems
2.6.4 Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)
2.7 Convergence
2.7.1 Overview of media convergence
2.7.2 Key general trends
2.7.3 Triple play models
2.7.4 Regulatory issues
2.7.5 Digital TV
2.8 Mobile communications
2.8.1 Overview of Ireland’s mobile market
2.8.2 Regulatory issues
2.8.3 Mobile technologies
2.8.4 Major mobile operators
2.8.5 Mobile voice services
2.8.6 Mobile data services
2.8.7 Mobile applications
3. GLOSSARY OF ABBREVIATIONS
Exhibit 1 - BT’s wholesale DSL products - 2006
Exhibit 2 - Kingston’s wholesale DSL products - 2005
Exhibit 3 - Wireless opportunities
Exhibit 4 - WLAN operator business models - 2005
Exhibit 5 - WLAN operator strategies - 2005
Exhibit 6 - Technology developments in bundled services - 2006 - 2008
Exhibit 7 - Digital broadcasting switchover timetable - 2008 - 2012
Exhibit 8 - Snapshot of digital TV services - September 2006
Exhibit 9 - Popular VoIP providers - 2006
Exhibit 10 - 3G infrastructure suppliers
Exhibit 11 - 3G network sharing agreements
Exhibit 12 - Digital subscription packages from BSkyB - 2005
Exhibit 13 - 3G licence results - June 2002


Table 1 - Broadband subscribers and penetration - 2004 - 2006
Table 2 - Country statistics United Kingdom - 2006
Table 3 - Telecom revenue and investment statistics - 2005
Table 4 - Telephone network statistics - 2005
Table 5 - Internet user statistics - Sept 2006
Table 6 - Broadband statistics - June 2006
Table 7 - Mobile statistics - June 2006
Table 8 - National telecommunications authority
Table 9 - Cost of average household telecoms consumption - 2001 - 2005
Table 10 - Average price of household telecoms services - 2001 - 2005
Table 11 - Communications retail sector revenue - 2001 - 2005
Table 12 - Communications wholesale and retail revenue - 2001 - 2005
Table 13 - Communications wholesale and retail revenue - 2001 - 2005
Table 14 - Communications retail sector revenue - 2001 - 2005
Table 15 - Communications retail sector revenue - 2001 - 2005
Table 16 - Market share of fixed voice calls - 2000 - 2006
Table 17 - LLU, shared access price - connection, monthly rental - 2004 - 2005
Table 18 - Availability of LLU broadband - 2005
Table 19 - Unbundled loops and access lines - 2004 - 2006
Table 20 - Numbers ported - 2004 - 2005
Table 21 - Non-BT lines by access type - 2001 - 2005
Table 22 - Lines with CPS - 2004 - 2006
Table 23 - WLR lines - 2004 - 2006
Table 24 - Ofcom proposed wholesale rental charge - Nov 2005
Table 25 - BT market share of residential call types by traffic volumes - 2003 - 2005
Table 26 - Operating results by sector and annual change - 2005 - 2006
Table 27 - BT financial statistics and annual change - Q1 (June) 2006
Table 28 - Kingston Communications turnover - 1999 - 2006
Table 29 - Kingston Communications operating data - 2005
Table 30 - Cable & Wireless financial statistics - March 2006
Table 31 - ntl subscriber statistics - 2004 - 2006
Table 32 - ntl incorporated financial statistics - March 2006
Table 33 - ntl incorporated subscriber statistics - 2005 - 2006
Table 34 - ntl incorporated bundled customers - 2005 - 2006
Table 35 - COLT financial statistics - 2005 - 2006
Table 36 - THUS financial statistics and annual change - March 2006
Table 37 - Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 1995 - 2004
Table 38 - Internet connections by type - 2001 - 2006
Table 39 - Internet / Broadband service revenue - 2001 - 2005
Table 40 - UK broadband market overview - 2002 - 2006
Table 41 - Broadband penetration by technology - 2004 - 2006
Table 42 - Total broadband subscribers and penetration by type - 2004 - 2006
Table 43 - Internet access by dial-up and broadband - 2000 - 2006
Table 44 - Internet access by dial-up and broadband - 2001 - 2006
Table 45 - PC and Internet household penetration - 2000 - 2006
Table 46 - ISP dedicated access market share - July 2006
Table 47 - Operator share of retail subscribers - 2003 - 2006
Table 48 - Residential broadband and voice subscribers by provider - 2005 - 2006
Table 49 - Broadband and narrowband penetration in Internet homes - 2004 - 2006
Table 50 - Broadband subscriber growth - stronger market growth scenario - 2005 - 2010; 2015
Table 51 - Broadband subscriber growth - weaker market growth scenario - 2005 - 2010; 2015
Table 52 - ntl and Telewest cable modem subscribers - March 2006
Table 53 - ntl Internet subscribers: dial-up, broadband, DTV - 2005 - 2006
Table 54 - xDSL subscribers - 2000 - 2006
Table 55 - Average UK residential broadband subscription prices - 2001 - 2005
Table 56 - Pipex operating statistics and annual change - 2005
Table 57 - Availability and penetration of digital services - June 2006
Table 58 - Availability of digital services: percentage of households - 2001 - 2006
Table 59 - Service bundling offers - 1995 - 2006
Table 60 - Bundled households for broadband/pay-TV/fixed-line - 2005 - 2006
Table 61 - Proportion of bundled services by type - 2005 - 2006
Table 62 - Statistical overview of the digital TV market - 2005 - 2006
Table 63 - Market share of TV platforms - 2005 - 2006
Table 64 - Digital TV take up, share of homes - 2004 - 2006
Table 65 - Share of multi-channel TV - 2004 - 2006
Table 66 - Digital TV share of net additions - 2004 - 2006
Table 67 - Pay TV take up, share of homes - 2004 - 2006
Table 68 - Share of digital TV market - 2004 - 2006
Table 69 - DTTV sets and households - 2006
Table 70 - DTTV STB sales - 2005 - 2006
Table 71 - Cumulative DTTV STB sales - 2006
Table 72 - Take-up of household digital devices - 2002 - 2006
Table 73 - Cable TV subscribers and penetration - 2003 - 2006
Table 74 - ntl Incorporated TV homes and statistics (incl ARPU) - Q1 2006
Table 75 - ntl marketable homes - March 2006
Table 76 - ntl RGUs: fixed-line, broadband, TV - March 2006
Table 77 - ntl bundled customers - 2005 - 2006
Table 78 - Telewest operating overview - Sept 2005
Table 79 - Telewest bundled customers - Sept 2005
Table 80 - Free-to-view satellite households - 2005 - 2006
Table 81 - BSkyB ARPU, households and Sky+ statistics - 2005 - 2006
Table 82 - BSkyB financial statistics and annual change - June 2006
Table 83 - Mobile subscribers by operator and annual change - June 2006
Table 84 - Mobile subscribers and penetration - 1995 - 2006
Table 85 - Subscribers by operator: contract and prepaid - 2005 - 2006
Table 86 - Mobile active subscribers: contract and prepaid - 2001 - 2005
Table 87 - Mobile and fixed phones in homes - 2000 - 2006
Table 88 - Consumer methods of making/receiving calls - 2004 - 2005
Table 89 - Mobile subscribers by operator - 2000 - 2005
Table 90 - Mobile retail revenue by operator - 2000 - 2005
Table 91 - Mobile retail revenue by type: data, SMS, voice - 2001 - 2005
Table 92 - Spectrum use, by sector - 2006
Table 93 - Mobile numbers ported - 2003 - 2005
Table 94 - Average mobile termination charges - 2000 - 2005
Table 95 - 3G subscribers by operator and annual growth - June 2006
Table 96 - 3G licence results - April 2000
Table 97 - Mobile market share by operator - 2004 - 2006
Table 98 - Share of net adds by network operator - 2005 - 2006
Table 99 - O2 operating statistics (incl ARPU) - 2005 - 2006
Table 100 - O2 operating statistics - 2005 - 2006
Table 101 - O2 Group mobile subscribers - 2005 - 2006
Table 102 - Vodafone mobile subscriber statistics (incl ARPU) and annual change - 2005 - 2006
Table 103 - Vodafone mobile non voice as % service revenue - 2005 - 2006
Table 104 - Vodafone subscriber statistics; proportion prepaid - 2001 - 2006
Table 105 - T-Mobile operating statistics (Incl ARPU) and annual change - 2005
Table 106 - T-Mobile financial statistics and annual change - 2005 - 2006
Table 107 - Virgin Mobile operating statistics (incl ARPU) and annual change - 2005
Table 108 - Carphone Warehouse subscriber statistics (incl ARPU) and annual change - March 2006
Table 109 - Carphone Warehouse operating statistics - 2004 - 2006
Table 110 - Operators’ prepaid customers - 2003 - 2006
Table 111 - Carrier prepaid market shares - 2005 - 2006
Table 112 - Mobile retail revenue by operator: calls and charges - 2005 - 2006
Table 113 - Mobile call volume by operator - 2005 - 2006
Table 114 - Total and average text messages sent - 1999 - 2006
Table 115 - Mobile retail revenue by operator: SMS and MMS - 2005 - 2006
Table 116 - Average text messages sent daily - 2003 - 2005
Table 117 - UK mobile subscriber consumption of applications - Q4 2005
Table 118 - Subscriber monthly consumption of applications; annual change - June 2006
Table 119 - Average SMS revenues - 2001 - 2005
Table 120 - Volume of SMS and MMS by operator - 2005 - 2006
Table 121 - Average monthly MMS use - 2003 - 2005
Table 122 - Total and average mobile Internet page impressions - 2002 - 2005
Table 123 - WAP page impressions per month - 2002 - 2005
Table 124 - Vodafone live! customers - 2005 - 2006
Table 125 - Country statistics Ireland - 2006
Table 126 - Telecom revenue and investment statistics - 2004
Table 127 - Telephone network statistics - 2004
Table 128 - Internet user statistics - Sept 2006
Table 129 - Broadband statistics - March 2006
Table 130 - Mobile statistics - March 206
Table 131 - National telecommunications authority
Table 132 - Market revenue shares by fixed, mobile and broadcasting sector - 2002 - 2006
Table 133 - Fixed-line, mobile and broadcasting revenue - 2005 - 2006
Table 134 - Fixed-line revenue by service - 2005 - 2006
Table 135 - Proportion of fixed-line revenue by service - 2004 - 2006
Table 136 - Unbundled loops and access lines - 2004 - 2006
Table 137 - LLU, shared access price - connection, monthly rental - 2004 - 2005
Table 138 - eircom access channels: PSTN, ISDN and annual change - 2005 - 2006
Table 139 - eircom access paths - 2005 - 2006
Table 140 - eircom leased lines by type and annual change - 2005 - 2006
Table 141 - Numbers ported - 2003 - 2005
Table 142 - Indirect access lines: CPS and WLR - 2005 - 2006
Table 143 - Total narrowband fixed line revenue by operator - 2005 - 2006
Table 144 - Fixed-line call volumes: incumbent and OAOs - 2005 - 2006
Table 145 - eircom financial statistics - 2001 - 2006
Table 146 - eircom access channels, traffic and annual change - 2005 - 2006
Table 147 - eircom operating statistics (incl ARPU) and annual change - June 2006
Table 148 - eircom voice traffic revenue by type and annual change - 2005 - 2006
Table 149 - eircom data traffic revenue by type and annual change - 2005 - 2006
Table 150 - eircom data communications revenue; annual change - 2005 - 2006
Table 151 - eircom voice traffic minutes - 2003 - 2005
Table 152 - eircom voice traffic by type and annual change - 2005 - 2006
Table 153 - BT Ireland Internet subscribers - March 2006
Table 154 - BT Ireland operating statistics - 2005 - 2006
Table 155 - Smart Telecom financial statistics - 2003 - 2005
Table 156 - Smart Telecom subscriber statistics - 2005
Table 157 - Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 1995 - 2005
Table 158 - Direct/indirect access paths - 2005 - 2006
Table 159 - Total broadband subscribers by access type - 2002 - 2006
Table 160 - Narrowband subscribers - 2005 - 2006
Table 161 - Market shares: narrowband fixed-line revenues - Q1 2006
Table 162 - Broadband subscribers and growth by platform and annual change - Sept 2006
Table 163 - Market share of total broadband market - 2004 - 2006
Table 164 - Proportion of DSL access by type - 2004 - 2006
Table 165 - Broadband subscriber growth - stronger market growth scenario - 2005 - 2010; 2015
Table 166 - Broadband subscriber growth - weaker market growth scenario - 2005 - 2010; 2015
Table 167 - Broadband by Internet households - 2005
Table 168 - UPC Ireland operating data and subscribers - March 2006
Table 169 - eircom DSL subscribers - 2002 - 2006
Table 170 - DSL access provision by type - 2002 - 2006
Table 171 - eircom’s ADSL and bitstream lines - 2004 - 2006
Table 172 - Statistical overview of Ireland’s broadcasting market - March 2006
Table 173 - Take-up of broadcasting services, % of total - 2002 - 2006
Table 174 - Digital TV: cable and satellite market share - 2004 - 2006
Table 175 - Pay TV market access type - 2002 - 2006
Table 176 - Pay TV subscribers - 2005 - 2006
Table 177 - Pay TV broadcasting subscribers by service - 2005 - 2006
Table 178 - Pay TV market: analogue and digital (of pay TV) - 2004 - 2006
Table 179 - Broadcasting market breakdown by technology - 2004 - 2006
Table 180 - Cable TV subscribers - 1991 - 2006
Table 181 - ntl Ireland operating data and subscribers - Sept 2005
Table 182 - UPC Ireland operating data and subscribers - March 2006
Table 183 - Satellite and cable/MMS TV antennae - 2002 - 2005
Table 184 - Satellite TV antennae and home penetration - 1992 - 2006
Table 185 - BSkyB satellite TV subscribers - 2003 - 2006
Table 186 - Mobile subscribers by operator and annual growth - June 2006
Table 187 - Mobile subscribers and penetration - 1995 - 2006
Table 188 - Mobile subscribers and fixed-line connections - 2003 - 2006
Table 189 - Mobile market revenue - 2005 - 2006
Table 190 - Mobile traffic volume - 2005 - 2006
Table 191 - Mobile market share - 2005 - 2006
Table 192 - Market share of net adds by operator - 2005 - 2006
Table 193 - Market share of revenue operator - 2003 - 2006
Table 194 - Mobile numbers ported - 2003 - 2006
Table 195 - O2 operating statistics (incl ARPU) - June 2006
Table 196 - Meteor Mobile subscribers - 2003 - 2006
Table 197 - Mobile retail voice traffic - 2003 - 2005
Table 198 - Mobile voice minutes - 2005 - 2006
Table 199 - Prepaid versus postpaid share of subscribers - 2000 - 2006
Table 200 - Prepaid subscribers by operator - Sept 2006
Table 201 - SMS messages sent - 2000 - 2006
Table 202 - MMS messages sent - 2005 - 2006

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