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2008 European - Mobile Voice Market

This European market report covers developments in the region’s mobile communications market in 2008 and looks ahead to regulatory, economic and technological developments which will affect the market as well as operator and consumer behaviour in coming years.  

Researcher:- Henry Lancaster
Current publication date:- June 2009 (5th Edition)
Next publication date:- November 2009


Consumers have benefited from regulated roaming and interconnection tariffs and from competitive pricing pressure from numerous MVNOs and resellers. Operators have responded to lower voice and data revenue by encouraging consumer use of mobile data. Some mobile applications have failed to take off, though music downloads, location-based services and a rage of other services such as mobile banking will provide increasing promise in coming years.  

Mobile broadband will have continued phenomenal growth in 2009, and by 2010 its fuller potential will show as the first networks based on LTE technology become commercial. The extraordinary growth in Europe’s 3G subscriber base will continue in coming years as consumers take advantage of faster networks and flat-rate charging models.  

The report presents statistics for Europe’s key mobile markets, including an assessment of emerging technologies and consumer trends. An overview of the national market conditions provides the necessary background to evaluate how this key market will progress to the end of the decade and beyond.  

AustriaAustria’s mobile market is fiercely contested by four network operators and a growing number of MVNOs and resellers. The competitive environment has led to relatively low ARPU for operators and some of Europe’s lowest tariffs for consumers. The four 3G networks have seen impressive growth in subscriber take-up, largely at the expense of existing GSM offerings. The incumbent’s mobile division, mobilkom, has expanded to Eastern Europe to incorporate lucrative neighbouring markets. Mobile Internet has shown extraordinary growth in recent years though mobile TV, reaching 60% of the population by early 2009, has yet to make a mark on consumers. Austria was also the first country in Europe to deploy mobile VoIP on 3G networks.  

FinlandFinland has one of most innovative mobile markets in Europe. The country was a pioneer in developing 3G, and was the first to deploy 3G over 900MHz spectrum; Finland was also the first to build a 450MHz digital mobile network. Growth in the sector continues to be strong despite high mobile penetration. In early 2009 the 3G made up nearly a third of the total subscriber base, while mobile broadband has also grown considerably during the last two years. In addition, the country boasts the lowest mobile call charges of all EU Member States.  

GermanyThe German mobile market remains the largest in Europe. Mobile penetration has caught up with the EU average, while in common with most markets the main area of growth is in the 3G sector. The market is dominated by T-Mobile and Vodafone, while an increasing number of resellers has fuelled competition and placed pressure on tariffs, resulting in lower ARPU. Regulatory pressure on termination tariffs and voice roaming has encouraged operators to step-up their development of data applications to improve profits.

ItalyItaly’s vibrant mobile market is supported by a large population keen to adopt new technologies. The popularity of multiple-SIM use has led to a mobile penetration rate far above the European average. The market is dominated by three operators, while a fourth, 3 Italia, has struggled to make a profit or significantly expand its customer base. All four providers operate 3G networks, while investments in network upgrades have provided rich opportunities for mobile data use among consumers. A trial SCDMA network launched in late 2008 has added to the mix.  

SpainCompetition between the three main mobile players in Spain has driven down the cost of calls by 20% since 2004. About a dozen MVNOs had been launched by early 2009, further intensifying price competition. The 3G market has also seen great changes, including the launch of services from Xfera and the release of 900MHz frequencies for 3G services.  

SwedenAn innovator in the mobile sector, Sweden was the first country in Europe to have UMTS networks across all major operators. Slower subscriber growth in recent years, due to market saturation, has been enervated by greater consumer take-up for mobile data services, made possible by significant investments in HSPDA networks. The analogue network was shut down in mid-2007, while the 450MHz frequency has been switched to digital use to provide a national mobile broadband service. Strong competition among network operators has led to falling call prices and ARPU, not yet compensated for by data use. The digital 450MHz network operated by Nordisk Mobiltelefon provides almost nationwide coverage.  

The UKThe UK’s mobile market is served by five major providers which have all launched 3G services, as well as by a growing number of low-cost MVNOs. The market is characterised by new developments in advanced data services such as mobile TV, the bundling of mobile as a quad-play service, and regulatory controls on charges and fees. Mobile penetration approached 130% by early 2009, yet subscriber growth remains strong as consumers adopt additional SIMs as well as business-oriented devices such as the BlackBerry and iPhone. Fierce competition has forced operators to concentrate on packaging service bundles and line service promotions, and explore applications such as mobile searching and advertising facilities. ARPU has been relatively stable for all operators, with growing mobile data use offsetting lower voice, interconnection and roaming tariffs.

1. Albania
1.1 Overview of Albania’s mobile market
1.1.1 Mobile statistics
1.2 Regulatory issues
1.2.1 Second digital mobile licence
1.2.2 Third digital mobile licence
1.3 Mobile technologies
1.4 Mobile voice services
1.4.1 Prepaid
2. Austria
2.1 Overview of Austria’s mobile market
2.1.1 Mobile statistics
2.1.2 Operator market shares
2.2 Regulatory issues
2.2.1 Regulatory authority
2.2.2 Spectrum regulations and spectrum auctions
2.2.3 Roaming
2.2.4 Mobile number portability
2.2.5 Mobile Termination Rates (MTRs)
2.3 Mobile technologies
2.3.1 Digital
2.3.2 Third Generation (3G) mobile
2.4 Mobile voice services
2.4.1 Prepaid cards
3. Belarus
3.1 Overview of Belarus’ mobile market
3.1.1 Mobile statistics
3.2 Regulatory issues
3.2.1 First GSM licence awarded
3.2.2 Second GSM licence awarded
3.2.3 Third GSM licence awarded
3.2.4 CDMA licence awarded
3.2.5 Radio frequency usage fees introduced
3.3 Mobile technologies
3.3.1 Analogue
3.3.2 Digital - GSM
3.3.3 Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA)
3.3.4 Third Generation (3G) mobile
4. Belgium
4.1 Overview of Belgium’s mobile market
4.1.1 Mobile statistics
4.1.2 Operator market shares
4.2 Regulatory issues
4.2.1 Spectrum regulations and spectrum auctions
4.2.2 Roaming
4.2.3 Mobile interconnection
4.2.4 Number portability
4.3 Mobile technologies
4.3.1 Digital
4.3.2 3G mobile
4.4 Major mobile operators
4.4.1 Proximus
4.4.2 Mobistar
4.4.3 BASE
4.4.4 Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
4.5 Mobile voice services
4.5.1 Prepaid cards
5. Bosnia-Herzegovina
5.1 Overview of Bosnia-Herzegovina’s mobile market
5.1.1 Mobile statistics
5.2 Regulatory issues
5.2.1 National licences
5.2.2 National roaming
5.2.3 3G mobile
5.3 Mobile technologies
5.3.1 Digital
5.4 Mobile voice services
5.4.1 Prepaid cards
6. Bulgaria
6.1 Overview of Bulgaria’s mobile market
6.1.1 Mobile statistics
6.2 Regulatory issues
6.2.1 Second GSM licence
6.2.2 Third GSM licence
6.2.3 Fourth GSM licence
6.2.4 3G licences
6.2.5 TETRA licences
6.2.6 Mobile number portability
6.2.7 Interconnection rates
6.3 Mobile technologies
6.3.1 Digital
6.3.2 3G mobile
6.4 Mobile voice services
6.4.1 Prepaid cards
7. Croatia
7.1 Overview of Croatia’s mobile market
7.1.1 Mobile statistics
7.2 Regulatory issues
7.2.1 Third GSM licence and 3G licences
7.2.2 Fourth GSM licence
7.2.3 Mobile number portability
7.3 Mobile technologies
7.3.1 Digital
7.3.2 3G mobile
7.4 Mobile voice services
7.4.1 Prepaid cards
8. Cyprus
8.1 Overview of the mobile market in Cyprus
8.1.1 Mobile statistics
8.2 Regulatory issues
8.2.1 Mobile number portabilility
8.2.2 Second GSM licence
8.2.3 3G licences awarded in Northern Cyprus
8.3 Mobile technologies
8.3.1 Digital
8.3.2 3G mobile
8.4 Mobile voice services
9. Czech Republic
9.1 Overview of the mobile market in Czech Republic
9.1.1 Mobile statistics
9.2 Regulatory issues
9.2.1 SMP obligations
9.2.2 GSM licences
9.2.3 UMTS licences
9.2.4 Third UMTS licence
9.2.5 Mobile data network tender
9.2.6 Mobile number portability
9.3 Mobile technologies
9.3.1 Digital
9.3.2 GSM
9.3.3 Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA)
9.3.4 3G UMTS
9.4 Mobile voice services
9.4.1 Prepaid cards
10. Denmark
10.1 Overview of Denmark’s mobile market
10.1.1 Mobile statistics
10.1.2 Operator market shares
10.2 Regulatory issues
10.2.1 Spectrum regulations and spectrum auctions
10.2.2 Network sharing
10.2.3 Roaming
10.2.4 Mobile number portability
10.2.5 Mobile Termination Rates (MTRs)
10.3 Mobile technologies
10.3.1 Digital
10.3.2 3G mobile
10.3.3 4G developments
10.4 Mobile voice services
10.4.1 Prepaid
10.4.2 Fixed-mobile bundling
10.4.3 Satellite mobile
11. Estonia
11.1 Overview of Estonia’s mobile market
11.1.1 Mobile statistics
11.2 Regulatory issues
11.2.1 3G licences
11.2.2 Fourth 3G licence
11.2.3 Mobile number portability
11.2.4 Interconnection tariffs
11.3 Mobile technologies
11.3.1 Digital
11.3.2 3G mobile
11.4 Mobile voice services
11.4.1 Prepaid cards
12. Finland
12.1 Overview of Finland’s mobile market
12.1.1 Mobile statistics
12.1.2 Operator market shares
12.2 Regulatory issues
12.2.1 Spectrum regulations and spectrum auctions
12.2.2 Roaming
12.2.3 Mobile number portability
12.2.4 Mobile Termination Rates (MTRs)
12.3 Mobile technologies
12.3.1 Digital
12.3.2 3G mobile
12.4 Mobile voice services
12.4.1 Prepaid cards
13. France
13.1 Overview of France’s mobile market
13.1.1 Mobile statistics
13.2 Regulatory issues
13.2.1 Spectrum regulations and spectrum auctions
13.2.2 Mobile Termination Rates (MTR)
13.2.3 SMS interconnection
13.2.4 Roaming
13.2.5 Mobile number portability
13.2.6 Fixed-mobile convergence (FMC)
13.3 Mobile technologies
13.3.1 Digital
13.3.2 3G mobile
13.3.3 Mobile handsets
13.4 Mobile voice services
13.4.1 Prepaid
14. Germany
14.1 Overview of Germany’s mobile market
14.1.1 Mobile statistics
14.1.2 Operator market shares
14.2 Regulatory issues
14.2.1 Regulatory authority
14.2.2 Spectrum regulations and spectrum auctions
14.2.3 Roaming
14.2.4 Number portability (NP)
14.2.5 Fixed-to-mobile call charges
14.2.6 Mobile termination
14.3 Mobile technologies
14.3.1 Digital
14.3.2 Fixed-mobile convergence (FMC)
14.3.3 Network sharing
14.3.4 Key 3G developments
14.4 Mobile voice services
14.4.1 Prepaid cards
15. Greece
15.1 Overview of Greece’s mobile market
15.2 Regulatory issues
15.2.1 Mobile number portability
15.2.2 Mobile Termination Rates (MTR)
15.3 Mobile statistics
15.4 Mobile technologies
15.4.1 Digital
15.4.2 3G mobile
15.5 Mobile voice services
15.5.1 Prepaid cards
16. Hungary
16.1 Overview of Hungary’s mobile market
16.1.1 Mobile statistics
16.2 Regulatory issues
16.2.1 GSM licences
16.2.2 3G licence awards
16.2.3 Reduction of mobile termination tariffs
16.2.4 Mobile number portability
16.3 Mobile technologies
16.3.1 Digital
16.3.2 3G mobile
16.4 Mobile voice services
16.4.1 Prepaid cards
17. Iceland
17.1 Overview of Iceland’s mobile market
17.1.1 Mobile statistics
17.2 Regulatory issues
17.3 Mobile technologies
17.3.1 Analogue networks
17.3.2 Digital networks
17.3.3 3G mobile
17.4 Mobile voice services
17.4.1 Prepaid
18. Ireland
18.1 Overview of Ireland’s mobile market
18.1.1 Mobile statistics
18.2 Regulatory issues
18.2.1 Spectrum regulations and spectrum auctions
18.2.2 Roaming
18.2.3 Mobile number portability
18.2.4 Fixed-to-mobile call charges
18.2.5 Wideband Digital Mobile Data Services (WDMDS)
18.3 Mobile technologies
18.3.1 Digital
18.3.2 3G mobile
18.4 Mobile voice services
18.4.1 Prepaid
19. Italy
19.1 Overview of Italy’s mobile market

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