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Iceland - Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts


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

  • Executive summary
    • Table Iceland - key telecom parameters - 2009; 2011
  • Key statistics
    • Table Country statistics Iceland - 2010
    • Table Telecom revenue and investment statistics - 2009
    • Table Telephone network statistics - 2009
    • Table Internet user statistics - June 2010
    • Table Broadband statistics - 2009
    • Table Mobile statistics - 2009
    • Table National telecommunications authority
  • Telecommunications market
    • Overview of Iceland's telecom market
      • Table Household use of IT - 2005 - 2009
      • Table Telecom market revenue by sector - 2004 - 2009
      • Table Telecom market investment by sector - 2004 - 2009
      • Table Proportion of telecom market investment by sector - 2008 - 2009
    • The Telecommunications Fund
    • Economic crisis - 2008 - 2010
  • Regulatory environment
    • History
    • Regulatory authority
      • Post and Telecommunications Administration (PTA)
    • Telecom sector liberalisation in Iceland
      • Privatisation
      • Interconnect
      • Access
      • Number portability (NP)
      • Carrier preselection (CPS)
  • Fixed network operators in Iceland
    • Overview of operators
      • Table Fixed-line subscribers by operator - 2006 - 2009
      • Table Fixed-line subscriber market share by operator - 2006 - 2009
      • Table Fixed traffic (PSTN/ISDN) - 2000 - 2009
      • Table Fixed-line revenue - 2007 - 2009
    • Síminn
      • Table Skipti financial data - 2006 - 2009
      • Table Síminn market share - 2000 - 2007
    • Vodafone Iceland
  • Telecommunications infrastructure
    • National telecom network
      • Table Fixed-line access channels: PSTN and ISDN - 1995; 1997; 1999 - 2009
    • International infrastructure
  • Broadband market
    • Overview
      • Table Dial-up Internet calls - 2007 - 2011
      • Table Internet and data revenue - 2007 - 2011
    • Government policies
      • Table Internet users and penetration rate - 1996 - 2011
      • Table Total broadband subscribers and penetration rate - 2001 - 2011
      • Table Broadband penetration by access type - 2004 - 2011
    • Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)
      • Table DSL subscribers by operator - 2004 - 2009
      • Table DSL subscriber growth - 2001 - 2011
      • Table DSL connections by speed - 2007 - 2009
      • Table Proportion of DSL connections by speed - 2007 - 2009
    • Fibre-to-the-Home (FttH) networks
      • Table Fibre subscribers - 2005 - 2011
    • Broadband Powerline (BPL)
    • Satellite
      • Table Satellite broadband subscribers - 2005 - 2011
    • Mobile broadband
      • Table Mobile broadband subscribers by operator - 2009
    • Wireless broadband
      • Local Multipoint Distribution Services (LMDS)
      • WiFi/WiMAX
        • Table Wireless broadband subscribers - 2004 - 2009
  • Convergence
    • Overview of media convergence
    • TV-over-DSL (IPTV)
    • Video-on-Demand (VoD)
    • VoIP
      • Table VoIP subscribers - 2006 - 2009
      • Table IP phone subscribers - 2007 - 2009
  • Mobile communications
    • Overview of Iceland's mobile market
      • Mobile statistics
        • Table Mobile operators, subscribers and annual change - 2009
        • Table Mobile subscribers and penetration rate - 1997; 1999 - 2011
        • Table Mobile subscribers: analogue and GSM - 1995; 1997; 1999 - 2009
        • Table Mobile subscribers by operator (regulator data) - 2005 - 2009
        • Table Mobile services revenue - 2007 - 2011
    • Regulatory issues
      • Roaming
        • Table European roaming charges - 2007 - 2011
    • Mobile technologies
      • Analogue networks
      • Digital networks
      • Amendments 2008
      • Third Generation (3G) mobile
        • Table Active GMS and UMTS cards - 2006 - 2009
    • Major mobile operators
      • Operator market shares
        • Table Mobile market share of subscribers by operator- 2006 - 2009
        • Table Mobile voice traffic statistics - 2000 - 2009
    • Mobile voice services
      • Prepaid
        • Table Prepaid and contract market subscribers - 2000 - 2009
        • Table Prepaid subscribers by operator - 2006 - 2009
    • Mobile messaging
      • Short Messaging Service (SMS)
        • Table Total SMS traffic by operator - 2000 - 2009
      • Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
        • Table Total MMS traffic by operator - 2007 - 2009
    • Mobile data services
      • Table Mobile data traffic by operator - 2008 - 2009
      • Table Mobile data traffic by type - 2008 - 2009
      • General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)
      • BlackBerry
      • High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA)
    • Mobile TV
  • Forecasts
    • Forecasts - broadband subscribers to 2020
      • Scenario 1 - higher broadband subscriber growth
        • Table Forecast broadband subscribers - higher market growth scenario - 2007 - 2012; 2020
      • Scenario 2 - lower broadband subscriber growth
        • Table Forecast broadband subscribers - lower market growth scenario - 2007 - 2012; 2020
      • Notes on scenario forecasts

The Iceland - Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts report includes all BuddeComm research data and analysis on this country. Covering trends and developments in telecommunications, mobile, internet, broadband, infrastructure and regulation.


Executive summary

Iceland’s future economic recovery rests on resilient broadband

BuddeComm’s annual publication, Iceland - Telecoms, IP Networks and Digital Media and Forecasts, provides a comprehensive overview of the trends and developments in the telecommunications market in Iceland.

Iceland has one of Europe’s smallest telecom markets, and consequently there is little room for significant growth. Nevertheless, there is effective competition in all sectors: the country is open to all companies seeking licences or licence-based agreements, and boasts more than a dozen operators for fixed and Internet services and four operators in the mobile sector. The two leading players, Síminn and Vodafone Iceland, essentially operated a duopoly until 2008 when the new entrants Nova and Tal launched fixed-line services, complementing their existing presence in the mobile phone market.

In common with all other sectors of the economy, Iceland’s telecom market will continue to suffer from the grim effects of the recent economic downturn for the next few years at least. Iceland has perhaps recorded Europe’s worst economic collapse, while its performance in the medium term looks bleak. The economy shrank by up to 10% in 2009 and is expected to have shrunk by a further 4% in 2010 - leading to lower overall telecom investments - while interest rates will remain crippling for the foreseeable future, and rising inflation will challenge the government’s ability to manage the economy.

The economic turmoil has translated into cautious spending among consumers, many of whom have lost their savings following the collapse and subsequent nationalisation of the banking sector. Across the board, there is little cash available for discretionary spend, and so consumers have reigned in their outgoings to the essential telecom services. As a result, operators which have had difficulty funding network upgrades are unlikely to see revenue growth in the short term. Services on which they had hoped to realise significant returns, such as high-end mobile data applications, are expected to generate only moderate income during the next few years. Telecom revenue increased by only 1.2% in 2009 though investment crashed 93%.

The incumbent Síminn faces difficulties from the continuing economic disruption as well as from the banks which have thus far failed to honour their currency swap agreements as Síminn hedged against the fall of the króna (part of Síminn’s borrowings are in foreign currencies). The company is under increased pressure to pay its creditor banks using its available cash, which has obliged it to adopt efficiency measures and streamline its operations through 2010.

Iceland - key telecom parameters - 2009; 2011
Sector20092011 (e)
Broadband:
Fixed broadband subscribers (million)104,000109,000
Fixed broadband penetration rate35%36%
Mobile broadband subscribers (million)77,000120,000
Subscribers to telecoms services:
Fixed-line telephony (million)136,000133,000
SIM cards in service (million)330,000335,000
SIM penetration (population)110%112%
(Source: BuddeComm based on industry data)

Market highlights:

Broadband adoption in Iceland is among the highest in the world. FttH networks have been stimulated by government policies to deepen the fibre footprint in the capital and major outlying towns. Fibre is laid as standard in new-build zones and redevelopments, providing an important stimulus for high-end IP-delivered services.

The government ITC policy to 2012 also aims to enable public services including health, education, government procurement, telecommuting and teleconferencing to be available online via a coordinated network.

Síminn and Vodafone Iceland have a largely uncontested duopoly of the DSL market, though other ISPs operate on the margins. The DSL subscriber base has shrunk as customers in the capital have migrated to fibre options, so some vitality remains in smaller towns as the two main players upgrade their networks with ADSL2+ technology. Reykjavik Energy owns an open FttH network which connects all 65,000 homes in Reykjavik and will be extended to most other settlements by 2012.

The mobile sector offers genuine competition for Siminn and Vodafone Iceland, with the two smaller players having secured 23% market share within the two years since launching services. This trend is set to continue during the next few years as they capitalise on their ability to offer 3G services on their 900MHz spectrum.This annual report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Iceland’s telecommunications market. The report analyses trends and developments in telecommunications, mobile, Internet, broadband, and converging media including VoIP, VoD and IPTV developments.

Subjects include:

Key statistics;
Market and industry overviews;
Industry and regulatory issues;
Major players (fixed, mobile and broadband);
Mobile voice and data markets;
Internet and broadband development;
Convergence (voice/data, fixed/wireless/mobile);
Telecom market forecasts for selective years to 2015 or 2020.

For those needing high level strategic information and objective analysis on the telecommunications sector in Iceland, this report is essential reading and gives further information on:

Market liberalisation and regulatory issues;
The impact of the global economic crisis;
Internet and broadband development and growth;
Historical and current subscriber statistics.

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