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Italy - Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts


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

This annual report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Italy’s telecommunications market. The report analyses trends and developments in telecommunications, mobile, Internet, broadband, digital TV 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 2019.


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

Italy has the fourth largest telecom market in Europe. The mobile market is particularly strong, and fuelled by the popularity for keeping multiple prepaid cards mobile penetration is far higher than the EU average. In recent years there has been considerable international investment in the sector, with Telefónica buying into Telecom Italia and Swisscom acquiring the second largest broadband and fixed-voice player FASTWEB.

The market in 2010 will be characterised by further maturity in operators’ bundled offers and the convergence of services and networks. Mobile revenue, largely from data services should continue to prop up overall telecom revenue, and partly offset lower fixed-line revenue. Operators can also look forward to a significant growth in both 3G uptake as consumers migrate from GSM networks, as also in broadband as a result of continuing falls in access prices coupled with both fibre and DSL network upgrades which have enabling a growing number of consumers to make use of high bandwidth services.

The fibre sector has become one of the most vibrant in Europe. The two main providers, Telecom Italia and FASTWEB, have arrangements to share NGN infrastructure costs under reciprocal conditions, while the regulator has proposed setting up in 2010 a company to oversee a national fibre network supported with private and public funds. This would oversee a €10 billion five-year project to create an integrated fibre and copper national network delivering broadband to 50% of households.

In the mobile sector, Italy is the leading HSPA market in Europe in terms of customer connections. In 2010 and 2011 operators will steadily roll out an LTE platform: Telecom Italia has committed itself to providing the technology to all of its 32 million domestic subscribers.

Although competition is strong, since 2005 the market has been affected by considerable consolidation through mergers and acquisitions among a number of major players. This has led to the creation of an oligopoly composed of a few major players, which benefit from having a reach and size enabling them to invest in network upgrades and promote some of Europe’s most sophisticated bundled service offers.

Italy - key telecom parameters - 2008; 2010
Sector | 2008 | 2010 (e) | |
Broadband: | | |
Fixed broadband subscribers (million) | 11.3 | 13.6 | |
Fixed broadband penetration rate | 19% | 26% | | Mobile broadband subscribers (million) | 5.2 | 8.1 | |
Subscribers to telecoms services: | | |
Fixed-line telephony (million) | 21.3 | 20.0 | |
SIM cards in service (million) | 86.9 | 89.2 | |
SIM penetration (population) | 146% | 153% | |
(Source: BuddeComm)

Key highlights

  • In common with other European markets, telecom investment in 2010 and 2011 will be focussed on the broadband and mobile sectors as operators continue to upgrade networks and compete for subscribers. Telecom revenue has fallen steadily since 2006 in response to regulatory measures as well as fierce competition which has driven down consumer prices. The economic crisis will continue to dent investment in 2010, though government stimulus funds will aid recovery from 2011.
  • Mobile broadband coverage is extensive, and Italy now boasts the largest number of HSPA-connected subscribers in Europe. Nevertheless, the service will continue to face significant competition from the more mature WiMAX sector in 2010.
  • Italy’s fibre sector can expect to see considerable growth in coming years as a result of operator investment combined with an effective regulatory regime to guarantee competitor access to networks.
  • With analogue switch off is ahead of schedule, the government is poised to auction vacated frequencies for other uses. Mobile broadband stands to be a major beneficiary after 2012, in addition to refarming the 900MHz band for UMTS use.
For those needing high level strategic information and objective analysis on the telecommunications sector in Italy, this report is essential reading and gives further information on:
  • Developments in the digital broadcast market, IPTV and VoD;
  • Market liberalisation and regulatory issues;
  • The impact of the global economic crisis;
  • Telecoms operators - privatisation, acquisitions, new licences;
  • Internet and broadband development and growth;
  • VoIP, IPTV, VoD, digital TV and DTTV;
  • Historical and current subscriber statistics;
  • Average Revenue per User (ARPU) statistics and forecasts.
Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.

1. Key Statistics
2. Telecommunications Market
2.1 Overview of Italy’s telecom market
3. Regulatory Environment
3.1 Regulatory authority
3.1.1 Communications Regulatory Authority (AGCOM)
3.2 Telecom sector liberalisation in Italy
3.2.1 Privatisation of Telecom Italia
3.2.2 Interconnect
3.2.3 Access
3.2.4 Number portability (NP)
3.2.5 Carrier PreSelection (CPS)
4. Fixed Network Market
4.1 Overview of operators
4.2 Telecom Italia
4.2.1 Performance into 2009
4.2.2 Aims to 2010
4.2.3 Losing direction?
4.2.4 Organisational change
4.2.5 Functional separation
4.2.6 Company sale
4.3 Wind
4.4 BT Italia
4.5 Tiscali
4.5.1 Tiscali statistical information
4.6 FASTWEB
4.6.1 Tiscali statistical information
4.6.2 Company sale
5. Telecommunications Infrastructure
5.1 National telecom network
5.2 International
5.2.1 Submarine cable networks
5.2.2 Satellite networks
5.3 Infrastructure developments
5.3.1 Next Generation Network (NGN)
6. Broadband Market
6.1 Overview
6.1.1 Broadband statistics
6.1.2 Government support
6.1.3 Regional development
6.2 Cable modems
6.3 Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)
6.3.1 Wholesale market
6.3.2 Telecom Italia
6.3.3 FASTWEB
6.3.4 Tiscali
6.3.5 Wind
6.3.6 ADSL2+
6.3.7 Naked DSL
6.4 Fibre-to-the-Home (FttH) networks
6.4.1 Overview
6.4.2 Telecom Italia
6.4.3 FASTWEB
6.4.4 Other developments
6.5 Wireless broadband
6.5.1 Wireless Local Loop (WLL)
6.5.2 Wireless LANs/WiFi
6.5.3 WiMAX
6.6 Mobile broadband
6.6.1 Internet via satellite
7. Digital Media
7.1 Convergence
7.1.1 Key general trends
7.1.2 Business models
7.1.3 Regulatory issues
7.2 Digital TV (DTV)
7.2.1 Broadband (IPTV)
7.2.2 Cable TV (CATV)
7.2.3 Satellite-based digital pay TV developments
7.2.4 Digital Terrestrial TV (DTTV)
7.2.5 Analogue switchover
7.2.6 The digital TV network in Italy
7.2.7 Digital cinema
7.2.8 Video-on-Demand (VoD)
7.2.9 Personal Video Recorders (PVRs)
7.2.10 Free-to-Air (FTA) TV
7.2.11 VoIP
8. Mobile Communications
8.1 Overview of Italy’s mobile market
8.1.1 Mobile statistics
8.1.2 Operator market shares
8.2 Regulatory issues
8.2.1 Spectrum regulations and spectrum auctions
8.2.2 Roaming
8.2.3 Network sharing
8.2.4 Number portability
8.2.5 Mobile termination
8.2.6 Fixed-mobile convergence (FMC)
8.3 Mobile technologies
8.3.1 Digital
8.3.2 Third Generation (3G) mobile
8.4 Major mobile operators
8.4.1 3 Italia
8.4.2 TIM
8.4.3 Vodafone Italy
8.4.4 Wind
8.4.5 MVNOs
8.5 Mobile voice services
8.5.1 Prepaid
8.6 Mobile data services
8.6.1 Overview
8.6.2 Short Messaging Service (SMS)
8.6.3 Multimedia Messaging Services (MMS)
8.6.4 Mobile banking / ticketing
8.6.5 General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)
8.6.6 High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA)
8.6.7 BlackBerry
8.6.8 i-mode
8.6.9 Femtocells
8.6.10 Vodafone live!
8.6.11 iPhone
8.6.12 Mobile TV
8.6.13 WiBro
8.6.14 Long-term evolution (LTE)
8.6.15 Mobile broadband
8.7 Mobile content and applications
8.7.1 Location-based services
9. Forecasts
9.1 Forecasts - broadband subscribers - 2009 - 2013; 2019
9.1.1 Scenario 1 - higher broadband subscriber growth
9.1.2 Scenario 2 - lower broadband subscriber growth
9.2 Forecasts - Mobile ARPU - 2009 - 2015
9.3 Forecasts - UMTS subscribers - 2006 - 2010; 2015
10. Glossary of Abbreviations
Table 1 - Country statistics Italy - 2009
Table 2 - Telecom revenue and investment statistics - 2009 (e)
Table 3 - Telephone network statistics - 2009
Table 4 - Internet user statistics - September 2009
Table 5 - Broadband statistics - 2009 (e)
Table 6 - Mobile statistics - September 2009
Table 7 - National telecommunications authority
Table 8 - Fixed and mobile market investment (historic) - 2004 - 2007
Table 9 - Fixed and mobile market revenue - 2006 - 2009
Table 10 - Fixed termination rates by company - 2007 - 2010
Table 11 - Telecom Italia unbundled lines - 2005 - 2009
Table 12 - Unbundled loops and access lines - 2006 - 2009
Table 13 - LLU, shared access price - connection, monthly rental - 2005 - 2008
Table 14 - Forecast wholesale market share - 2007 - 2010
Table 15 - Telecom Italia WLR lines - 2008 - 2009
Table 16 - Numbers ported - 2002 - 2008
Table 17 - CPS lines - 2005 - 2009
Table 18 - Fixed telephony and broadband market forecasts - 2006 - 2011
Table 19 - Telecom Italia fixed-line accesses by sector - 2006 - 2009
Table 20 - Telecom Italia mobile accesses by sector - 2006 - 2009
Table 21 - Telecom Italia domestic revenue - 2005 - 2009
Table 22 - Telecom Italia Group revenue - 2005 - 2009
Table 23 - Telecom Italia fixed network revenue by sector - 2006 - 2009
Table 24 - Telecom Italia domestic financial data by sector and annual change - 2008 - 2009
Table 25 - Wind subscribers by sector - 2006 - 2009
Table 26 - Wind annualised fixed-line ARPU - 2006 - 2009
Table 27 - Wind financial data by sector - 2006 - 2009
Table 28 - Tiscali subscribers (Italy) - 2007 - 2009
Table 29 - Tiscali Group subscribers by sector - 2007 - 2009
Table 30 - Tiscali revenue by sector (Italy) - 2006 - 2009
Table 31 - Tiscali revenue breakdown by sector - 2007 - 2009
Table 32 - Tiscali ARPU - 2006 - 2009
Table 33 - Tiscali Group financial data - 2006 - 2009
Table 34 - FASTWEB financial data - 2005 - 2009
Table 35 - FASTWEB broadband subscribers - 2005 - 2009
Table 36 - Internet subscribers and penetration rate - 1991 - 2009
Table 37 - Total fixed broadband subscribers by access type - 2002 - 2009
Table 38 - Broadband penetration by technology - 2004 - 2009
Table 39 - Broadband penetration and market growth - 2001 - 2010
Table 40 - Broadband lines by operator and technology - 2006 - 2009
Table 41 - Broadband market share by operator - June 2009
Table 42 - Broadband lines by access speed - 2008 - 2009
Table 43 - ADSL subscribers - 2002 - 2010
Table 44 - Telecom Italia broadband subscribers by sector - 2006 - 2009
Table 45 - Telecom Italia wholesale access lines - 2007 - 2009
Table 46 - Telecom Italia broadband ARPU - 2006 - 2009
Table 47 - Telecom Italia broadband revenue - 2007 - 2009
Table 48 - FASTWEB financial data - 2005 - 2009
Table 49 - FASTWEB broadband subscribers - 2005 - 2009
Table 50 - Wind broadband subscribers - 2005 - 2009
Table 51 - FttH accesses - 2004 - 2010
Table 52 - Telecom Italia fibre accesses - 2007 - 2010
Table 53 - Telecom Italia projected network cabinets - 2008 - 2010
Table 54 - Mobile broadband subscribers by type - January 2009
Table 55 - Mobile broadband subscribers - 2007 - 2014
Table 56 - Tiscali bundled service subscribers - 2008 - 2009
Table 57 - Statistical overview of Italy’s broadcasting market - 2010
Table 58 - Pay TV subscribers by technology - 2003 - 2010
Table 59 - Digital pay TV revenue and growth in Italy (historic) - 2000 - 2005
Table 60 - Forecast IPTV subscribers - 2006 - 2010
Table 61 - Alice TV subscribers - 2007 - 2009
Table 62 - FASTWEB IPTV subscribers - 2008 - 2009
Table 63 - Cable TV subscribers and penetration rate - 1996 - 2010
Table 64 - Forecast cable TV subscribers and annual change - 2010 - 2013
Table 65 - Forecast satellite TV subscribers - 2007 - 2013
Table 66 - SKY Italia subscribers - 2006 - 2009
Table 67 - SKY Italia financial data - 2007 - 2009
Table 68 - Mediaset financial data (Italy) - 2008 - 2009
Table 69 - Mediaset Premium active clients - 2007 - 2008
Table 70 - DTTV receivers, forecasts and annual change - 2004 - 2013
Table 71 - Telecom Italia VoIP subscribers - 2006 - 2009
Table 72 - Mobile operators, subscribers and annual change - September 2009
Table 73 - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate - 1995; 1997; 1999 - 2010
Table 74 - Mobile market revenue - 2006 - 2010
Table 75 - Mobile market share by operator - 2004 - 2009
Table 76 - European roaming charges - 2007 - 2011
Table 77 - Cumulative mobile numbers ported - 2003 - 2008
Table 78 - Mobile interconnection charges - 2004 - 2007
Table 79 - Mobile termination rates - 2008 - 2012
Table 80 - Vodafone 3G subscribers - 2005 - 2009
Table 81 - 3 Italia mobile subscribers - 2008 - 2009
Table 82 - 3 Italia ARPU - 2008 - 2009
Table 83 - 3 Italia mobile revenue - 2008 - 2009
Table 84 - TIM mobile subscribers and traffic in minutes - 2005 - 2009
Table 85 - TIM monthly ARPU - 2005 - 2009
Table 86 - TIM revenue - 2005 - 2009
Table 87 - Vodafone subscribers - 2001 - 2009
Table 88 - Vodafone revenue by sector - 2008 - 2009
Table 89 - Vodafone half-year financial data - 2007 - 2009
Table 90 - Vodafone prepaid, contract and blended ARPU (€) - 2004 - 2009
Table 91 - Wind operational statistics and revenue - 2005 - 2008
Table 92 - Wind annualised mobile ARPU - 2005 - 2008
Table 93 - Wind mobile subscriber statistics - 2005 - 2009
Table 94 - Vodafone data as proportion of revenue - 2004 - 2009
Table 95 - Vodafone live! subscribers (Italy) - 2002 - 2007
Table 96 - Forecast broadband subscribers - higher market growth scenario - 2007 - 2013; 2019
Table 97 - Forecast broadband subscribers - lower market growth scenario - 2007 - 2013; 2019
Table 98 - Forecast mobile ARPU - 2005 - 2015
Table 99 - Forecast UMTS subscribers and penetration rate - 2006 - 2010; 2015
Exhibit 1 - EU - The New Regulatory Framework (NRF)
Exhibit 2 - Access and the local loop
Exhibit 3 - Principal backbone providers - 2009
Exhibit 4 - WiMAX licensees - March 2008
Exhibit 5 - Overview of media convergence
Exhibit 6 - UMTS auction results - October 2000

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