Market Research Logo

United Kingdom - Mobile Data Market Insights - 3G, 4G and Forecasts


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

United Kingdom - Mobile Data Market Insights - 3G, 4G and Forecasts

The UK's 3G and mobile data market is one of the largest in Europe. Competition among network operators has induced them to provide similar pricing and usage models, commonly including between 3GB and 10GB per month. This has substantially increased consumer use of mobile data. Low-key data applications such as SMS dominate the market while mobile TV, though widely available, has thus far failed to capture public attention. This report surveys the UK's mobile data market, providing an overview of 3G developments, regulatory issues and technologies. It also profiles the major operators, presents statistics on non-voice services, and analyses developments in mobile TV and mobile application stores.

Key developments:

800MHz and 2.6GHz auction delivers lower revenue than forecast; regulator plans for licensing 5G services by 2018; Big Three m-commerce initiative; UK broadband LTE developments in 3.5GHz band; EE's LTE network reaches 60% population coverage; 3UK reports 97% of all network traffic is data; O2 contracts NSN for LTE network; O2 and Vodafone joint network plans approved, both launch LTE services; EE signs m-payment deal with MasterCard; Pingit mobile payment app launched; regulator's market updates; telcos' financial and operating data to Q2 2013; market developments to September 2013.

Companies covered in this report include:

H3, O2, Vodafone, Everything Everywhere (EE), Virgin Mobile, UK Broadband.


1. Synopsis
2. Overview
3. Spectrum
3.1 Spectrum 2.6GHz
3.2 Spectrum 600MHz
3.3 Spectrum 800MHz
3.4 Spectrum 900MHz
3.5 Spectrum 700MHz
3.6 Spectrum 1800MHz
3.7 Third Generation (3G)
3.7.1 Licensing
3.7.2 Network sharing
3.8 Fourth Generation (4G)
3.9 Fifth Generation (5G)
3.10 Spectrum refarming
4. Operator services 3G
4.1 Hutchison 3
4.2 O2
4.3 Vodafone
4.4 Everything Everywhere (EE)
5. Mobile Messaging
5.1 Short Message Service (SMS)
5.2 Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
6. Mobile data services
6.1 Consumer use of multimedia services
6.1.1 Mobile applications
6.1.2 M-payment MNO collaboration
6.1.3 Contactless payments
6.1.4 M-ticketing
6.1.5 M-wallet
6.1.6 Application stores
6.1.7 Smartphone market
6.2 High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA)
6.3 Long-term Evolution (LTE)
6.3.1 H3
6.3.2 EE
6.3.3 O2
6.3.4 Vodafone
6.3.5 Other developments
6.3.6 Regulatory issues
6.4 Mobile TV
6.4.1 Spectrum issues
6.4.2 Machine-to-Machine (M2M)
7. Forecasts UMTS 2007 - 2010; 2015
8. Related reports
Table 1 3G subscribers and percentage of total subscribers 2003 - 2013
Table 2 3G subscribers by operator 2005 - 2011
Table 3 3 UK subscribers by sector 2008 - 2012
Table 4 3 UK revenue by sector 2008 - 2010
Table 5 3 UK financial data 2008 - 2012
Table 6 3 UK annualised ARPU by sector 2009 - 2012
Table 7 3 UK data as proportion total revenue 2009 - 2011
Table 8 O2 financial data 2007 - 2013
Table 9 O2 subscribers, prepaid and contract 2005 - 2013
Table 10 Vodafone (UK) subscribers and proportion prepaid 2001 - 2013
Table 11 Vodafone (UK) financial data 2008 - 2013
Table 12 EE quarterly financial data 2009 - 2013
Table 13 EE ARPU 2009 - 2013
Table 14 EE subscriber data 2009 - 2013
Table 15 SMS messages sent 2004 - 2013
Table 16 SMS and MMS revenue by operator 2006 - 2010
Table 17 SMS and MMS volumes by operator 2006 - 2010
Table 18 MMS messages sent 2004 - 2013
Table 19 Mobile data traffic and revenue increase 2007 - 2013
Table 20 Mobile data revenue by service 2005 - 2013
Table 21 Mobile broadband accesses by technology 2007 - 2013
Table 22 Smartphone sales and penetration 2007 - 2013
Table 23 M2M derived revenue 2010 - 2013
Table 24 Forecast UMTS subscribers 2007 - 2012; 2015
Chart 1 3G subscribers and penetration rate 2003 - 2013
Chart 2 3 UK subscribers by sector 2008 - 2012
Chart 3 3 UK ARPU by sector 2009 - 2012
Chart 4 O2 financial data 2007 - 2013
Chart 5 O2 subscribers, prepaid and contract 2005 - 2013
Chart 6 Vodafone (UK) subscribers and proportion prepaid 2001 - 2013
Chart 7 Vodafone (UK) financial data 2008 - 2013
Chart 8 EE quarterly financial data 2009 - 2013
Chart 9 EE ARPU 2009 - 2013
Chart 10 EE subscriber data 2009 - 2013
Chart 11 SMS and MMS revenue by operator 2006 - 2010
Chart 12 SMS and MMS volumes by operator 2006 - 2010
Chart 13 Smartphone use and penetration 2005 - 2013
Exhibit 1 Spectrum available for mobile services
Exhibit 2 Spectrum awards 800MHz and 2.6GHz 2013
Exhibit 3 3G licence results April 2000
Exhibit 4 3G licensee and infrastructure suppliers

Download our eBook: How to Succeed Using Market Research

Learn how to effectively navigate the market research process to help guide your organization on the journey to success.

Download eBook

Share this report