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United Kingdom - Mobile Market Insights, Statistics and Forecasts


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

1. Synopsis
2. Overview of the UK's mobile market
2.1 Mobile statistics
2.2 Operator market shares
3. Regulatory issues
3.1 Spectrum regulations and spectrum auctions
3.2 Spectrum refarming
3.2.1 800MHz and 2.6GHz
3.2.2 1800MHz
3.3 Roaming
3.4 Number portability
3.5 Mobile termination rates (MTRs)
4. Major mobile operators
4.1 Hutchison 3
4.2 O2
4.3 Vodafone
4.3.1 Sales and acquisitions
4.3.2 Company restructure
4.4 EE
4.4.1 T-Mobile
4.4.2 Orange
4.5 Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
4.5.1 Operators
4.5.2 Mobile Virtual Network Aggregators (MVNAs)
5. Mobile voice services
5.1 Prepaid cards
6. Forecasts
6.1 Forecasts mobile ARPU - 2007 - 2010; 2015; 2020
6.2 Forecasts mobile subscribers and penetration 2010 - 2016
6.3 Notes on scenario forecasts
7. Related reports
Table 1 Call volumes, fixed-line and mobile in minutes 2003 - 2013
Table 2 Mobile call revenue by operator 2002 - 2010
Table 3 Mobile retail revenue by service 2002 - 2012
Table 4 Mobile revenue as proportion of total 2002 - 2013
Table 5 Mobile subscriber market share by technology: 2G and 3G 2004 - 2013
Table 6 Mobile handset sales 2005 - 2012
Table 7 Mobile subscribers and SIM penetration rate 1995; 1997; 1999 - 2013
Table 8 Mobile subscribers by type 2005 - 2012
Table 9 Percentages of mobile and fixed phones in homes 2000 - 2012
Table 10 Total mobile retail revenue 2009 - 2013
Table 11 Mobile ARPU by use (data, SMS, voice) 2005 - 2010
Table 12 Mobile ARPU by contract, prepaid 2006 - 2012
Table 13 Average retail revenue by subscribers, operator Q4 2008 - Q4 2010
Table 14 Mobile market share by operator 2004 - 2011
Table 15 European roaming charges 2007 - 2011
Table 16 MTRs by operator (pence per minute) 2010 - 2015
Table 17 3 UK subscribers by sector 2008 - 2012
Table 18 3 UK financial data 2008 - 2012
Table 19 3 UK annualised ARPU by sector 2009 - 2012
Table 20 3 UK data as proportion total revenue 2009 - 2011
Table 21 O2 financial data 2007 - 2013
Table 22 O2 quarterly ARPU blended, contract, prepaid and data 2006 - 2013
Table 23 O2 proportion of data to total revenue 2006 - 2013
Table 24 O2 subscribers, prepaid and contract 2005 - 2013
Table 25 Vodafone ARPU blended, contract and prepaid 2005 - 2013
Table 26 Vodafone (UK) subscribers and proportion prepaid 2001 - 2013
Table 28 Vodafone customer churn 2007 - 2013
Table 29 Vodafone Group revenue by sector 2007 - 2013
Table 30 Vodafone UK service revenue by sector 2009 - 2012
Table 31 Vodafone mobile customer retention cost 2007 - 2012
Table 32 Vodafone customer smartphone adoption 2010 - 2013
Table 33 EE quarterly revenue 2009 - 2012
Table 34 EE financial data 2011 - 2012
Table 35 EE ARPU 2009 - 2012
Table 36 EE subscriber data 2009 - 2012
Table 37 EE monthly customer churn 2009 - 2011
Table 38 T-Mobile financial data (historic) 2005 - 2010
Table 39 T-Mobile subscribers (historic) 2005 - 2010
Table 40 Orange subscribers, contract and prepaid (historic) 2006 - 2010
Table 41 Orange subscribers by type, 3G, MVNO (historic) 2007 - 2010
Table 42 Orange revenue (historic) 2005 - 2010
Table 43 Orange customer churn (historic) 2003 - 2009
Table 44 Orange data revenue as proportion of total (historic) 2007 - 2009
Table 45 Orange annualised ARPU by category (historic) 2006 - 2010
Table 46 Orange mobile customer acquisition and retention cost (historic) 2007 - 2009
Table 47 MNO and MVNO share of subscribers 2004 - 2011
Table 48 Virgin Mobile subscribers 2005 - 2012
Table 49 Virgin Mobile revenue 2007 - 2012
Table 50 Prepaid and contract subscribers 2002 - 2013
Table 51 Contract proportion of total subscribers 2002 - 2013
Table 52 ARPU by subscription type 2002 - 2012
Table 53 Forecast mobile ARPU 2007 - 2010; 2015; 2020
Table 54 Mobile subscribers and SIM penetration rate 2010 - 2016
Chart 1 Call volumes, fixed-line and mobile in minutes 2003 - 2013
Chart 2 Mobile call revenue by operator 2002 - 2010
Chart 3 Mobile retail revenue by service 2002 - 2012
Chart 4 Mobile subscribers and SIM penetration rate 2003 - 2013
Chart 5 Mobile subscribers by type 2005 - 2012
Chart 6 Mobile ARPU by use (data, SMS, voice) 2005 - 2010
Chart 7 3 UK subscribers by sector 2008 - 2012
Chart 8 3 UK ARPU by sector 2009 - 2012
Chart 9 O2 financial data 2007 - 2013
Chart 10 O2 annualised ARPU blended, contract, prepaid and data 2006 - 2013
Chart 11 O2 subscribers, prepaid and contract 2005 - 2013
Chart 12 Vodafone ARPU blended, contract and prepaid 2005 - 2013
Chart 13 Vodafone (UK) subscribers and proportion prepaid 2001 - 2012
Chart 15 Vodafone Group revenue by sector 2007 - 2012
Chart 16 Vodafone UK service revenue by sector 2009 - 2012
Chart 17 EE quarterly revenue 2009 - 2012
Chart 18 EE ARPU 2009 - 2012
Chart 19 EE subscriber data 2009 - 2012
Chart 20 Prepaid and contract subscribers 2002 - 2013
Exhibit 1 Spectrum awards 800MHz and 2.6GHz 2013

The UK has one of the largest mobile markets in Europe, both in revenue and in the number of subscribers. It is served by four major providers following the significant merger of Orange and T-Mobile 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 provided over upgraded networks, the bundling of mobile as a quad-play service, and regulatory controls on charges and fees. Mobile penetration is above the EU average, yet subscriber growth remains strong as consumers adopt additional SIMs as well as business-oriented devices and smartphones on various platforms.

Fierce competition has forced operators to concentrate on packaging service bundles and on promotions, and explore applications such as mobile searching and advertising facilities. ARPU has been falling steadily for all operators, with growing mobile data use offsetting lower voice, interconnection and roaming tariffs. The market can expect considerable changes during the next two years as operators prepare their business plans to accommodate spectrum auctions in 2012 and adjust to the refarming of 2G spectrum for 3G and 4G use. This report surveys the UK's mobile market, providing an overview of mobile statistics, regulatory issues and technologies. It also profiles the major operators and MVNOs, and looks ahead to mobile developments in coming years.

Key developments

Vodafone sells 5.5% stake in Indian division Essar and 44% stake in SFR; EE reports fall in service revenue; Vodafone restructures operations; China Telecom launches MVNO service; H3 signs five-year managed services contract with Huawei; 4G auction in 2.6GHz and 800MHz bands delivers £2.34 billion; regular's market reports and updates; telcos' financial and operating data to June 2013; market developments to August 2013.

Companies covered in this report include:

H3UK, Vodafone, O2, Everything Everywhere (EE, incorporating T-Mobile and Orange), Virgin Mobile, Tesco mobile.


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