Market Research Logo

United Kingdom - Mobile Market Insights, Statistics and Forecasts


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

United Kingdom - Mobile Market Insights, Statistics and Forecasts

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

EE develops micro antennae technology to extend mobile services to remote communities; TalkTalk secures access to O2's LTE network; BT agrees to acquire EE for £12.5 billion ; Vodafone sells 5.5% stake in Indian division Essar and 44% stake in SFR, sells stake in Verizon Wireless for £84 billion; government commits £150 million to its Mobile Infrastructure Project to improve rural mobile coverage; 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 Q3 2014; recent market developments.

Companies covered in this report include:

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


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.. 800MHz and 2.6GHz
3.2.. 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.. Project Spring
4.3.. Sales and acquisitions
4.3.. Company restructure
4.4 EE
4.4.. Sale to BT
4.4.. T-Mobile
4.4.. Orange
4.5 Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
4.5.. Operators
4.5.. Mobile Virtual Network Aggregators (MVNAs)
5. Mobile voice services
5.1 Prepaid cards
6. Forecasts
6.1 Forecast. mobile ARPU - 2007 - 2010; 2015; 2020
6.2 Forecast. mobile subscribers and penetratio. 2010 - 2016
6.3 Notes on scenario forecasts
7. Related reports
Tabl. . Call volumes, fixed-line and mobile in minute. 2003 - 2014
Tabl. . Mobile retail revenue by servic. 2002 - 2014
Tabl. . Mobile revenue as proportion of tota. 2002 - 2013
Tabl. . Mobile subscriber market share by technology: 2G and 3. 2004 - 2014
Tabl. . Mobile handset sale. 2005 - 2013
Tabl. . Historic - Mobile subscribers and SIM penetration rat. 1995; 1997; 1999 - 2004
Tabl. . Mobile subscribers and SIM penetration rat. 2005 - 2014
Tabl. . Mobile broadband subscriber. 2005 - 2014
Tabl. . Percentages of mobile and fixed phones in home. 2000 - 2014
Tabl. 1. Mobile ARPU by use (data, SMS, voice. 2005 - 2014
Tabl. 1. Mobile ARPU by contract, prepai. 2006 - 2013
Tabl. 1. Mobile market share by operato. 2004 - 2013
Tabl. 1. European roaming charge. 2007 - 2014
Tabl. 1. MTRs by operator (pence per minute. 2010 - 2015
Tabl. 1. 3 UK subscribers by secto. 2008 - 2014
Tabl. 1. 3 UK financial dat. 2008 - 2014
Tabl. 1. 3 UK annualised gross ARPU by secto. 2009 - 2014
Tabl. 1. O2 financial data 2007 - 2014
Tabl. 1. O2 ARP. blended, contract, prepaid and dat. 2006 - 2014
Tabl. 2. O2 proportion of data to total revenu. 2006 - 2014
Tabl. 2. O2 subscribers, prepaid and contrac. 2005 - 2014
Tabl. 2. Vodafone end-year ARP. blended, contract and prepai. 2005 - 2014
Tabl. 2. Vodafone (UK) subscribers and proportion prepai. 2001 - 2014
Tabl. 2. Vodafone customer chur. 2007 - 2014
Tabl. 2. Vodafone Group revenue by secto. 2007 - 2014
Tabl. 2. Vodafone UK service revenue by secto. 2009 - 2014
Tabl. 2. Vodafone mobile customer retention cos. 2007 - 2014
Tabl. 2. Vodafone customer smartphone adoptio. 2010 - 2014
Tabl. 3. EE quarterly revenu. 2009 - 2014
Tabl. 3. EE financial dat. 2011 - 2014
Tabl. 3. EE ARP. 2009 - 2014
Tabl. 3. EE subscriber dat. 2009 - 2014
Tabl. 3. T-Mobile financial data (historic. 2005 - 2010
Tabl. 3. T-Mobile subscribers (historic. 2005 - 2010
Tabl. 3. Orange subscribers, contract and prepaid (historic. 2006 - 2010
Tabl. 3. Orange subscribers by type, 3G, MVNO (historic. 2007 - 2010
Tabl. 3. Orange revenue (historic. 2005 - 2010
Tabl. 3. Orange customer churn (historic. 2003 - 2009
Tabl. 4. Orange data revenue as proportion of total (historic. 2007 - 2009
Tabl. 4. Orange annualised ARPU by category (historic. 2006 - 2010
Tabl. 4. Orange mobile customer acquisition and retention cost (historic. 2007 - 2009
Tabl. 4. MNO and MVNO share of subscriber. 2004 - 2011
Tabl. 4. Virgin Mobile subscriber. 2005 - 2014
Tabl. 4. Virgin Mobile revenu. 2007 - 2014
Tabl. 4. Prepaid and contract subscriber. 2002 - 2013
Tabl. 4. Contract proportion of total subscriber. 2002 - 2013
Tabl. 4. Forecast mobile ARP. 2007 - 2010; 2015; 2020
Tabl. 4. Mobile subscribers and SIM penetration rat. 2010 - 2016
Chart . Call volumes, fixed-line and mobile in minute. 2003 - 2014
Chart . Mobile retail revenue by servic. 2002 - 2014
Chart . Mobile subscribers and SIM penetration rat. 2003 - 2014
Chart . 3 UK subscribers by secto. 2008 - 2014
Chart . 3 UK ARPU by secto. 2009 - 2014
Chart . O2 financial data 2007 - 2014
Chart . O2 annualised ARP. blended, contract, prepaid and dat. 2006 - 2014
Chart . O2 subscribers, prepaid and contrac. 2005 - 2014
Chart . Vodafone ARP. blended, contract and prepai. 2005 - 2014
Chart 1. Vodafone (UK) subscribers and proportion prepai. 2001 - 2014
Chart 1. Vodafone Group revenue by secto. 2007 - 2014
Chart 1. Vodafone UK service revenue by secto. 2009 - 2014
Chart 1. EE quarterly revenu. 2009 - 2014
Chart 1. EE ARP. 2009 - 2014
Chart 1. EE subscriber dat. 2009 - 2014
Chart 1. Prepaid and contract subscriber. 2002 - 2013
Exhibi. . Spectrum award. 800MHz and 2.6GH. 2013

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