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United Kingdom - Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts


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

BT secures monopoly on UK’s public rural broadband spending

BuddeComm’s annual publication, UK - Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts, provides a comprehensive overview of the trends and developments in the telecommunications and digital media sectors of one of Europe’s largest and more progressive markets. The report includes the regulator’s market data to the end of 2011, telcos’ financial and operating data to Q4 2012, and market developments to March 2013.

Economic background

The UK has suffered from lower economic output for three of the last five years. Economic data for the fourth quarter of 2012 showed the economy could slide into a significant triple-dip recession. Although not in the Eurozone, the UK during the last two years has also been obliged to contribute to the IMF and ECB bail-outs of southern European economies, thus exacerbating its own liquidity difficulties. GDP growth for 2013 is expected to be less than 1%, while the government’s March 2013 budget has reflected the effects of the stalled construction industry, lower industrial production and falling economic output.

Telecom market overview

Total telecom revenue fell in 2011 for the third successive year, by some £800 million, and revenue may have fallen by a further 1.5% in 2012. Partly attributed to regulatory measures, falling revenue also reflects competitive pressure on pricing as also consumer reluctance to overspend on services. Investment in the telecom sector has also been affected by the economic climate, and has been channelled principally to upgrading cable and fibre networks, as also mobile networks with LTE technologies and additional spectrum acquisitions.

Mobile broadband market

Mobile broadband based on LTE and to a lesser extent WiMAX/WiFi will be central to the market’s development in coming years. LTE, launched by EE in late 2012, is expected to have wider commercial use later in 2013 following the significant auctions held earlier in the year. Amended rules on refarming spectrum for 4G will also hasten the take-up and range of mobile broadband services. As a result of the network sharing deals among MNOs, it is likely that there will be only two major LTE networks, with one Vodafone-O2 competing with EE joined with H3.

Key telecom parameters – 2010; 2013
Sector | 2010 | 2013 (e)

Subscribers by sector (million):

Fixed broadband subscribers | 19.1 | 22.0
Mobile broadband | 4.8 | 5.7
Mobile phone | 81.1 | 83.3
Fixed-line telephony | 33.4 | 32.5

Penetration by sector:

Fixed broadband | 32% | 35%
Mobile | 134% | 141%
Fixed-line | 54% | 49%
(Source: BuddeComm)

Market Highlights

BSkyB’s play to acquire O2’s fixed-line and broadband business will substantially enhance the broadcaster’s own market share in the telecoms sector.

BT’s launch of commercial FttH services and its anticipated reduction in wholesale FttC pricing will boost the number of customers able to make use of broadband at 80Mb/s.

Ofcom faces some organisational changes with its slated merger with the postal services watchdog Postcom. The Digital Economy Act also extended Ofcom’s authority to cover TV, radio and on-demand services. It jointly regulates VoD content with the industry body ATVOD.

The Chinese influence in the UK’s telecoms landscape is becoming more pronounced, with the launch of China Telecom as an MVNO, and with H3 signing up Huawei with a five-year managed services contract. Huawei has also committed to investing substantially in the UK. London has become a centre-piece for municipal WiFi networks, with 16 of 33 boroughs looking to roll out free WiFi services.

This report is essential reading for those needing high level strategic information and objective analysis on the telecom sector in the UK. It provides further information on:

Market liberalisation and regulatory issues;
The impact of the global economic crisis;
Telecoms operators – privatisation, acquisitions, new licences;
Mobile data market developments in coming years in light of spectrum auctions and new license awards;
3G developments, regulatory issues and technologies including HSPA and LTE;
Broadband migration to an FttH architecture;
Historical and current subscriber statistics and forecasts;
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.


  • EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
  • KEY STATISTICS
    • Table Country statistics - 2012 (e)
    • Table Telecom revenue and investment statistics - 2012 (e)
    • Table Telephone network statistics - 2013 (e)
    • Table Internet user statistics - 2012
    • Table Broadband statistics - 2013 (e)
    • Table Mobile statistics - 2013 (e)
    • Table National telecommunications authority
  • TELECOMMUNICATIONS MARKET
    • ECONOMIC CLIMATE
    • OVERVIEW OF THE UK'S TELECOM MARKET
      • Table Telecom sector investment - 2007 - 2013
      • Table Household penetration of fixed and mobile services - 2006 - 2013
      • Table Communications retail revenue by sector - 2003 - 2012
      • Table Retail voice and data revenue - 2003 - 2012
      • Table Household spend on telecoms services - 2005 - 2011
      • Table Communications revenue by sector - 2003 - 2012
      • Table Communications wholesale and retail revenue - 2005 - 2012
      • Table Call volumes, fixed-line and mobile in minutes - 2003 - 2012
      • Table Proportion of calls made, fixed-line and mobile - 2006 - 2012
      • Table Telecom retail revenue by sector: fixed, mobile - 2000 - 2012
      • Table Telecom connections: fixed, mobile, broadband - 2002 - 2012
      • Table Fixed telecoms revenue by type - 2006 - 2012
      • Table Household penetration by telecom technology - 2003 - 2004; 2006 - 2013
  • REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT
    • HISTORY
      • Revised NFR
    • REGULATORY AUTHORITY
      • Office of Communications (Ofcom)
      • Ofcom's strategic review
      • Digital Economy Act 2010
    • BT'S FUNCTIONAL SEPARATION
      • Openreach
    • TELECOM SECTOR LIBERALISATION IN THE UK
      • Privatisation of British Telecom
      • Interconnect
      • Access
        • Table Revised LLU, shared access prices - 2009 - 2012
        • Table Proportion of unbundled exchanges and connections - 2005 - 2010
        • Table BT LLU, shared wholesale lines - 2004 - 2012
      • Number Portability (NP)
      • Carrier PreSelection (CPS)
        • Table Lines with CPS - 2004 - 2013
      • Wholesale Line Rental (WLR)
        • Table WLR lines - 2004 - 2013
  • FIXED NETWORK MARKET
    • NEW REGULATIONS
      • Table Fixed-voice traffic by type in minutes - 2002 - 2012
      • Table Fixed telecom lines by type - 2005 - 2010
      • Table Fixed telecom lines by operator - 2005 - 2012
      • Table Fixed-voice and data retail revenue - 2006 - 2013
      • Table Fixed-voice revenue by call type - 2002 - 2012
    • BRITISH TELECOM
      • Table BT share of residential call types by traffic volumes - 2002 - 2012
      • Table BT retail fixed voice call traffic - 2008 - 2012
      • Table BT fixed lines - 2008 - 2012
      • Table BT financial data - 2006 - 2012
      • Table BT revenue by operating division - 2007 - 2012
      • Table BT retail revenue by sector - 2008 - 2012
      • Company restructure
    • KCOM
      • Table KCom revenue - 1999 - 2012
    • CABLE &WIRELESS (C&W)
      • Table Cable & Wireless financial data - 2010 - 2012
      • Table Cable & Wireless subscribers by sector (historic) - 2007 - 2009
    • VIRGIN MEDIA
      • Table Virgin Media revenue - 2003 - 2012
      • Table Virgin Media revenue by sector - 2006 - 2012
      • Table Virgin Media subscribers by sector - 2007 - 2012
    • COLT TELECOM
      • Table COLT financial data - 2006 - 2012
    • CARPHONE WAREHOUSE
      • Table Carphone Warehouse Europe mobile subscribers - 2011 - 2012
      • Table Carphone Warehouse Europe revenue, profit - 2008 - 2012
    • TALK TALK GROUP
      • Table Talk Talk financial data - 2009 - 2012
      • Table Talk Talk subscribers - 2010 - 2012
    • ORANGE
      • Table Orange broadband subscribers - 2004 - 2012
    • BSKYB
      • Table BSkyB voice customers - 2006 - 2012
  • TELECOMMUNICATIONS INFRASTRUCTURE
    • NATIONAL TELECOM NETWORK
      • Table Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 1999 - 2013
    • NEXT GENERATION NETWORKS
      • BT's 21CN
    • INTERNATIONAL
      • Submarine cable networks
        • Table Principal submarine cables from the UK
      • Satellite networks
    • CLOUD SERVICES
  • BROADBAND MARKET
    • OVERVIEW
      • Table Fixed-line broadband retail revenue - 2001 - 2013
      • Table Broadband connections by type - 2002 - 2013
      • Table Internet connections by consumer group - 2003 - 2010
      • Broadband statistics
        • Table Share of fixed and mobile broadband subscribers by provider - 2006 - 2010
        • Table Market share of fixed-line broadband subscribers by provider - 2005 - 2011
        • Table Broadband penetration by technology - 2004 - 2013
        • Table Cable and DSL broadband subscribers - 2004 - 2013
        • Table Dial-up internet subscribers - 2004 - 2013
        • Table Percentage internet access by dial-up and broadband - 2000 - 2013
        • Table PC, broadband and internet household penetration - 2003 - 2013
        • Table Household broadband penetration by access type - 2007 - 2013
        • Table Value of e-commerce sales - 2007 - 2012
        • Table Internet daily traffic - 2005 - 2012
        • Table Consumer broadband download speed by market share - 2008 - 2012
      • Emerging trends
        • Table Average headline broadband speed and cost - 2006 - 2013
        • Table Average broadband speed - 2008 - 2012
        • Table Average broadband speed by platform - 2010 - 2012
      • Government support
        • Table Superfast broadband subscribers and market share - 2010 - 2012
    • CABLE MODEMS
      • Table Virgin Media subscribers by sector - 2007 - 2012
      • Table Virgin Media ARPU - 2007 - 2012
      • Table Virgin Media revenue - 2007 - 2012
    • ASYMMETRICAL DIGITAL SUBSCRIBER LINE (ADSL)
      • Table xDSL subscribers - 2000 - 2013
      • DSL providers
        • Table BT retail and wholesale broadband subscribers - 2004 - 2012
        • Table BT retail and wholesale revenue - 2009 - 2012
      • ADSL2+
      • SDSL
      • Very High Data Rate DSL (VDSL)
    • FIBRE-TO-THE-HOME (FTTH) NETWORKS
      • Table FttC availability and projected speeds by distance - 2012
      • BT
        • Table Household availability of BT FttC network - 2010 - 2014
        • Table Household superfast broadband availability by technology - 2010 - 2012
      • Virgin Media/Fujitsu
      • KCom
      • Other developments
      • FttC developments
      • Costing fibre
        • Table Estimated cost of fibre by deployment technology
    • BROADBAND POWERLINE (BPL)
    • WIRELESS BROADBAND
      • Regulatory environment
        • Table Wireless opportunities using technology and frequencies
      • Spectrum auctions
        • Table Spectrum auction results 10GHz - February 2008
      • WLAN/WiFi
        • Table WLAN operator business models
      • WiMAX
      • Mobile broadband
        • Table Mobile broadband subscribers - 2008 - 2013
        • Table Broadband take-up by technology - 2007 - 2012
      • Internet via satellite
  • DIGITAL MEDIA
    • OVERVIEW OF DIGITAL MEDIA
    • KEY GENERAL TRENDS
      • Table Availability of digital services (UK) - 2009 - 2011; 2013
      • Table Adoption of services - 2010 - 2013
      • Table Broadcast HD homes by provider - 2006 - 2011
    • BUSINESS MODELS - BUNDLED OFFERS
      • Table Proportion of bundled services by type - 2009 - 2012
      • Table Proportion of homes with bundled services by type - 2011 - 2012
      • Table Virgin Media proportion of bundled subscribers by type - 2007 - 2012
      • Table Virgin Media bundled services subscribers by type - 2007 - 2012
    • REGULATORY ISSUES
      • Ofcom
      • Digital Dividend Review
      • Digital switchover licensing
    • DIGITAL TV (DTV)
      • Table TV revenue - 2000 - 2013
      • Table Multichannel take-up in UK households - 2006 - 2011
      • Table Market share of TV homes by platform (primary sets) - 2005 - 2012
      • Broadband TV (IPTV)
        • Table Online TV revenue by sector - 2004 - 2011
        • Table BT Vision subscribers - 2007 - 2012
      • Cable TV
        • Table Virgin Media subscribers by sector - 2007 - 2012
        • Table Virgin Media ARPU - 2007 - 2012
        • Table Virgin Media revenue - 2007 - 2012
      • Satellite TV
        • Table Free-to-view satellite households - 2003 - 2012
        • Table BSkyB subscriber statistics - 2007 - 2012
        • Table BSkyB annualised ARPU - 2005 - 2012
        • Table BSkyB revenue, operating profit and EBITDA - 2007 - 2012
      • Digital Terrestrial TV
        • Table Digital broadcasting switchover timetable - 2008 - 2012
        • Table Freeview enabled TVs - 2005 - 2012
      • Video-on-Demand (VoD)
        • Table Virgin Media VoD use - 2007 - 2011
        • Table Virgin Media HD V+ base - 2008 - 2011
      • VoIP
        • Table VoIP users as percentage of total internet subscribers - 2005 - 2013
  • MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS
    • OVERVIEW OF THE UK'S MOBILE MARKET
      • Table Call volumes, fixed-line and mobile in minutes - 2003 - 2013
      • Table Mobile call revenue by operator - 2002 - 2010
      • Table Mobile retail revenue by service - 2002 - 2012
      • Table Mobile revenue as proportion of total - 2002 - 2013
      • Table Mobile subscriber market share by technology: 2G and 3G - 2004 - 2013
      • Mobile statistics
        • Table Mobile handset sales - 2005 - 2012
        • Table Mobile subscribers and SIM penetration rate - 1995; 1997; 1999 - 2013
        • Table Mobile subscribers by type - 2005 - 2012
        • Table Percentages of mobile and fixed phones in homes - 2000 - 2012
        • Table Total mobile retail revenue - 2009 - 2013
        • Table Mobile ARPU by use (data, SMS, voice) - 2005 - 2010
        • Table Mobile ARPU by contract, prepaid - 2006 - 2012
        • Table Average retail revenue by subscribers, operator - Q4 2008 - Q4 2010
      • Operator market shares
        • Table Mobile market share by operator - 2004 - 2011
    • REGULATORY ISSUES
      • Spectrum regulations and spectrum auctions
      • Spectrum refarming
        • Table Spectrum awards - 800MHz and 2.6GHz - 2013
      • Roaming
        • Table European roaming charges - 2007 - 2011
      • Number portability
      • Mobile termination rates (MTRs)
        • Table MTRs by operator (pence per minute) - 2010 - 2015
    • MAJOR MOBILE OPERATORS
      • Hutchison 3
        • Table 3 UK subscribers by sector - 2008 - 2012
        • Table 3 UK financial data - 2008 - 2012
        • Table 3 UK annualised ARPU by sector - 2009 - 2012
        • Table 3 UK data as proportion total revenue - 2009 - 2011
      • O2
        • Table O2 financial data -2007 - 2012
        • Table O2 quarterly ARPU - blended, contract, prepaid and data - 2006 - 2012
        • Table O2 proportion of data to total revenue - 2006 - 2012
        • Table O2 subscribers, prepaid and contract - 2005 - 2012
      • Vodafone
        • Table Vodafone ARPU - blended, contract and prepaid - 2005 - 2012
        • Table Vodafone (UK) subscribers and proportion prepaid - 2001 - 2012
        • Table Vodafone (UK) financial data - 2007 - 2012
        • Table Vodafone customer churn - 2007 - 2012
        • Table Vodafone Group revenue by sector - 2007 - 2012
        • Table Vodafone UK service revenue by sector - 2009 - 2012
        • Table Vodafone mobile customer retention cost - 2007 - 2012
        • Table Vodafone customer smartphone adoption - 2010 - 2012
      • EE
        • Table EE quarterly revenue - 2009 - 2012
        • Table EE financial data - 2011 - 2012
        • Table EE ARPU - 2009 - 2012
        • Table EE subscriber data - 2009 - 2012
        • Table EE monthly customer churn - 2009 - 2011
        • Table T-Mobile financial data (historic) - 2005 - 2010
        • Table T-Mobile subscribers (historic) - 2005 - 2010
        • Table Orange subscribers, contract and prepaid (historic) - 2006 - 2010
        • Table Orange subscribers by type, 3G, MVNO (historic) - 2007 - 2010
        • Table Orange revenue (historic) - 2005 - 2010
        • Table Orange customer churn (historic) - 2003 - 2009
        • Table Orange data revenue as proportion of total (historic) - 2007 - 2009
        • Table Orange annualised ARPU by category (historic) - 2006 - 2010
        • Table Orange mobile customer acquisition and retention cost (historic) - 2007 - 2009
      • Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
        • Table MNO and MVNO share of subscribers - 2004 - 2011
        • Table Virgin Mobile subscribers - 2005 - 2012
        • Table Virgin Mobile revenue - 2007 - 2012
    • MOBILE VOICE SERVICES
      • Prepaid cards
        • Table Prepaid and contract subscribers - 2002 - 2013
        • Table Contract proportion of total subscribers - 2002 - 2013
        • Table ARPU by subscription type - 2002 - 2012
    • MOBILE DATA MARKET
      • Overview
        • Table 3G subscribers and percentage of total subscribers - 2003 - 2013
      • Spectrum
        • Table Spectrum available for mobile services
        • Table Spectrum awards - 800MHz and 2.6GHz - 2013
        • Table 3G licence results - April 2000
        • Table 3G licensee and infrastructure suppliers
      • Operator services - 3G
        • Table 3G subscribers by operator - 2005 - 2011
        • Table 3 UK subscribers by sector - 2008 - 2012
        • Table 3 UK revenue by sector - 2008 - 2010
        • Table 3 UK financial data - 2008 - 2012
        • Table 3 UK annualised ARPU by sector - 2009 - 2012
        • Table 3 UK data as proportion total revenue - 2009 - 2011
        • Table O2 financial data -2007 - 2012
        • Table O2 subscribers, prepaid and contract - 2005 - 2012
        • Table Vodafone (UK) subscribers and proportion prepaid - 2001 - 2012
        • Table Vodafone (UK) financial data - 2007 - 2012
        • Table EE quarterly financial data - 2009 - 2012
        • Table EE ARPU - 2009 - 2012
        • Table EE subscriber data - 2009 - 2012
      • Mobile Messaging
        • Table SMS messages sent - 2004 - 2013
        • Table SMS and MMS revenue by operator - 2006 - 2010
        • Table SMS and MMS volumes by operator - 2006 - 2010
        • Table MMS messages sent - 2004 - 2013
      • Mobile data services
        • Table Mobile data traffic and revenue increase- 2007 - 2013
        • Table Mobile data revenue by service - 2005 - 2013
        • Table Mobile broadband accesses by technology - 2007 - 2013
        • Table Smartphone sales and penetration - 2007 - 2013
        • Table M2M derived revenue - 2010 - 2013
  • FORECASTS
    • FORECASTS - BROADBAND SUBSCRIBERS - 2007 - 2012; 2020
      • higher broadband subscriber growth
        • Table Forecast broadband subscribers - higher market growth scenario - 2010 - 2012; 2020
        • Table Forecast broadband penetration - higher market growth scenario - 2007 - 2012; 2020
      • lower broadband subscriber growth
        • Table Forecast broadband subscribers - lower market growth scenario - 2010 - 2012; 2020
        • Table Forecast broadband penetration - lower market growth scenario - 2007 - 2012; 2020
    • FORECASTS - MOBILE
      • Forecasts - mobile ARPU - 2007 - 2010; 2015; 2020
        • Table Forecast mobile ARPU - 2007 - 2010; 2015; 2020
      • Forecasts - mobile subscribers and penetration - 2010 - 2016
        • Table Mobile subscribers and SIM penetration rate - 2010 - 2016
      • Forecasts - UMTS - 2007 - 2010; 2015
        • Table Forecast UMTS subscribers - 2007 - 2012; 2015
    • NOTES ON SCENARIO FORECASTS

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