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

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

Fast broadband services influencing home-buying across the UK

The UK has one of the largest telecom markets in Europe. The market enjoys high mobile and broadband penetration and excellent competition. It is also characterised by an innovative broadcast sector which has pioneered business models for distributing digital content. As a consequence, digital TV uptake has reached about 95% of the population. Consumer prices across the board have fallen steadily, while network capabilities have been greatly expanded following recent investments by British Telecom and Virgin Media.

The broadband market enjoys effective cross-platform competition, with comprehensive DSL coverage complemented by cable networks which reach about half of all premises. The DSL network has been upgraded during the last few years as a result of BT’s migration to its new 21CN, while investment is ongoing in vectoring and G.fast technologies. Virgin Media, owned by Liberty Global, has emerged as the best provider in terms of realised speeds – the company has rolled out a 120Mb/s service across much of its footprint. In addition, BT’s FttC/VDSL service should cover 66% of the population by 2015. The market remains fiercely competitive as a result of regulatory measures to provide competitor access to BT’s exchanges, while similar measures have been undertaken to ensure equal access on fibre networks.

Wireless broadband has seen moderate growth in the UK in recent years. Many WiFi and WiMAX deployments have been instigated by municipalities, while the major wireless operators have expanded their networks and concentrated on sharing hotspots. Wireless broadband on mobile networks has shown phenomenal growth since 2010 as consumers exploit the wider availability of more capable networks. From late 2013 high-end mobile data has been stimulated by the availability of greater network capacity through LTE operating on spectrum auctioned in early 2013.

The UK remains at the forefront of media convergence. The digital broadcasting industry, including satellite, digital cable, digital terrestrial and IPTV services, is well established – the UK has the highest digital TV penetration in Europe, with a substantial multichannel environment.

The UK also 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, which have all launched LTE services, as well as by a growing number of low-cost MVNOs. The market can expect considerable changes during the next two years as operators prepare their business plans to accommodate spectrum acquisitions and to adjust to the refarming of 2G spectrum for 3G and 4G use.

This report analyses the key aspects of the UK’s telecom market, presenting statistics on the fixed network services sector and an overview of the key regulatory issues including the status of interconnection, local loop unbundling, and carrier preselection. The report reviews the major fixed network telcos, examines the status of fixed-line voice services following the deregulation of the retail call market sector, and assesses the success and market impact of BT Openreach. The report also profiles the broadband market, covering technologies and including the latest statistics, an update on recent commercial initiatives, an assessment of Next Generation Access, and forecasts to 2020. It reviews the markets for bundled and convergent services, including developments in Video-on-Demand, IPTV and VoIP, and assesses the broadcasting sector including statistics and analysis on ASO. The mobile voice and data markets are covered with overview of statistics, regulatory issues and technologies, and an assessment of emerging mobile data possibilities in coming years in the wake of the fast-growing deployment of LTE.

Key developments:

Ofcom reassesses 900MHz and 1800MHz annual licence fees;
O2 closes O2 Wallet service; government updates on release of 500MHz spectrum;
UK and German governments sign on to cooperate in 5G research;
EE’s LTE network reaches 70% population coverage;
EE and H3 sign passive LTE network sharing deal; Vodafone sells stake in Verizon Wireless for £84 billion;
broadband availability influencing home buying habits;
government commits £150 million to its Mobile Infrastructure Project to improve rural mobile coverage;
53% of households receive bundled services; Liberty Global buys Virgin Media for US$23.3 billion;
average mobile broadband speeds reach only 1.5Mb/s;
BSkyB offers free WiFi access to its broadband subscribers; regulator’s market data reports;
operator data to Q1 2014;
market developments to April 2014.

Companies covered in this report include:

H3 UK, O2, Vodafone, Virgin Mobile, UK Broadband, (EE, incorporating the former T-Mobile UK and Orange UK), Tesco Mobile, British Telecom, BSkyB, Freeview, BBC, Tiscali, Thrive Telecom, Libera, The Cloud. Virgin Media, Kcom, Cable & Wireless, COLT Telecom, Carphone Warehouse.

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 - 2013 (e)
    • Table Telecom revenue and investment statistics - 2013 (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 Fixed-line calls and access revenue by main operator- 2011 - 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 - 2013
      • Table Proportion of calls made, fixed-line and mobile - 2006 - 2012
      • Table Telecom retail revenue by sector: fixed, mobile - 2000 - 2013
      • Table Telecom connections: fixed, mobile, broadband - 2002 - 2013
      • 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 BT LLU, shared wholesale lines - 2004 - 2013
      • Number Portability (NP)
      • Carrier PreSelection (CPS)
        • Table Lines with CPS - 2004 - 2014
      • Wholesale Line Rental (WLR)
        • Table WLR lines - 2004 - 2014
  • FIXED NETWORK OPERATORS
    • NEW REGULATIONS
      • Table Fixed-voice traffic by type in minutes - 2002 - 2013
      • Table Fixed telecom lines by operator - 2005 - 2013
      • Table Fixed-voice and data retail revenue - 2006 - 2013
      • Table Fixed-voice revenue by call type - 2002 - 2011
      • Table Fixed-voice revenue by call type - 2011 - 2013
    • BRITISH TELECOM
      • Table BT share of residential call types by traffic volumes - 2002 - 2013
      • Table BT Consumer lines and TV subscribers - 2011 - 2013
      • Table BT financial data - 2006 - 2014
      • Table BT revenue by retail, Consumer, Business divisions - 2007 - 2014
      • Table BT revenue by Global Services, Wholesale and Openreach divisions - 2007 - 2014
      • Table BT retail revenue by sector (historic) - 2008 - 2012
      • Company restructure
    • KCOM
      • Table KCom revenue - 1999 - 2014
    • CABLE &WIRELESS (C&W)
      • Table Cable & Wireless Europe financial data - 2009 - 2013
      • Table Cable & Wireless subscribers by sector (historic) - 2007 - 2009
    • VIRGIN MEDIA
      • Table Virgin Media revenue - 2003 - 2013
      • Table Virgin Media revenue by sector - 2006 - 2013
      • Table Virgin Media subscribers by sector - 2007 - 2013
    • COLT TELECOM
      • Table COLT financial data - 2006 - 2013
    • CARPHONE WAREHOUSE
      • Table Carphone Warehouse Europe mobile subscribers - 2011 - 2012
      • Table Carphone Warehouse Europe revenue, profit - 2008 - 2013
    • TALK TALK GROUP
      • Table Talk Talk financial data - 2009 - 2014
      • Table Talk Talk subscribers - 2011 - 2013
    • ORANGE
      • Table Orange broadband subscribers - 2004 - 2012
    • BSKYB
      • Table BSkyB voice customers - 2006 - 2013
  • TELECOMMUNICATIONS INFRASTRUCTURE
    • NATIONAL TELECOM NETWORK
      • Table Historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 1999 - 2004
      • Table Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 2005 - 2014
    • 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 - 2014
      • Table Broadband connections by type - 2002 - 2013
      • Broadband statistics
        • Table Market share of fixed-line broadband subscribers by provider - 2005 - 2013
        • 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 - 2013
        • Table Internet daily traffic - 2005 - 2013
        • Table Consumer broadband download speed by market share - 2008 - 2013
      • Emerging trends
        • Table Average headline broadband speed and cost - 2006 - 2013
        • Table Average broadband speed - 2008 - 2013
        • Table Average broadband speed by platform - 2010 - 2013
      • Government support
        • Table Superfast broadband subscribers and market share - 2010 - 2013
    • CABLE MODEMS
      • Table Virgin Media subscribers by sector - 2007 - 2013
      • Table Virgin Media ARPU - 2007 - 2013
      • Table Virgin Media revenue - 2007 - 2013
    • ASYMMETRICAL DIGITAL SUBSCRIBER LINE (ADSL)
      • Table xDSL subscribers - 2000 - 2014
      • DSL providers
        • Table BT retail and wholesale broadband subscribers - 2004 - 2013
        • Table BT retail and wholesale revenue - 2009 - 2013
      • ADSL2+
      • SDSL
      • Very High Data Rate DSL (VDSL)
    • FIBRE-TO-THE-PREMISE (FTTP) NETWORKS
      • Table FttC availability and projected speeds by distance - 2012
      • BT
        • Table Household availability of BT FttC network - 2010 - 2014
      • Virgin Media/Fujitsu
      • KCom
      • Sky Broadband/TalkTalk
      • 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
      • White space spectrum
      • Spectrum auctions
        • Table Spectrum auction results 10GHz - February 2008
      • WLAN/WiFi
        • Table WLAN operator business models
      • WiMAX
      • Mobile broadband
        • Table Mobile broadband subscribers - 2008 - 2014
        • Table Broadband take-up by technology - 2007 - 2013
      • 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 Operators' service bundling offers - 2014
      • Table Proportion of bundled services by type - 2009 - 2012
      • Table Proportion of homes with bundled services by type - 2011 - 2012
      • Table Technology developments in bundled services - 2013
      • Table Virgin Media proportion of bundled subscribers by type - 2007 - 2013
      • 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
      • Table Snapshot of digital TV services and providers
      • Broadband TV (IPTV)
        • Table Online TV revenue by sector - 2004 - 2012
        • Table BT Vision subscribers - 2008 - 2013
      • Cable TV
        • Table Virgin Media subscribers by sector - 2007 - 2013
        • Table Virgin Media ARPU - 2007 - 2012
        • Table Virgin Media revenue - 2007 - 2013
      • Satellite TV
        • Table Free-to-view satellite households - 2003 - 2012
        • Table BSkyB subscriber statistics - 2007 - 2013
        • Table BSkyB annualised ARPU - 2005 - 2012
        • Table BSkyB revenue, operating profit and EBITDA - 2007 - 2014
      • 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 Popular VoIP providers - 2013
        • 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 - 2014
      • Table Mobile retail revenue by service - 2002 - 2014
      • Table Mobile revenue as proportion of total - 2002 - 2013
      • Table Mobile subscriber market share by technology: 2G and 3G - 2004 - 2014
      • Mobile statistics
        • Table Mobile handset sales - 2005 - 2013
        • Table Historic - Mobile subscribers and SIM penetration rate - 1995; 1997; 1999 - 2004
        • Table Mobile subscribers and SIM penetration rate - 2005 - 2014
        • Table Mobile broadband subscribers - 2008 - 2014
        • Table Percentages of mobile and fixed phones in homes - 2000 - 2014
        • Table Mobile ARPU by use (data, SMS, voice) - 2005 - 2014
        • Table Mobile ARPU by contract, prepaid - 2006 - 2013
      • Operator market shares
        • Table Mobile market share by operator - 2004 - 2013
    • REGULATORY ISSUES
      • Spectrum regulations and spectrum auctions
      • Spectrum refarming
        • Table Spectrum awards - 800MHz and 2.6GHz - 2013
      • Roaming
        • Table European roaming charges - 2007 - 2014
      • 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 - 2013
        • Table 3 UK financial data - 2008 - 2013
        • Table 3 UK annualised gross ARPU by sector - 2009 - 2013
      • O2
        • Table O2 financial data -2007 - 2013
        • Table O2 quarterly ARPU - blended, contract, prepaid and data - 2006 - 2013
        • Table O2 proportion of data to total revenue - 2006 - 2013
        • Table O2 subscribers, prepaid and contract - 2005 - 2013
      • Vodafone
        • Table Vodafone ARPU - blended, contract and prepaid - 2005 - 2013
        • Table Vodafone (UK) subscribers and proportion prepaid - 2001 - 2013
        • Table Vodafone (UK) financial data - 2008 - 2014
        • Table Vodafone customer churn - 2007 - 2013
        • Table Vodafone Group revenue by sector - 2007 - 2014
        • Table Vodafone UK service revenue by sector - 2009 - 2014
        • Table Vodafone mobile customer retention cost - 2007 - 2014
        • Table Vodafone customer smartphone adoption - 2010 - 2013
      • EE
        • Table EE quarterly revenue - 2009 - 2014
        • Table EE financial data - 2011 - 2013
        • Table EE ARPU - 2009 - 2014
        • Table EE subscriber data - 2009 - 2014
        • 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 - 2013
        • Table Virgin Mobile revenue - 2007 - 2013
    • MOBILE VOICE SERVICES
      • Prepaid cards
        • Table Prepaid and contract subscribers - 2002 - 2013
        • Table Contract proportion of total subscribers - 2002 - 2013
    • MOBILE DATA
      • Overview
        • Table 3G subscribers and percentage of total subscribers - 2003 - 2014
      • 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 3 UK subscribers by sector - 2008 - 2013
        • Table 3 UK revenue by sector - 2008 - 2010
        • Table 3 UK financial data - 2008 - 2013
        • Table 3 UK annualised ARPU by sector - 2009 - 2013
        • Table O2 financial data -2007 - 2013
        • Table O2 subscribers, prepaid and contract - 2005 - 2013
        • Table Vodafone (UK) subscribers and proportion prepaid - 2001 - 2013
        • Table Vodafone (UK) financial data - 2008 - 2014
        • Table EE quarterly revenue - 2009 - 2014
        • Table EE ARPU - 2009 - 2014
        • Table EE subscriber data - 2009 - 2014
      • Mobile Messaging
        • Table SMS messages sent - 2004 - 2014
        • Table SMS and MMS traffic - 2011 - 2014
        • Table SMS and MMS revenue - 2011 - 2014
        • 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 Proportion of mobile broadband accesses by technology - 2007 - 2013
        • Table Smartphone sales and penetration - 2005 - 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
    • FORECASTSMOBILE
      • Forecasts - mobile ARPU - 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

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