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United Kingdom - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

United Kingdom - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

United Kingdom’s network operatorsax anticipated 5G spectrum release in 2018

The UK’s telecom market is one of the largest in Europe and has long been characterised by fierce competition in the mobile and broadband sectors. As a consequence, mobile and broadband penetration is high, supported by relatively low consumer prices and by network capabilities which have been greatly expanded following recent investments by the principal telcos including British Telecom and Virgin Media.

In the mobile sector the main operators including O2, Vodafone and BT’s newly acquired unit EE, have comprehensive LTE networks in place and are engaged in trialling 5G technologies with a view to commercial launches by 2020. The market has room for a growing number of low-cost MVNOs providing effective price and service competition for subscribers. Anticipated auctions for spectrum in the 2.3GHz and 3.4GHz bands will see more bandwidth made available for mobile broadband services, supported by regulatory moves which allow the refarming of 2G spectrum for 3G and 4G use. This spectrum is also being allocated for 5G.

The UK’s broadband market enjoys excellent cross-platform competition. DSL services are almost universally available, while British Telecom has also introduced G.fast as part of its multi-technology mix to provide ultra-fast broadband services to some ten million premises by 2020. The main cable operator Virgin Media, owned by Liberty Global, is increasing its footprint to cover about two-thirds of premises by 2019. Virgin Media has also entered the fibre market, aiming to provide FttP to about one million customers while most of the remainder will be serviced with DOCSIS3.1. Vodafone is also partnering with CityFibre to deliver an extensive 1Gb/s service to about five million premises by 2025.

For its part, the government has committed to invest over £1 billion in broadband infrastructure through new investment funds, including £400 million in rolling out FttP services.

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. In addition the report covers the overall broadband market, assessing the deployment of new technologies and commercial initiatives. The report also surveys the mobile market, providing an overview of mobile statistics, regulatory issues and technologies. It profiles the major operators and MVNOs, and looks ahead to mobile market developments in coming years.

Key developments:

BT and Huawei trial 3Tb/s channel over existing fibre;

BT opens dark fibre to competitors;

Ofcom develops plan for Openreach to be given greater independence within BT Group;

Progress made in 2.3GHz and 3.4GHz spectrum auction for 5G use;

Vodafone aiming to close 3G infrastructure by 2020;

Sky expands presence in the mobile market;

EE achieves 2.8Gb/s in pre-5G trials;

New rules for MNP proposed;

Ofcom identifies four frequency bands for 5G use, plans 5G licensing in 2018;

Government commits £400 million investment to connect up to two million premises with a 1Gb/s FttP service by 2020;

Government claiming 95% of premises can receive superfast broadband;

USO to guarantee minimum 10Mb/s service by 2020;

Openreach commercialises Dark Fibre Access product;

CityFibre partners with Vodafone to extend fibre;

Report update includes telcos’ operating and financial data to Q3 2017, regulator’s market data to June 2017, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

British Telecom, H3, Vodafone, O2, Everything Everywhere (EE), Virgin Mobile, Tesco Mobile, Virgin Media, KCom, Orange, Cable & Wireless, COLT Telecom, Dixons Carphone Group, Sky.


  • EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
  • KEY STATISTICS
    • Table Country statistics - 2017 (e)
    • Table Telecom revenue and investment statistics - 2016
    • Table Telephone network statistics - 2017 (e)
    • Table Internet user statistics - 2017 (e)
    • Table Broadband statistics - 2017 (e)
    • Table Mobile statistics - 2017 (e)
    • Table National telecommunications authority
    • COUNTRY OVERVIEW
  • TELECOMMUNICATIONS MARKET
    • MARKET ANALYSIS
      • Table Percentages of mobile and fixed phones in homes - 2000 - 2016
      • Table Consumer take-up of telecom services by type - 2006 - 2016
      • Table Fixed-line calls and access revenue by main operator- 2011 - 2017
      • Table Communications retail revenue by sector - 2003 - 2015
      • Table Fixed telecoms revenue by service - 2008 - 2016
      • Table Household spend on telecoms services - 2005 - 2016
      • Table Communications revenue by sector - 2003 - 2016
      • Table Communications wholesale and retail revenue - 2005 - 2016
      • Table Call volumes, fixed-line and mobile in minutes - 2003 - 2017
      • Table Proportion of calls made, fixed-line and mobile - 2006 - 2017
      • Table Telecom retail revenue by sector: fixed, mobile - 2010 - 2015
      • Table Telecom connections: fixed, mobile, broadband - 2002 - 2017
      • Table Household take-up of telecom services - 2003 - 2016
  • REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT
    • HISTORICAL OVERVIEW
    • REGULATORY AUTHORITY
      • Office of Communications (Ofcom)
    • TELECOM SECTOR LIBERALISATION
    • INTERCONNECT
    • ACCESS
      • Table BT LLU, shared wholesale lines - 2004 - 2017
      • Number Portability (NP)
    • CARRIER PRESELECTION (CPS)
      • Table Lines with CPS - 2004 - 2017
    • WHOLESALE LINE RENTAL (WLR)
      • Table WLR lines - 2004 - 2017
  • FIXED NETWORK OPERATORS
    • OVERVIEW
      • Table Fixed-voice traffic by type in minutes - 2002 - 2017
      • Table Fixed-voice revenue by call type - 2011 - 2017
      • Table Average fixed-voice revenue per month by call type - 2011 - 2016
      • Table Fixed-voice traffic volume by call type - 2010 - 2017
    • BRITISH TELECOM
      • Table BT share of residential call types by traffic volumes - 2002 - 2017
      • Table BT Consumer lines and TV subscribers - 2011 - 2017
      • Table BT financial data - 2006 - 2018
      • Table BT revenue by retail, Consumer, Business divisions - 2012 - 2018
      • Table BT revenue by Global Services, Wholesale and Openreach divisions - 2007 - 2018
      • Openreach
      • Company restructure
    • KCOM
      • Table KCom revenue - 1999 - 2017
    • CABLE & WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS (C&WC)
    • VIRGIN MEDIA
      • Table Virgin Media revenue - 2003 - 2017
      • Table Virgin Media revenue by sector - 2006 - 2017
      • Table Virgin Media subscribers by sector - 2007 - 2017
    • COLT TELECOM
      • Table COLT financial data - 2006 - 2015
      • Table COLT financial data by business - 2013 - 2015
    • DIXONS CARPHONE GROUP (CARPHONE WAREHOUSE)
      • Table Carphone Warehouse Europe revenue, profit - 2008 - 2014
    • TALKTALK GROUP
      • Table TalkTalk financial data - 2009 - 2018
      • Table TalkTalk subscribers - 2011 - 2015
    • SKY
  • TELECOMMUNICATIONS INFRASTRUCTURE
    • OVERVIEW OF THE NATIONAL TELECOM NETWORK
      • Table Historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 1999 - 2009
      • Table Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 2010 - 2018
    • NEXT GENERATION NETWORKS
    • INTERNATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE
      • Submarine cable networks
      • Satellite networks
    • CLOUD SERVICES
  • BROADBAND MARKET
    • INTRODUCTION AND STATISTICAL OVERVIEW
      • Market analysis
        • Table Fixed-line broadband retail revenue - 2001 - 2017
        • Table Fixed-line broadband connections by type - 2002 - 2016
        • Table Average headline broadband speed - 2006 - 2016
        • Table Proportion of residential broadband connections by speed - 2011 - 2016
        • Table Devices used for internet access, market share - 2013 - 2016
      • Broadband statistics
        • Table Market share of fixed-line broadband subscribers by provider - 2005 - 2016
        • Table Broadband penetration by technology - 2004 - 2016
        • Table Historic - Percentage internet access by dial-up and broadband - 2000 - 2013
        • Table Historic - Internet users and penetration - 2002 - 2009
        • Table Internet users and penetration - 2010 - 2018
        • Table Fixed-line broadband subscribers and penetration - 2002 - 2018
        • Table Fixed-line broadband subscribers and penetration - 2002 - 2018
        • Table Internet connectivity type, by household - 2003 - 2016
        • Table Average consumer fixed-line broadband traffic - 2011 - 2016
      • Forecasts - broadband subscribers - 2018; 2020; 2022
        • Table Forecast broadband subscribers - 2018; 2020; 2022
      • Government support
        • Table Superfast broadband subscribers and market share - 2010 - 2016
    • HYBRID FIBRE COAX (HFC) NETWORKS
      • Table Virgin Media subscribers by sector - 2007 - 2017
      • Table Virgin Media ARPU - 2007 - 2017
      • Table Virgin Media revenue - 2007 - 2017
      • Table Cable broadband subscribers - 2011 - 2017
    • DIGITAL SUBSCRIBER LINE (DSL) NETWORKS
      • Table xDSL subscribers - 2000 - 2018
      • Table BT retail and wholesale broadband subscribers - 2004 - 2017
      • Table BT consumer and wholesale broadband revenue - 2015 - 2018
      • G-fast developments
    • FIBRE-TO-THE-PREMISES (FTTP) NETWORKS
      • Table Fibre broadband subscribers - 2011 - 2017
      • BT
        • Table BT fibre broadband subscribers - 2014 - 2017
      • Virgin Media/Fujitsu
      • Other developments
        • Table Vodafone broadband subscribers - 2014 - 2017
    • OTHER FIXED BROADBAND SERVICES
      • Broadband Powerline (BPL)
      • Fixed wireless (Wi-Fi and WiMAX)
  • MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS
    • MARKET ANALYSIS
      • Table Call volumes, fixed-line and mobile in minutes - 2003 - 2017
      • Table Mobile retail revenue by service - 2002 - 2017
    • MOBILE STATISTICS
      • Table Historic - Mobile subscribers and SIM penetration rate - 1995; 1997; 1999 - 2009
      • Table Mobile subscribers and SIM penetration rate - 2010 - 2018
      • Table Mobile ARPU by contract, prepaid - 2006 - 2017
      • Table Average household spend of fixed-voice, mobile and internet services - 2008 - 2016
      • Table Prepaid and contract subscribers - 2002 - 2017
      • Operator market shares
        • Table Mobile market share by operator - 2004 - 2016
      • Mobile voice
      • Mobile data
        • Table Mobile data traffic - 2013 - 2015
        • Table Average mobile data traffic per user- 2011 - 2017
        • Table SMS and MMS messages sent - 2004 - 2018
        • Table Average SMS traffic per month by contract type - 2010 - 2015
        • Table SMS and MMS revenue - 2015 - 2017
      • Mobile broadband
        • Table Dedicated mobile broadband subscribers - 2008 - 2017
        • Table Active mobile broadband subscribers - 2009 - 2017
        • Table Broadband take-up by technology - 2007 - 2016
      • Forecasts - mobile subscribers - 2018; 2020; 2022
        • Table Forecast mobile subscribers - 2018; 2020; 2022
    • REGULATORY ISSUES
      • Spectrum regulations
      • Spectrum refarming
      • Spectrum sharing
      • Spectrum 2.6GHz
      • Spectrum 800MHz
      • Spectrum 900MHz
      • Spectrum 700MHz
      • Spectrum 1800MHz
      • Spectrum 2.3GHz and 3.4GHz
      • Spectrum 3.8GHz
      • Revised licence conditions
      • Spectrum auctions
      • Roaming
        • Table European roaming charges - 2007 - 2016
        • Table European data roaming charges - 2014 - 2017
      • Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
      • Mobile Termination Rates (MTRs)
        • Table MTRs by operator (pence per minute) - 2015 - 2017
    • MOBILE INFRASTRUCTURE
      • Digital networks
        • Table LTE subscribers - 2013 - 2018
        • Table Average 3G and 4G speeds (Mb/s) - 2014 - 2015
        • Table O2 LTE subscribers and penetration - 2014 - 2017
        • Table EE LTE subscribers - 2013 - 2015
      • IoT and M2M networks
        • Table M2M connections - 2010 - 2017
        • Table O2 M2M accesses - 2014 - 2017
    • MAJOR MOBILE OPERATORS
      • Hutchison 3
        • Table 3 UK registered subscribers by sector - 2008 - 2017
        • Table 3 UK financial data - 2008 - 2016
        • Table 3 UK annualised gross ARPU by sector - 2009 - 2016
      • O2
        • Table O2 financial data -2007 - 2017
        • Table O2 ARPU - blended, contract, prepaid and data - 2006 - 2017
        • Table O2 proportion of data to service revenue - 2006 - 2017
        • Table O2 subscribers, prepaid and contract - 2005 - 2017
      • Vodafone
        • Table Vodafone end-year ARPU - blended, contract and prepaid - 2005 - 2017
        • Table Vodafone (UK) subscribers and proportion prepaid - 2001 - 2016
        • Table Vodafone (UK) mobile financial data - 2008 - 2018
        • Table Vodafone customer churn - 2007 - 2017
        • Table Vodafone Group revenue by sector - 2007 - 2018
        • Table Vodafone UK mobile service revenue by sector - 2009 - 2018
        • Table Vodafone mobile customer retention cost - 2007 - 2017
        • Table Vodafone customer smartphone adoption - 2010 - 2016
      • EE
        • Table EE quarterly revenue - 2009 - 2016
        • Table EE financial data (old format) - 2011 - 2015
        • Table EE mobile revenue (new format under BT) - 2017 - 2018
        • Table EE ARPU (Q4) - 2009 - 2017
        • Table EE subscriber data - 2009 - 2017
      • Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
        • Table Virgin Mobile subscribers - 2005 - 2017
        • Table Virgin Mobile revenue - 2007 - 2017
    • MOBILE CONTENT AND APPLICATIONS

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