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

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

UK aiming to be fully-fibred by 2033

The UK’s telecom market remains one of the largest in Europe, characterised by fierce competition which has resulted in reduced pricing for end-users. Following some market consolidation in the mobile segment there are four key players and a number of MVNOs. Mobile broadband in coming years will place some additional pressure on the fixed-line broadband subscriber base as customers are tempted to migrate to 5G-enabled services. The fixed-line broadband sector is characterised by the steady decline in DSL and the ongoing efforts among a good number of operators to expand the reach of fibre networks. This is being supported by government efforts to encourage the right economic environment facilitating the ambition to have a fully-fibred UK by 2033. British Telecom is aiming to provide ultra-fast broadband services to some ten million premises by 2020, while Vodafone is also partnering with CityFibre to deliver an extensive 1Gb/s service to about five million premises by 2025.

The fixed-line voice segment is being similarly repositioned, with PSTN services making way for IP-delivered content. BT’s independent wholesale unit Openreach plans to complete the switch to fibre by 2025.

The mobile market has room for a growing number of low-cost MVNOs providing effective price and service competition for subscribers. The market has also been characterised by developments in advanced data services delivered 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, and in common with developments in many other European markets subscriber growth has dipped in recent quarters as consumers respond to economic pressures and more generous pricing offers among operators which has negated some of the justifications for multiple SIM card ownership.

Auctions for spectrum in the 2.3GHz and 3.4GHz bands have made more bandwidth available for mobile broadband services, supported by regulatory moves which allow the refarming of 2G spectrum for 3G and 4G use. Spectrum will also be released in the 700MHz band during 2019, which spectrum is also being allocated for 5G. Operators continue to trial 5G technologies with a number of key vendor partners.

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. This report also surveys the mobile market, providing an overview of mobile statistics, regulatory issues and technologies. It covers the major operators and MVNOs and looks ahead to mobile market developments in coming years. In addition the report assesses the overall UK broadband market, covering broadband technologies and including the latest statistics, an update on recent commercial initiatives, an assessment of Next Generation Access, and subscriber forecasts.

Key developments:

BT transfers 31,000 employees to Openreach Ltd;
BT and Huawei trial 3Tb/s channel over existing fibre;
Arctic cables to connect UK to Japan;
Government to invest £1 billion of fibre infrastructure and 5G technologies, launches £400 million investment aimed at connecting up to two million premises with a 1Gb/s FttP service by 2020;
Hyperoptic to deliver FttP to Brent borough;
Government publishes its Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review;
USO to guarantee minimum 10Mb/s service by 2020;
O2 trials Li-Fi technology;
Openreach to commercialise Dark Fibre Access product;
CityFibre partners with Vodafone to extend fibre;
BT developing G.fast technology;
Hyperoptic to extend fibre broadband to two million people across 50 cities;
BT launches Fibre-on-Demand product, trials 10Gb/s service using XGPON technology;
Ofcom completes 2.3GHz and 3.4GHz spectrum auction;
Vodafone aiming to close 3G infrastructure by 2020, EE by 2022;
EE achieves 2.8Gb/s in pre-5G trials, plans to launch services in 16 cities in 2019;
MNOs extend Wi-Fi calling and VoLTE services;
New rates for MNP imposed;
Government increases funding for 5G test-beds;
4G auction in 2.6GHz and 800MHz bands delivers £2.34 billion;
Vodafone trials LTE-V2X technology;
Report update includes the regular’s market updates to June 2018, telcos’ financial and operating data to Q3 2018, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Virgin Media, BT Group, KCom, Orange, Cable & Wireless, COLT Telecom, Dixons Carphone Group, Sky, O2, H3, Vodafone, O2, Everything Everywhere (BT/EE, incorporating the former T-Mobile UK and Orange UK), Virgin Mobile, Tesco Mobile.


  • EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
  • KEY STATISTICS
    • Table Top Level Country Statistics and Telco Authorities – United Kingdom – 2018 (e)
    • 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– 2007 - 2018
      • Table Communications retail revenue by sector – 2003 - 2018
      • Table Telecoms revenue by service – 2008 - 2017
      • Table Average household spend on telecoms services – 2005 - 2017
      • Table Average household spend on fixed voice/data services – 2012 - 2017
      • Table Communications revenue by sector – 2003 - 2017
      • Table Communications wholesale and retail revenue – 2005 - 2017
      • Table Call volumes, fixed-line and mobile in minutes – 2003 - 2018
      • Table Proportion of calls made, fixed-line and mobile – 2006 - 2018
      • Table Telecom retail revenue by sector: fixed, mobile – 2007 - 2018
      • Table Telecom connections: fixed, mobile, broadband – 2002 - 2018
      • 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 (old format) – 2004 - 2017
      • Table BT wholesale lines (new format) – 2016 - 2018
      • Number Portability (NP)
    • CARRIER PRESELECTION (CPS)
      • Table Lines with CPS – 2004 - 2018
    • WHOLESALE LINE RENTAL (WLR)
      • Table WLR lines – 2004 - 2018
  • FIXED NETWORK OPERATORS
    • OVERVIEW
      • Table Fixed-voice traffic by type in minutes – 2002 - 2018
      • Table Fixed-voice traffic volume by call type – 2010 - 2018
      • Table Fixed-voice revenue by call type – 2011 - 2018
      • Table Average fixed-voice revenue per month by call type – 2011 - 2016
    • BRITISH TELECOM
      • Table BT share of residential call types by traffic volumes – 2002 - 2018
      • Table BT Consumer lines and TV subscribers – 2011 - 2017
      • Table BT financial data – 2006 - 2018
      • Table BT retail revenue, Consumer, Business divisions – 2012 - 2018
      • Table BT revenue, Consumer divisions (new style) – 2017 - 2019
      • Table BT revenue by Global Services, Wholesale and Openreach divisions – 2007 - 2019
      • Openreach
      • Company restructure
    • KCOM
      • Table KCom revenue – 2000 - 2019
    • CABLE & WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS (C&WC)
    • VIRGIN MEDIA
      • Table Virgin Media revenue – 2003 - 2018
      • Table Virgin Media revenue by sector – 2006 - 2018
      • Table Virgin Media subscribers by sector – 2007 - 2018
    • 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 - 2019
      • 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
    • SMART INFRASTRUCTURE
  • BROADBAND MARKET
    • INTRODUCTION AND STATISTICAL OVERVIEW
      • Market analysis
        • Table Fixed-line broadband retail revenue – 2001 - 2018
        • Table Fixed-line broadband connections by type – 2002 - 2018
        • Table Average headline broadband speed – 2006 - 2017
        • Table Proportion of residential broadband connections by speed – 2011 - 2016
        • Table Devices used for internet access, market share – 2013 - 2017
      • Broadband statistics
        • Table Market share of fixed-line broadband subscribers by provider – 2005 - 2016
        • Table Broadband penetration by technology – 2004 - 2017
        • 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 - 2017
      • Forecasts – broadband subscribers – 2019; 2021; 2023
        • Table Forecast broadband subscribers – 2019; 2021; 2023
      • Government support
        • Table Superfast broadband subscribers and market share – 2010 - 2017
    • HYBRID FIBRE COAX (HFC) NETWORKS
      • Table Virgin Media subscribers by sector – 2007 - 2018
      • Table Virgin Media ARPU – 2007 - 2018
      • Table Virgin Media revenue – 2007 - 2018
      • Table Virgin Media cable revenue – 2015 - 2018
      • Table Cable broadband subscribers – 2011 - 2017
    • DIGITAL SUBSCRIBER LINE (DSL) NETWORKS
      • Table DSL subscribers – 2000 - 2018
      • Table BT retail and wholesale broadband subscribers – 2004 - 2018
      • Table BT consumer and wholesale broadband revenue – 2015 - 2018
      • G.fast
    • FIBRE-TO-THE-PREMISES (FTTP) NETWORKS
      • Table Fibre broadband subscribers – 2011 - 2017
      • BT
        • Table BT fibre broadband subscribers – 2014 - 2018
      • Virgin Media/Fujitsu
      • Other developments
        • Table Vodafone broadband subscribers – 2014 - 2018
    • OTHER FIXED BROADBAND SERVICES
      • Broadband Powerline (BPL)
      • Fixed wireless (Wi-Fi and WiMAX)
  • DIGITAL MEDIA
    • VIDEO-STREAMING
      • Table Virgin Media bundled services subscribers as proportion to total – 2014 - 2018
      • Table Virgin Media bundled services subscribers as proportion to total – 2008 - 2018
  • MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS
    • MARKET ANALYSIS
      • Table Call volumes, fixed-line and mobile in minutes – 2003 - 2017
      • Table Mobile retail revenue by service – 2002 - 2018
    • 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 - 2018
      • Table Average household spend of fixed-voice, mobile and internet services – 2008 - 2016
      • Table Prepaid and contract subscribers – 2002 - 2018
      • Operator market shares
        • Table Mobile market share by operator – 2004 - 2016
    • MOBILE INFRASTRUCTURE
      • 5G
      • 4G (LTE)
        • Table LTE subscribers – 2013 - 2018
        • Table Average 3G and 4G speeds (Mb/s) – 2014 - 2015
        • Table O2 LTE subscribers and penetration – 2014 - 2018
        • Table EE LTE subscribers – 2013 - 2015
      • 3G
      • Other infrastructure developments
        • Table M2M connections – 2010 - 2018
        • Table O2 M2M accesses – 2014 - 2018
    • MOBILE VOICE
    • MOBILE DATA
      • Table Average mobile data traffic per user– 2011 - 2017
      • SMS and MMS
        • Table SMS and MMS messages sent – 2004 - 2018
        • Table Average SMS/MMS traffic per month by contract type – 2010 - 2017
        • Table SMS and MMS revenue – 2015 - 2017
      • Mobile broadband
        • Table Dedicated mobile broadband subscribers – 2008 - 2018
        • Table Active mobile broadband subscribers – 2009 - 2018
        • Table Broadband take-up by technology – 2007 - 2016
    • FORECASTS – MOBILE SUBSCRIBERS – 2019; 2021; 2023
      • Table Forecast mobile subscribers – 2019; 2021; 2023
    • 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
      • Revised licence conditions
      • Other 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 - 2018
        • Table Mobile interconnection traffic – 2007 - 2018
    • MAJOR MOBILE OPERATORS
      • Hutchison 3
        • Table H3 registered subscribers by sector – 2008 - 2018
        • Table H3 active subscribers by sector – 2014 - 2018
        • Table H3 financial data – 2008 - 2018
        • Table H3 annualised gross ARPU by sector – 2009 - 2018
      • O2
        • Table O2 financial data –2007 - 2018
        • Table O2 quarterly financial data –2013 - 2018
        • Table O2 ARPU – blended, contract, prepaid and data – 2006 - 2018
        • Table O2 proportion of data to service revenue – 2006 - 2018
        • Table O2 subscribers, prepaid and contract – 2005 - 2018
      • Vodafone
        • Table Vodafone end-year ARPU – blended, contract and prepaid – 2005 - 2018
        • Table Vodafone (UK) subscribers and proportion prepaid – 2001 - 2018
        • Table Vodafone (UK) mobile financial data – 2008 - 2019
        • Table Vodafone customer churn – 2007 - 2018
        • Table Vodafone Group revenue by sector – 2007 - 2019
        • Table Vodafone UK mobile service revenue by sector – 2009 - 2019
        • Table Vodafone mobile customer retention cost – 2007 - 2019
        • Table Vodafone customer smartphone adoption – 2010 - 2016
        • Table Vodafone mobile data traffic – 2013 - 2018
      • EE
        • Table EE quarterly revenue (old format) – 2009 - 2016
        • Table EE financial data (old format) – 2011 - 2015
        • Table EE mobile revenue (new format under BT) – 2017 - 2018
        • Table EE quarterly mobile revenue (new format under BT) – 2016 - 2018
        • Table EE ARPU (Q4) – 2009 - 2018
        • Table EE subscriber data – 2009 - 2018
      • Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
        • Table Virgin Mobile subscribers – 2005 - 2018
        • Table Virgin Mobile revenue – 2007 - 2017
    • MOBILE CONTENT AND APPLICATIONS
      • Mobile applications
      • M-payment MNO collaboration
      • Operator platforms
      • Contactless payments
      • m-ticketing
      • m-banking
      • m-health

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