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

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



Executive Summary

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.

1. Key statistics

1.1 Country overview

2. Telecommunications market

2.1 Market analysis

3. Regulatory environment

3.1 Historical overview

3.2 Regulatory authority

3.2.1 Office of Communications (Ofcom)

3.3 Telecom sector liberalisation

3.4 Interconnect

3.5 Access

3.5.1 Number Portability (NP)

3.6 Carrier PreSelection (CPS)

3.7 Wholesale Line Rental (WLR)

4. Fixed network operators

4.1 Overview

4.2 British Telecom

4.2.1 Openreach

4.2.2 Company restructure

4.3 KCom

4.4 Cable & Wireless Communications (C&WC)

4.5 Virgin Media

4.6 COLT Telecom

4.7 Dixons Carphone Group (Carphone Warehouse)

4.8 TalkTalk Group

4.9 Sky

5. Telecommunications infrastructure

5.1 Overview of the national telecom network

5.2 Next Generation Networks

5.3 International infrastructure

5.3.1 Submarine cable networks

5.3.2 Satellite networks

5.4 Cloud services

5.5 Smart infrastructure

6. Broadband market

6.1 Introduction and statistical overview

6.1.1 Market analysis

6.1.2 Broadband statistics

6.1.3 Forecasts broadband subscribers 2019; 2021; 2023

6.1.4 Government support

6.2 Hybrid Fibre Coax (HFC) networks

6.3 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks

6.3.1 G.fast

6.4 Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP) networks

6.4.1 BT

6.4.2 Virgin Media/Fujitsu

6.4.3 Other developments

6.5 Other fixed broadband services

6.5.1 Broadband Powerline (BPL)

6.5.2 Fixed wireless (Wi-Fi and WiMAX)

7. Digital media

7.1 Video-streaming

8. Mobile communications

8.1 Market analysis

8.2 Mobile statistics

8.2.1 Operator market shares

8.3 Mobile infrastructure

8.3.1 5G

8.3.2 4G (LTE)

8.3.3 3G

8.3.4 Other infrastructure developments

8.4 Mobile voice

8.5 Mobile data

8.5.1 SMS and MMS

8.5.2 Mobile broadband

8.6 Forecasts mobile subscribers 2019; 2021; 2023

8.7 Regulatory issues

8.7.1 Spectrum regulations

8.7.2 Spectrum refarming

8.7.3 Spectrum sharing

8.7.4 Spectrum 2.6GHz

8.7.5 Spectrum 800MHz

8.7.6 Spectrum 900MHz

8.7.7 Spectrum 700MHz

8.7.8 Spectrum 1800MHz

8.7.9 Spectrum 2.3GHz and 3.4GHz

8.7.10 Revised licence conditions

8.7.11 Other spectrum auctions

8.7.12 Roaming

8.7.13 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)

8.7.14 Mobile Termination Rates (MTRs)

8.8 Major mobile operators

8.8.1 Hutchison 3

8.8.2 O2

8.8.3 Vodafone

8.8.4 EE

8.8.5 Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)

8.9 Mobile content and applications

8.9.1 Mobile applications

8.9.2 M-payment MNO collaboration

8.9.3 Operator platforms

8.9.4 Contactless payments

8.9.5 m-ticketing

8.9.6 m-banking

8.9.7 m-health

Exhibit 1 Principal submarine cables from the UK

Exhibit 2 Wireless opportunities using technology and frequencies

Exhibit 3 3G licence results April 2000

Exhibit 4 3G licensee and infrastructure suppliers

Exhibit 5 Spectrum available for mobile services

Exhibit 6 Spectrum awards 800MHz and 2.6GHz 2013

Exhibit 7 Spectrum awards 2.3GHz, 3.4GHz April 2018

Exhibit 8 Spectrum auction results 10GHz February 2008

Exhibit 9 H3 spectrum concessions 2018

Single User License:


Under the copyright laws you may install and use a copy of the research data on the intended user’s computer. The information may be used for the exclusive use of this single user. You must treat the electronic version of our research data as any other copyright material. Furthermore you cannot make the information commercially available. Under no circumstances should other data be copied into our research information, nor may parts be cut out of it into other reports, without our written permission.

Enterprise Wide License:


The information is strictly for use by the authorized staff of the company purchasing the report in the country in which the company operates and must not be published on the internet. You must treat the electronic version of our research data as any other copyright material. Furthermore you cannot make the information commercially available. Under no circumstances should other data be copied into our research information, nor may parts be cut out of it into other reports, without our written permission.

Chart 1 Communications revenue by sector 2003-2017

Chart 2 Communications wholesale and retail revenue 2005-2017

Chart 3 Call volumes, fixed-line and mobile in minutes 2003-2018

Chart 4 Telecom connections: fixed, mobile, broadband 2002 2018

Chart 5 BT LLU, shared wholesale lines (old format) 2008 2017

Chart 6 Fixed-voice traffic volume by call type 2010 2018

Chart 7 Fixed-voice revenue by call type 2011 2018

Chart 8 BT share of residential call types by traffic volumes 2002 2018

Chart 9 BT financial data 2006-2018

Chart 10 BT revenue by operating division 2012-2018

Chart 11 Virgin Media revenue by sector 2006-2018

Chart 12 Virgin Media subscribers by sector 2007-2018

Chart 13 Fixed-line broadband connections by type 2002 2018

Chart 14 Broadband penetration by technology 2004 2017

Chart 15 Virgin Media subscribers by sector 2007-2018

Chart 16 BT retail and wholesale broadband subscribers 2004-2018

Chart 17 Call volumes, fixed-line and mobile in minutes 2003-2017

Chart 18 Mobile retail revenue by service 2002 2018

Chart 19 Mobile subscribers and SIM penetration rate 2003-2018

Chart 20 Mobile ARPU by contract, prepaid 2006 2018

Chart 21 Prepaid and contract subscribers 2002-2018

Chart 22 H3 subscribers by sector 2008-2018

Chart 23 H3 financial data 2008 2018

Chart 24 H3 ARPU by sector 2009 2018

Chart 25 O2 financial data 2007-2018

Chart 26 O2 annualised ARPU blended, contract, prepaid and data 2006-2018

Chart 27 O2 subscribers, prepaid and contract 2005-2018

Chart 28 Vodafone ARPU blended, contract and prepaid 2005-2018

Chart 29 Vodafone (UK) subscribers and proportion prepaid 2001-2018

Chart 30 Vodafone (UK) financial data 2008-2019

Chart 31 EE ARPU 2009-2018

Chart 32 EE subscriber data 2009-2018

Table 1 Top Level Country Statistics and Telco Authorities United Kingdom 2018 (e)

Table 2 Percentages of mobile and fixed phones in homes 2000-2016

Table 3 Consumer take-up of telecom services by type 2006-2016

Table 4 Fixed-line calls and access revenue by main operator 2007-2018

Table 5 Communications retail revenue by sector 2003-2018

Table 6 Telecoms revenue by service 2008-2017

Table 7 Average household spend on telecoms services 2005-2017

Table 8 Average household spend on fixed voice/data services 2012-2017

Table 9 Communications revenue by sector 2003-2017

Table 10 Communications wholesale and retail revenue 2005-2017

Table 11 Call volumes, fixed-line and mobile in minutes 2003-2018

Table 12 Proportion of calls made, fixed-line and mobile 2006-2018

Table 13 Telecom retail revenue by sector: fixed, mobile 2007-2018

Table 14 Telecom connections: fixed, mobile, broadband 2002-2018

Table 15 Household take-up of telecom services 2003-2016

Table 16 BT LLU, shared wholesale lines (old format) 2004-2017

Table 17 BT wholesale lines (new format) 2016-2018

Table 18 Lines with CPS 2004-2018

Table 19 WLR lines 2004-2018

Table 20 Fixed-voice traffic by type in minutes 2002-2018

Table 21 Fixed-voice traffic volume by call type 2010-2018

Table 22 Fixed-voice revenue by call type 2011-2018

Table 23 Average fixed-voice revenue per month by call type 2011-2016

Table 24 BT share of residential call types by traffic volumes 2002-2018

Table 25 BT Consumer lines and TV subscribers 2011-2017

Table 26 BT financial data 2006-2018

Table 27 BT retail revenue, Consumer, Business divisions 2012-2018

Table 28 BT revenue, Consumer divisions (new style) 2017-2019

Table 29 BT revenue by Global Services, Wholesale and Openreach divisions 2007-2019

Table 30 KCom revenue 2000-2019

Table 31 Virgin Media revenue 2003-2018

Table 32 Virgin Media revenue by sector 2006-2018

Table 33 Virgin Media subscribers by sector 2007-2018

Table 34 COLT financial data 2006-2015

Table 35 COLT financial data by business 2013-2015

Table 36 Carphone Warehouse Europe revenue, profit 2008-2014

Table 37 TalkTalk financial data 2009-2019

Table 38 TalkTalk subscribers 2011-2015

Table 39 Historic-Fixed lines in service and teledensity 1999-2009

Table 40 Fixed lines in service and teledensity 2010-2018

Table 41 Fixed-line broadband retail revenue 2001-2018

Table 42 Fixed-line broadband connections by type 2002-2018

Table 43 Average headline broadband speed 2006-2017

Table 44 Proportion of residential broadband connections by speed 2011-2016

Table 45 Devices used for internet access, market share 2013-2017

Table 46 Market share of fixed-line broadband subscribers by provider 2005-2016

Table 47 Broadband penetration by technology 2004-2017

Table 48 Historic-Percentage internet access by dial-up and broadband 2000-2013

Table 49 Historic-Internet users and penetration 2002-2009

Table 50 Internet users and penetration 2010-2018

Table 51 Fixed-line broadband subscribers and penetration 2002-2018

Table 52 Fixed-line broadband subscribers and penetration 2002 2018

Table 53 Internet connectivity type, by household 2003-2016

Table 54 Average consumer fixed-line broadband traffic 2011-2017

Table 55 Forecast broadband subscribers 2019; 2021; 2023

Table 56 Superfast broadband subscribers and market share 2010-2017

Table 57 Virgin Media subscribers by sector 2007-2018

Table 58 Virgin Media ARPU 2007-2018

Table 59 Virgin Media revenue 2007-2018

Table 60 Virgin Media cable revenue 2015-2018

Table 61 Cable broadband subscribers 2011-2017

Table 62 DSL subscribers 2000-2018

Table 63 BT retail and wholesale broadband subscribers 2004-2018

Table 64 BT consumer and wholesale broadband revenue 2015-2018

Table 65 Fibre broadband subscribers 2011-2017

Table 66 BT fibre broadband subscribers 2014-2018

Table 67 Vodafone broadband subscribers 2014-2018

Table 68 Virgin Media bundled services subscribers as proportion to total 2014-2018

Table 69 Virgin Media bundled services subscribers as proportion to total 2008-2018

Table 70 Call volumes, fixed-line and mobile in minutes 2003-2017

Table 71 Mobile retail revenue by service 2002-2018

Table 72 Historic-Mobile subscribers and SIM penetration rate 1995; 1997; 1999-2009

Table 73 Mobile subscribers and SIM penetration rate 2010-2018

Table 74 Mobile ARPU by contract, prepaid 2006-2018

Table 75 Average household spend of fixed-voice, mobile and internet services 2008-2016

Table 76 Prepaid and contract subscribers 2002-2018

Table 77 Mobile market share by operator 2004-2016

Table 78 LTE subscribers 2013-2018

Table 79 Average 3G and 4G speeds (Mb/s) 2014-2015

Table 80 O2 LTE subscribers and penetration 2014-2018

Table 81 EE LTE subscribers 2013-2015

Table 82 M2M connections 2010-2018

Table 83 O2 M2M accesses 2014-2018

Table 84 Average mobile data traffic per user 2011-2017

Table 85 SMS and MMS messages sent 2004-2018

Table 86 Average SMS/MMS traffic per month by contract type 2010-2017

Table 87 SMS and MMS revenue 2015-2017

Table 88 Dedicated mobile broadband subscribers 2008-2018

Table 89 Active mobile broadband subscribers 2009-2018

Table 90 Broadband take-up by technology 2007-2016

Table 91 Forecast mobile subscribers 2019; 2021; 2023

Table 92 European roaming charges 2007 2016

Table 93 European data roaming charges 2014-2017

Table 94 MTRs by operator (pence per minute) 2015-2018

Table 95 Mobile interconnection traffic 2007-2018

Table 96 H3 registered subscribers by sector 2008-2018

Table 97 H3 active subscribers by sector 2014-2018

Table 98 H3 financial data 2008-2018

Table 99 H3 annualised gross ARPU by sector 2009-2018

Table 100 O2 financial data 2007-2018

Table 101 O2 quarterly financial data 2013-2018

Table 102 O2 ARPU blended, contract, prepaid and data 2006-2018

Table 103 O2 proportion of data to service revenue 2006-2018

Table 104 O2 subscribers, prepaid and contract 2005-2018

Table 105 Vodafone end-year ARPU blended, contract and prepaid 2005-2018

Table 106 Vodafone (UK) subscribers and proportion prepaid 2001-2018

Table 107 Vodafone (UK) mobile financial data 2008-2019

Table 108 Vodafone customer churn 2007-2018

Table 109 Vodafone Group revenue by sector 2007-2019

Table 110 Vodafone UK mobile service revenue by sector 2009-2019

Table 111 Vodafone mobile customer retention cost 2007-2019

Table 112 Vodafone customer smartphone adoption 2010-2016

Table 113 Vodafone mobile data traffic 2013-2018

Table 114 EE quarterly revenue (old format) 2009-2016

Table 115 EE financial data (old format) 2011-2015

Table 116 EE mobile revenue (new format under BT) 2017-2018

Table 117 EE quarterly mobile revenue (new format under BT) 2016-2018

Table 118 EE ARPU (Q4) 2009-2018

Table 119 EE subscriber data 2009-2018

Table 120 Virgin Mobile subscribers 2005-2018

Table 121 Virgin Mobile revenue 2007-2017

Single User License:


Under the copyright laws you may install and use a copy of the research data on the intended user's computer. The information may be used for the exclusive use of this single user. You must treat the electronic version of our research data as any other copyright material. Furthermore you cannot make the information commercially available. Under no circumstances should other data be copied into our research information, nor may parts be cut out of it into other reports, without our written permission.

Enterprise Wide License:


The information is strictly for use by the authorized staff of the company purchasing the report in the country in which the company operates and must not be published on the internet. You must treat the electronic version of our research data as any other copyright material. Furthermore you cannot make the information commercially available. Under no circumstances should other data be copied into our research information, nor may parts be cut out of it into other reports, without our written permission.

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.

paul budde communication, buddecomm, telecomunications research, country profile, Broadband Fixed, Broadcasting, Companies (Major Players), Mobile & Wireless Broadband and Media, Mobile Communications (voice and infrastructure), Regulations & Government Policies, Telecoms Infrastructure, Europe, United Kingdom


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