The UK 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 – following the significant merger of Orange and T-Mobile – which have all launched 3G services, as well as by a growing number of low-cost MVNOs. The market is characterised by new developments in advanced data services provided 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, yet subscriber growth remains strong as consumers adopt additional SIMs as well as business-oriented devices and smartphones on various platforms.
Fierce competition has forced operators to concentrate on packaging service bundles and on promotions, and explore applications such as mobile searching and advertising facilities. ARPU has been falling steadily for all operators, with growing mobile data use offsetting lower voice, interconnection and roaming tariffs. The market can expect considerable changes during the next two years as operators prepare their business plans to accommodate spectrum auctions in 2012 and adjust to the refarming of 2G spectrum for 3G and 4G use. This report surveys the UK’s mobile market, providing an overview of mobile statistics, regulatory issues and technologies. It also profiles the major operators and MVNOs, and looks ahead to mobile developments in coming years.
Vodafone sells 5.5% stake in Indian division Essar and 44% stake in SFR; EE reports fall in service revenue; Vodafone restructures European operations; China Telecom launches MVNO service; H3 signs five-year managed services contract with Huawei; 4G auction in 2.6GHz and 800MHz bands delivers £2.34 billion; Vodafone posts 7% drop in revenue for 2012, signs partnership with Zain to expand presence in Middle East; regular’s market report for 2011 and updates to Q1 2012; telcos’ financial and operating data to end-2012; market developments to March 2013.
Companies covered in this report include:
H3UK, Vodafone, O2, Everything Everywhere (EE, incorporating T-Mobile and Orange), Virgin Mobile, Tesco mobile,