2007 Western European Mobile Data Market

Publication Overview

This annual report offers the latest data, statistics and analysis on the Mobile Data market in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Malta, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Subjects include:

  • Revenue and ARPU forecasting;
  • High-speed data technologies;
  • Infrastructure developments;
  • Mobile TV deployments;
  • Spectrum issues;
  • Consumer use of services.

Executive Summary

This European market report covers recent developments in the region’s rapidly evolving mobile data sector. During 2007 most European mobile operators deployed or expanded EDGE and HSDPA networks in a bid to encourage consumer use of mobile broadband services and increase data ARPU. The number of content providers and the range of services on offer has expanded, making consumer involvement in mobile data a more likely proposition during the next few years. The European Commission suggested imposing regulatory limits on data roaming tariffs during 2008, which will dent operator revenue. Operators nevertheless still face a number of challenges - while gaming, video and music portals have been transferred to the mobile arena, and subscribers have become more aware of the capabilities of 3G services, they are also wary of the high usage costs - some operators, such as 3 and TeliaSonera, have introduced flat-rate data charging models to overcome consumer reticence about high charges. SMS still accounts for the bulk of data revenue, while less than 20% of subscribers use MMS/picture messaging and fewer still make use of mobile Internet and mobile TV despite numerous launches and promotions. The report presents the latest statistics for mobile data services such as SMS, MMS, and i-mode, assesses the adoption of emerging technologies, and evaluates mobile TV standards and business models. An overview of operators, national markets and trends provides the necessary background to assess how this important market will progress to the end of the decade. The report includes the following markets, among others:


Austria has a full complement of advanced mobile data technologies, including HSDPA networks providing 95% geographic coverage. Subscribers to mobilkom austria had the fastest mobile broadband speeds available in Central and Eastern Europe when the system was rolled out in early 2007. In September 2007 the operator launched a prepaid mobile Internet service. It also launched its HSUPA service in March 2007 in Vienna, becoming the first in Europe to integrate HSDPA 7.2 and HSUPA into its network. Mobile TV is offered by T-Mobile, mobilkom austria and the broadcaster ORF, while the regulator in September 2007 opened DVB-H license applications with a view to launch services in time for the Euro 2008 football tournament, which takes place in Austria and Switzerland. For the country overview, see chapter 2, page 17.


Finland has one of the world’s most progressive mobile markets, and has been the launching pad for a number of innovative services. In 2007 the country became one of the first in Europe to launch an HSUPA network, while Elisa was the first operator to open a commercial 3G network based on the 900MHz band. Finland was also at the forefront in EDGE deployment as well as Flash-OFDM based mobile broadband wireless technology providing coverage in remote areas. The people are aware of emerging mobile services, and have been at the forefront of services such as mobile ticketing systems for public transport. The country has also progressed well with UMA, converging wireless broadband Internet with mobile services. The regulator estimated that there were 355,000 mobile broadband subscriptions and other fixed priced data packages in June 2007. For the country overview, see chapter 5, page 29.


The German mobile data market has enormous potential for growth. The four network operators have invested heavily in upgrading networks to meet growing demand for higher bandwidth mobile data services, while the regulator has anticipated future growth by preparing for fresh UMTS licences in 2008 with additional spectrum, and has begun a frequency assignment procedure for mobile TV services. The number of 3G users reached nearly eight million by mid-2007, representing more than 9% of all mobile subscribers and a year-on-year growth of 384%. Four operators have built HSDPA networks, while in November 2007 T-Mobile secured exclusively marketing in Germany for Apple’s iPhone, based on its EDGE network. For the country overview, see chapter 7, page 42.


In common with many mobile operators in Europe, Italian mobile operators in 2007 began to switch charging for data services from the per-volume model to a flat rate model. Up to 2GB of data can be used without incurring the government concession tax charge, which is refunded to customers as a bonus in traffic. HSDPA has been successful in Italy, with TIM’s network providing 70% of the population with 3.6Mb/s downloads. In October 2007 the operator contracted Huawei to build an HSUPA network covering Southern Italy and providing data at up to 7.2Mb/s. i-mode is available from Wind, while the Vodafone live! portal had nearly six million subscribers by the end of 2007. Mobile TV also showed further promise in 2007, with TIM TV reaching about 75% of the population and 3 Italia reporting 770,000 subscribers to its nine Walk TV packages by October 2007. For the country overview, see chapter 10, page 57.


Mobile providers in Spain have invested huge sums in building networks to support HSDPA, promising speeds of up to 14.4Mb/s in coming years from the maximum 7.2Mb/s achievable in 2007. Given that Spain’s fixed-broadband subscribers have relatively slow data speeds, HSDPA has an impressive advantage. Since 2006 3G has accounted for the majority of net adds, as well as migration from GSM, but the high cost of data has prevented consumers from making full use of the technology and services available. By early 2007 there were about 325,000 mobile broadband users in Spain. Three mobile operators have presented a common front to bid for a DVB-H licence, fearing that the government could turn to a neutral broadcaster, as happened in Finland. Cooperative agreements were also reached between Telefónica Móviles, Vodafone and Orange in 2007 providing users with open access to mobile Internet. For the country overview, see chapter 16, page 74.


TeliaSonera’s UMTS coverage in 2007 was effectively 100%. To develop mobile broadband the regulator proposed continuing investment in EDGE and HSPA technologies, as well as a mix of measures such as technology- and service neutrality, refarming 2G spectrum, issuing licenses in the 2.6GHz and 3.6-3.8GHz bands, and government funding for infrastructure. Mobile TV is provided by TeliaSonera, H3 and Tele2. For the country overview, see chapter 17, page 78.

The UK

Operators including H3, Vodafone and Orange have introduced innovative pricing and usage models which have substantially increased consumer use of mobile data, making effective use of the high-speed HSPA networks which have been built out during the last two years. By mid-2007 3G coverage was provided more than 90% population, and almost half of mobile subscribers owned an Internet-enabled phone. In October 2007 Ofcom proposed opening up the 900MHz and 1800MHz spectrum bands for 3G to encourage the launch of new services and increase competition. For the country overview, see chapter 19, page 87.

Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.

Table of Contents

1.2Revenue forecasts
1.4Short Message Service (SMS)
1.5Multimedia Messaging Services (MMS)
1.6General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)
1.7Enhanced Data for GSM evolution (EDGE)
1.8High Speed Circuit Switched Data (HSCSD)
1.9High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA)
1.10High Speed Uplink Packet Access (HSUPA)
1.11Long-term evolution (LTE)
1.12Push-to-Talk (PTT)
1.13Mobile TV
1.13.2Evaluating the market
1.14i-mode in Europe
1.17Mobile entertainment
1.18Mobile gaming
1.19Mobile music
1.20Location-based services (LBS)
1.21Mobile portals
1.21.1Vodafone live!
1.22Other developments
2.1Overview of Austria’s mobile data services
2.1.1Short Message Service (SMS)
2.1.2Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
2.1.3General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)
2.1.4Push-to-Talk (PTT)
2.1.5Enhanced data for GSM Evolution (EDGE)
2.1.6High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA)
2.1.7High-Speed Circuit-Switched Data (HSCSD)
2.1.8High-Speed Uplink Packet Access (HSUPA)
2.1.9Mobile TV
2.2Mobile content and applications
2.2.2Mobile Internet
3.1Overview of Belgium’s mobile data services
3.1.1Short Message Service (SMS)
3.1.2SMS over fixed networks
3.1.3Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
3.1.4General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)
3.1.5Enhanced Data for GSM Evolution (EDGE)
3.1.6High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA)
3.1.9Mobile TV
3.2Mobile content and applications
3.2.1Location-based services
4.1Overview of Denmark’s mobile data services
4.1.1Short Message Service (SMS)
4.1.2Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
4.1.3General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)
4.1.4High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA)
4.1.5Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA)
4.1.7Mobile TV
4.1.8Terrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA)
5.1Overview of Finland’s mobile data services
5.1.1Short Message Service (SMS)
5.1.2Multimedia Messaging Services (MMS)
5.1.3General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)
5.1.4High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA)
5.1.5High-Speed Uplink Packet Access (HSUPA)
5.1.6Enhanced Data for GSM Evolution (EDGE)
5.1.7Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplex Access (OFDMA)
5.1.8Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA)
5.2Mobile content and applications
5.2.1Location-based services
5.2.2Mobile TV
6.1Overview of France’s mobile data services
6.1.1Short Message Service (SMS)
6.1.2Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
6.1.3General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)
6.1.4High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA)
6.1.6Enhanced Data for GSM evolution (EDGE)
6.1.8Vodafone live!
6.1.9Mobile TV
6.2Mobile content and applications
6.2.1Location-based services
6.2.2PC convergence
7.1Overview of Germany’s mobile data services
7.1.1Short Message Service (SMS)
7.1.2Multimedia Messaging Services (MMS)
7.1.3General Packet Radio Services (GPRS)
7.1.4Enhanced Data for GSM Evolution (EDGE)
7.1.5High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA)
7.1.6Video over mobile
7.1.9Vodafone live!
7.1.10Mobile TV
7.1.11TErrestrial Trunked RAdio (TETRA)
8.1Overview of Iceland’s mobile data services
8.1.1Short Messaging Service (SMS)
8.1.2Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
8.1.3General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)
8.1.5High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA)
8.1.6Mobile TV
9.1Overview of Ireland’s mobile data services
9.1.1Short Message Service (SMS)
9.1.2Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
9.1.3General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)
9.1.4High-Speed Circuit-Switched Data (HSCSD)
9.1.5Enhanced Data for GSM Evolution (EDGE)
9.1.6High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA)
9.2Mobile content and applications
9.2.1Mobile TV
10.1Overview of Italy’s mobile data services
10.1.1Short Messaging Service (SMS)
10.1.2Multimedia Messaging Services (MMS)
10.1.3Mobile banking / ticketing
10.1.4General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)
10.1.5High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA)
10.1.8Vodafone live!
10.1.9Mobile TV
10.1.11Mobile content and applications
11.1Overview of Luxembourg’s mobile data services
11.1.1Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
11.1.3Mobile TV
12.1Overview of Malta’s mobile data services
12.1.1Short Message Service (SMS)
12.1.2Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
12.1.3General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)
12.1.4Enhanced Data for GSM evolution (EDGE)
12.1.5High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA)
12.1.6Mobile Internet
12.1.7Mobile TV
13.1Overview of the Netherlands’ mobile data services
13.1.1Short Message Service (SMS)
13.1.2Multimedia Messaging Services (MMS)
13.1.3General Packet Radio Services (GPRS)
13.1.4Push-to-Talk (PTT)
13.1.5High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA)
13.1.8Mobile TV
13.2Mobile content and applications
13.2.1Location-based devices
14.1Overview of Norway’s mobile data services
14.1.1Short Message Service (SMS)
14.1.2Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
14.1.3General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)
14.1.4High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA)
14.1.5Enhanced data for GSM evolution (EDGE)
14.1.6Mobile TV
14.1.7Terrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA)
14.2Mobile content and applications
14.2.1Location-based services
15.1Overview of Portugal’s mobile data services
15.1.1Short Message Service (SMS)
15.1.2Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
15.1.3General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)
15.1.4High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA)
15.1.5High-Speed Uplink Packet Access (HSUPA)
15.1.8Mobile TV
15.1.9Terrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA)
15.2Mobile content and applications
15.2.1Location-based services (LBS)
16.1Overview of Spain’s mobile data services
16.1.1Short Message Service (SMS)
16.1.2Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
16.1.3General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)
16.1.4Push-to-Talk (PTT)
16.1.5High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA)
16.1.8Mobile TV
17.1Overview of Sweden’s mobile data services
17.1.2Short Message Service (SMS)
17.1.3Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
17.1.4General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)
17.1.5High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA)
17.1.6High-Speed Circuit-Switched Data (HSCSD)
17.1.7Enhanced Data for GSM evolution (EDGE)
17.1.9Push-to-Talk (PTT)
17.1.10Mobile TV
17.2Mobile content and applications
17.2.1Location-based services
18.1Overview of Switzerland’s mobile data services
18.1.1Short Message Service (SMS)
18.1.2Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
18.1.3General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)
18.1.4High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA)
18.1.5High-Speed Circuit Switched Data (HSCSD)
18.1.6Enhanced Data for GSM Evolution (EDGE)
18.1.8Mobile TV
18.2Mobile content and applications
18.2.1Location-based services
18.2.2Mobile ticketing
19.1Overview of the UK’s mobile data services
19.1.1Consumer use of multimedia services
19.1.2Short Message Service (SMS)
19.1.3Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
19.1.4General Packet Radio Services (GPRS)
19.1.5High-Speed Circuit Switched Data (HSCSD)
19.1.6High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA)
19.1.9Enhanced Data for GSM evolution (EDGE)
19.1.10Vodafone live!
19.1.11Mobile TV
19.1.12Terrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA)
Exhibit 1 – EDGE network operators by country – 2007
Exhibit 2 – Sample European HSCSD networks by country – 2007
Exhibit 3 – HSDPA network operators by country – 2007
Exhibit 4 – HSUPA network operators by country – 2007
Exhibit 5 – i-mode networks in selected European markets – 2007
Exhibit 6 – Examples of BlackBerry availability in Europe – 2007
Exhibit 7 – Operators GPRS and GPRS/WiFi launch dates in France
Exhibit 8 – Selected MMS launch dates and suppliers in Germany

Table 1 – Data revenue by country as % of total mobile revenues – 2006 - 2007
Table 2 – Average ARPU (€) by country – 2006 - 2007
Table 3 – Western Europe voice and non-voice ARPU, total mobile ARPU – 2006; 2012
Table 4 – Mobile SMS messaging revenue and forecasts – 2004 - 2008
Table 5 – Camera-enabled shipments – 2002 - 2007
Table 6 – Vodafone live! customers – 2002 - 2007
Table 7 – Austria – data services revenue as % of total - 1999 - 2005
Table 8 – SMS messages sent in Austria – 2004 - 2007
Table 9 – mobilkom austria SMS sent – 2004 - 2007
Table 10 – mobilkom austria: data as proportion of revenue – 2004 - 2007
Table 11 – Proximus SMS messages/subscriber/month & annual change in Belgium – 2006 - 2007
Table 12 – Premium SMS market overview in Belgium
Table 13 – Total SMS sent in Denmark – 2003 - 2006
Table 14 – Service provider proportion of SMS messages sent in Denmark – 2004 - 2006
Table 15 – Premium SMS market overview in Denmark
Table 16 – Premium SMS market overview by operator in Denmark – 2007
Table 17 – Total MMS sent in Denmark – 2003 - 2006
Table 18 – Service provider proportion of MMS messages sent in Denmark – 2004 - 2006
Table 19 – GPRS subscribers in Denmark – 2002 - 2005
Table 20 – TETRA subscribers by operator and market share – June 2006
Table 21 – SMS messages sent, market value & annual growth in Finland – 1999 - 2007
Table 22 – TeliaSonera SMS messages sent – 2002 - 2006
Table 23 – Premium SMS market overview by operator in Finland – 2005
Table 24 – MMS messages sent in Finland – 2005 - 2007
Table 25 – Mobile data revenue in France - 2002 - 2006
Table 26 – Mobile services revenues by sector and annual change in France – 2005 - 2006
Table 27 – Orange data revenue as % of total - 2005 - 2006
Table 28 – Data market revenue in France – 2002 - 2006
Table 29 – Subscriber monthly consumption of applications and annual change in France – June 2006
Table 30 – SMS traffic volume (national) in France – 2004 - 2007
Table 31 – SMS messages/month/user in France – 2004 - 2007
Table 32 – SMS user market growth in France – 2002 - 2007
Table 33 – Premium SMS market overview by operator in France – 2007
Table 34 - SFR SMS and MMS usage and annual change in France – 2006
Table 35 – Mobile multimedia users & annual growth (metropolitan) in France – 2004 - 2006
Table 36 – MMS messages sent in France – 2005 - 2006
Table 37 – UMTS subscribers as proportion of total in Germany – 2006 - 2007
Table 38 – UMTS subscribers and annual growth by operator in Germany – 2006 - 2007
Table 39 – Mobile data sent in Germany – 2005 - 2006
Table 40 – Annual SMS revenue and annual change in Germany – 2004 - 2006
Table 41 – Annual SMS traffic in Germany – 1998 - 2007
Table 42 – Subscriber monthly consumption of applications in Germany – June 2006
Table 43 – O2 SMS sent – 2006 - 2007
Table 44 – Annual MMS traffic in Germany – 2002 - 2006
Table 45 – E-Plus i-mode subscribers (historic) – 2002 - 2005
Table 46 – Vodafone i-mode subscribers – 2005 - 2006
Table 47 – Vodafone live! customers - 2002 - 2007
Table 48 – Total SMS traffic in Iceland – 2000 - 2006
Table 49 – Mobile voice traffic statistics in Iceland – 2000 - 2006
Table 50 – SMS messages sent in Ireland – 2000 - 2007
Table 51 – MMS messages sent in Ireland – 2005 - 2007
Table 52 – Vodafone data as proportion of revenue – 2004 - 2007
Table 53 – Vodafone live! subscribers (Italy) – 2002 - 2007
Table 54 – SMS messages sent in Malta – 2006 - 2007
Table 55 – MMS messages sent in Malta – 2006 - 2007
Table 56 – KPN’s i-mode subscribers - 2002 - 2005
Table 57 – Annual SMS sent in Norway – 1999 - 2006
Table 58 – NetCom SMS messages - 2002 - 2006
Table 59 – Telenor SMS/MMS messages - 2003 - 2005
Table 60 – Premium SMS market overview by operator in Norway – 2005
Table 61 – Annual MMS sent and annual change in Norway – 2004 - 2006
Table 62 – SMS sent, quarterly and annual change in Portugal – 2004 - 2007
Table 63 – Mobile data revenue in Spain – 2003 - 2007
Table 64 – Mobile datacards in Spain – 2006 - 2007
Table 65 – SMS revenue and messages sent in Spain – 2005 - 2007
Table 66 – MMS revenue and messages sent in Spain – 2004 - 2007
Table 67 – Annual and monthly SMS volumes in Sweden – 1999 - 2006
Table 68 – Telia Mobile SMS sent – 2002 - 2005
Table 69 – Mobile data traffic volume (Gb) and average use/month (Mb) in Sweden – 2003 - 2006
Table 70 – PSMS market overview by operator in Sweden – 2007
Table 71 – MMS messages sent; ARPU in Sweden – 2003 - 2006
Table 72 – MMS revenue in Sweden – 2004 - 2006
Table 73 – Swisscom Mobile SMS and MMS traffic – 2006 - 2007
Table 74 – MMS and premium MMS traffic (historic) in Switzerland – 2003 - 2004
Table 75 – Total and average text messages sent in the UK – 1999 - 2007
Table 76 – Average SMS revenues in the UK – 2001 - 2005
Table 77 – SMS and MMS revenue by operator in the UK – 2006 - 2007
Table 78 – SMS and MMS volumes by operator in the UK – 2006 - 2007
Table 79 – Average monthly MMS use in the UK – 2003 - 2005
Table 80 – Vodafone live! customers – 2005 - 2007

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Number of pages 118

Status Archived

Last updated 20 Dec 2007
Update History

Analyst: Stephen McNamara

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