2008 European - Mobile Operators

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Last updated: 18 Mar 2009 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 174

Analyst: Stephen McNamara

Publication Overview

This report covers developments among Europe’s mobile network operators, assessing their strengths and strategies in a market characterised by increasing competition from MVNOs and resellers.


The countries covered in this report include: Albania, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia (FYROM), Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine and United Kingdom.



Researcher:- Henry Lancaster

Current publication date:- March 2009 (5th Edition)

Next publication date:- Jan 2010

Executive Summary

Price competition will continue to erode average voice revenue in coming years, while regulatory measures on mobile termination rates and voice roaming will further reduce overall operators’ revenue by many millions of Euro. This will be exacerbated by the anticipated regulation of mobile data roaming. Operators have responded by focussing CAPEX on network upgrades and encouraging consumers to take up high-end mobile data services to shore up overall ARPU. Yet during the next few years considerable revenue opportunities will be derived from the growing application stores developed for the iPhone and Android platforms and by manufacturers such as Nokia. Although mobile operators risk having their networks become dumb pipes, they nevertheless earn much needed revenue by giving content providers network access.


Average mobile penetration in Europe is above 100%, so growth in coming years lies in the migration of subscribers from GSM to 3G services. Most operators will also concentrate on shifting prepaid subscribers to higher-ARPU contract plans in coming years, as well as moving to flat-rate data plans.


Europe’s mobile market remains dominated by a group of seven or so major international operators, while the principal operator in most countries remains the former incumbent telco. Some have branched into non-home markets through developing low-cost subsidiaries, while others, particularly Telenor, Vodafone, Telefónica and Orange, have branched out further afield to become true global players.


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


The following notes provide some background to our scenario forecasting methodology:

·         This report includes what we term scenario forecasts. By describing long-range scenarios we identify a band within which we expect market growth to occur. The associated text describes what we see as the most likely growth trend within this band.

·         The projections shown in the tables in this report are based on our own historical information, as well as on telecommunication sector statistics from official and non-official, national and international sources. We assume a possible deviation of 15-20% around this data.

·         All statistics for GDP, revenue, etc are shown in US$, in order to maintain consistency within and between markets. At the same time we acknowledge that this can introduce some irregularities.

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