2009 Italy - Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts

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Last updated: 3 Feb 2010 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 107

Publication Overview

This annual report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Italy’s telecommunications market. The report analyses trends and developments in telecommunications, mobile, Internet, broadband, digital TV and converging media including VoIP, VoD and IPTV developments.


Subjects include:

·         Key statistics;

·         Market and industry overviews;

·         Industry and regulatory issues;

·         Major players (fixed, mobile and broadband);

·         Mobile voice and data markets;

·         Internet and broadband development;

·         Convergence (voice/data, fixed/wireless/mobile);

·         Telecom market forecasts for selective years to 2015 or 2019.


Researcher:- Henry Lancaster

Current publication date:- January 2010 (8th Edition)

Next publication date:- January 2011

Executive Summary

BuddeComm’s annual publication, Italy - Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts, provides a comprehensive overview of the trends and developments in the telecommunications and digital media markets in Italy.


Italy has the fourth largest telecom market in Europe. The mobile market is particularly strong, and fuelled by the popularity for keeping multiple prepaid cards mobile penetration is far higher than the EU average. In recent years there has been considerable international investment in the sector, with Telefónica buying into Telecom Italia and Swisscom acquiring the second largest broadband and fixed-voice player FASTWEB.


The market in 2010 will be characterised by further maturity in operators’ bundled offers and the convergence of services and networks. Mobile revenue, largely from data services should continue to prop up overall telecom revenue, and partly offset lower fixed-line revenue. Operators can also look forward to a significant growth in both 3G uptake as consumers migrate from GSM networks, as also in broadband as a result of continuing falls in access prices coupled with both fibre and DSL network upgrades which have enabling a growing number of consumers to make use of high bandwidth services.


The fibre sector has become one of the most vibrant in Europe. The two main providers, Telecom Italia and FASTWEB, have arrangements to share NGN infrastructure costs under reciprocal conditions, while the regulator has proposed setting up in 2010 a company to oversee a national fibre network supported with private and public funds. This would oversee a €10 billion five-year project to create an integrated fibre and copper national network delivering broadband to 50% of households.


In the mobile sector, Italy is the leading HSPA market in Europe in terms of customer connections. In 2010 and 2011 operators will steadily roll out an LTE platform: Telecom Italia has committed itself to providing the technology to all of its 32 million domestic subscribers.


Although competition is strong, since 2005 the market has been affected by considerable consolidation through mergers and acquisitions among a number of major players. This has led to the creation of an oligopoly composed of a few major players, which benefit from having a reach and size enabling them to invest in network upgrades and promote some of Europe’s most sophisticated bundled service offers.


Italy – key telecom parameters – 2008; 2010



2010 (e)





Fixed broadband subscribers (million)




Fixed broadband penetration rate




Mobile broadband subscribers (million)




Subscribers to telecoms services:



Fixed-line telephony (million)




SIM cards in service (million)




SIM penetration (population)




(Source: BuddeComm)


Key highlights

·         In common with other European markets, telecom investment in 2010 and 2011 will be focussed on the broadband and mobile sectors as operators continue to upgrade networks and compete for subscribers. Telecom revenue has fallen steadily since 2006 in response to regulatory measures as well as fierce competition which has driven down consumer prices. The economic crisis will continue to dent investment in 2010, though government stimulus funds will aid recovery from 2011.

·         Mobile broadband coverage is extensive, and Italy now boasts the largest number of HSPA-connected subscribers in Europe. Nevertheless, the service will continue to face significant competition from the more mature WiMAX sector in 2010.

·         Italy’s fibre sector can expect to see considerable growth in coming years as a result of operator investment combined with an effective regulatory regime to guarantee competitor access to networks.

·         With analogue switch off is ahead of schedule, the government is poised to auction vacated frequencies for other uses. Mobile broadband stands to be a major beneficiary after 2012, in addition to refarming the 900MHz band for UMTS use.


For those needing high level strategic information and objective analysis on the telecommunications sector in Italy, this report is essential reading and gives further information on:

·         Developments in the digital broadcast market, IPTV and VoD;

·         Market liberalisation and regulatory issues;

·         The impact of the global economic crisis;

·         Telecoms operators – privatisation, acquisitions, new licences;

·         Internet and broadband development and growth;

·         VoIP, IPTV, VoD, digital TV and DTTV;

·         Historical and current subscriber statistics;

·         Average Revenue per User (ARPU) statistics and forecasts.


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

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