2012 United Kingdom - Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts

Report Cover Image

Last updated: 8 Aug 2012 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 147

Publication Overview

This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in the UK’s telecommunications market. The report analyses the mobile, internet, broadband, digital TV and converging media sectors. Subjects include:

  • Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
  • Facts, figures and statistics;
  • Industry and regulatory issues;
  • Infrastructure;
  • Major Players, Revenues, Subscribers, ARPU, MoU;
  • Internet, VoIP, IPTV;
  • Mobile Voice and Data Markets;
  • Broadband (FttH, DSL, cable TV, wireless);
  • Convergence and Digital Media;
  • 3G subscriber and mobile ARPU forecasts to 2015;
  • Broadband market forecasts for selective years to 2020.

Key developments:

Virgin Media trials the world’s fastest cable broadband, at 1.5Gb/s, 100Mb/s service extended to ten million households; government allocates £363 million for regional broadband schemes; Fujitsu, Virgin Media, TalkTalk and Cisco plan open-access FttH platform to five million homes; superfast broadband accounting for only 7% of all broadband lines; BT to extend ADSL2+ to 90% of premises by mid-2013, doubles FttC download to 80Mb/s; community fibre deployment gaining traction; Rutland Telecom plans for county-wide FttH platform; Vodafone sells 5.5% stake in Indian division Essar and 44% stake in SFR; Everything Everywhere reports fall in service revenue; Vodafone restructures European operations; BSkyB launches cross-platform Now TV service; regulator shows 53% of households receiving bundled services; News Corp withdraws bid for BSkyB; telecom revenue falls for third successive year; Ofcom prepares for LLU and WLR charges; new Arctic cables to connect UK to Japan; Ofcom powers to be revised; regulator’s 2011 market data report; telcos’ operating and financial data to June 2012; market developments in mid-2012.

Companies covered in this report include:

H3UK, O2, Vodafone, Everything Everywhere, Virgin Mobile, UK Broadband, British Telecom, Virgin Media, BSkyB, Freeview, BBC, Tiscali, Thrive Telecom, Libera, The Cloud, Kcom, Carphone Warehouse, BSkyB, O2.

Researcher:- Henry Lancaster
Current publication date:- August 2012 (11th Edition)

Executive Summary

UK’s ‘superfast’ broadband delivery on track, but insufficient

BuddeComm’s half-yearly publication, UK - Telecoms, IP Networks and Digital Media, provides a comprehensive overview of the trends and developments in the telecommunications and digital media sectors in this key European market, including the regulator’s market  data to 2011, telcos’ financial and operating data to June 2012 and market developments to mid-2012.

Economic background

The UK has suffered from lower economic output for three of the last five years. Economic data in the second quarter of 2012 showed the economy was sliding into a significant double-dip recession, with GDP likely to reach only 0.2% for 2012. With a stalled construction industry, a 1.2% fall in industrial production between the first and second quarters of 2012, and a 1.4% fall in manufacturing, the economic output is now almost 5% lower than in early 2008. This is having a dire effect on consumer spend in all sectors.

Telecom market overview

The UK’s telecom market has not been unscathed by the global economic downturn. Total telecom revenue fell in 2011 for the third successive year. A slight climb in retail revenue in the broadband, mobile data and corporate sectors was offset by larger falls in from fixed calls and access. The TV market shows the greater promise for revenue growth in 2013, though overall telecom revenue during the next two years will be stagnant. This will challenge operators financing network upgrades.

Mobile market

The mobile phone sector is one of the key drivers in the UK’s telecoms market. Mobile data use now accounts for only a small fraction of IP traffic but this will grow rapidly in coming years through the combination of upgraded networks making data more readily accessible, the proliferation of cheaper data plans and the wider availability of more capable handsets. The sector accounts for about 50% of total telecom revenue, and this may reach 55% for 2012.

UK – Key telecom parameters – 2010; 2012



2012 (e)

Subscribers to telecoms services (million):

Fixed broadband



Fixed lines



Mobile telephony



Penetration of telecoms services:

Fixed-line telephony



Fixed-line broadband



SIM (population)



(Source: BuddeComm)

Market Highlights

  • By mid-2012 there were more than 100 fibre projects in the UK, from the big players including BT and the Fujitsu/Virgin Media partnership to small scale builder-owner projects such as B4RN. Together, these are deploying large-scale FttH networks, though the emphasis from BT remains with FttC.
  • Recent network sharing deals between O2 and Vodafone match the T-Mobile and Orange tie-up as Everything Everywhere. The development means that the UK’s emerging LTE infrastructure is likely to be provided by only two groupings of operators. This will lower infrastructure costs and support wider geographic coverage in the long-term.
  • The auction for 4G spectrum, delayed to early 2013, may mean that the UK as no commercial LTE service until at least 2014, far later than many other European markets.
  • DTTV is nearly complete, with London the most recent region to end analogue transmissions. The availability of sub-GHz spectrum for other uses may also include the 700MH band. 

This report is essential reading for those needing high level strategic information and objective analysis on the telecom sector in the UK. It provides further information on:

  • Market liberalisation and regulatory issues;
  • The impact of the global economic crisis;
  • Telecoms operators – privatisation, acquisitions, new licences;
  • Mobile data market developments in coming years in light of spectrum auctions and new license awards;
  • 3G developments, regulatory issues and technologies including HSPA and LTE;
  • Broadband migration to an FttH architecture;
  • Historical and current subscriber statistics and forecasts;
  • 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.

Related Reports

Share this Report

TMT Intelligence

A platform to scale your intelligence tasks

Monitor critical insights with our AI-powered Market Intelligence Platform gathering and analyzing intelligence in real time. With AI trained to spot emerging trends and detect new strategic opportunities, our clients use TMT Intelligence to accelerate their growth.

If you want to know more about it, please see:

TMT Intelligence Platform

Research Methodology

BuddeComm's strategic business reports contain a combination of both primary and secondary research statistics, analyses written by our senior analysts supported by a network of experts, industry contacts and researchers from around the world as well as our own scenario forecasts.

For more details, please see:

Research Methodology

More than 4,000 customers from 140 countries utilise BuddeComm Research

Are you interested in BuddeComm's Custom Research Service?

News & Views

Have the latest telecommunications industry news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to BuddeComm's weekly newsletter.