2013 Ireland - Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts

Publication Overview

This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Ireland’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:

Magnet Networks launches free web TV; eircom launches IPTV service; Tesco Mobile profit turnaround; regulator prepares 130MHz of sub-1GHz spectrum for mobile broadband; Meteor and O2 sign network sharing deal; Vodafone and 3 agree to a 50/50 JV; O2 launches MVNO; MTRs reduced again; regulator auctions multi-band spectrum for 4G; Vodafone fined for roaming data cap breaches; mobile retail revenue continues to fall; Next Generational Broadband Taskforce set up for broadband roadmap; government pursues ‘NewEra’ National Recovery Programme; Ka-band spotbeam technology available to Digiweb Tooway, eircom and SBI satellite; revised National Broadband Plan to deliver 30Mb/s nationally; eircom extends FttC investment; BT Ireland returns to broadband market; dramatic fall in number of WiFi hotspots and access points; regulator rules that eircom make fibre networks available to altnets; eircom launches telecoms services in the UK; Emerald Networks secures loan approval for 100Gb/s cable linking Ireland to Iceland and the US; regulator rules that eircom make fibre networks available to altnets; regulator market data to September 2012; telcos’ operating and financial data to September 2012; market developments to February 2013.

Companies covered in this report include:

Eircom, BT Ireland, Smart Telecom, Tele2, UPC Ireland, Casey Cablevision, Digiweb, Magnet Networks, Vodafone Ireland, O2, Meteor, Eircom Mobile; Tesco Mobile.

Researcher:- Henry Lancaster
Current publication date:- February 2013 (12th Edition)

Executive Summary

Eircom commits to network investment despite high debt

BuddeComm’s annual publication, Ireland - Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts, provides a comprehensive overview of the trends and developments in the telecommunications and digital media sectors in one of Europe’s smaller markets struggling with ongoing economic challenges. The report includes the regulator’s market data to Q3 2012, telco’s operating and financial data to September 2012 and market developments to February 2013.

Telecom market overview

Overall telecoms network and service revenue has fallen steadily in recent years, largely due to dire economic conditions, high unemployment and the emigration of a significant number of the country’s younger demographic (which has also resulted in stagnant broadband and mobile take-up). Although the telecom market is highly competitive, with some 460 licensed operators, eircom remains the de facto dominant operator in the country’s fixed-voice market while broadband competition has for long been stymied by lacklustre implementation of LLU and by the government’s protection of eircom’s market lead. Yet the growing presence of MVNOs and the entry of operators such as Vodafone into the fixed-voice market promise greater changes in coming years.

Broadband market

Broadband penetration remains below the EU average, while the DSL sector in particular has fared poorly: Ireland has long been a late developer in broadband infrastructure and take-up, while years of underinvestment in DSL networks have encouraged customers to migrate to UPC’s cable offerings. Yet the government and regulator have made encouraging moves to address the country’s low broadband development, issuing a revised National Broadband Plan aimed at delivering a 30Mb/s service across the country by 2015, and with at least half the population to access at least 70Mb/s. The government is investing €175 million in the scheme while the regulator has ruled that eircom must make new fibre-optic networks it deploys available to alternative operators. Coupled with UPC’s Fibrepower offering the country’s broadband take-up should see a significant boost in coming years, with data rates geared to reaching the EC’s target for 2020.

Key telecom parameters – 2010; 2013

Sector

2010

2013 (e)

Subscribers by sector (million):

Fixed broadband subscribers

1.59

1.73

Mobile broadband

0.57

0.58

Mobile phone

5.27

5.50

Fixed-line telephony

1.86

1.65

Penetration by sector:

Fixed broadband

22%

23%

Mobile

117%

121%

Fixed-line

49%

43%

(Source: BuddeComm)

Market Highlights

  • Growth in the number of broadband connections has slowed in all sectors except cable, with overall growth less than 1% in 2012.
  • The regulator’s ruling that eircom make its fibre networks available to alternative operators should stimulate FttC-based broadband adoption in coming years and boost competition among providers.
  • VoB traffic now accounted for more than a tenth of all fixed voice minutes, placing greater strain on eircom’s revenue.
  • The number of mobile subscribers grew by barely 1% in 2012 as the sector was affected by emigration, high unemployment and lower customer spend.

This report is essential reading for those needing high level strategic information and objective analysis on the telecom sector in Ireland. 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.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Key Statistics
  • 2. Telecommunications Market
    • 2.1 Overview of Ireland’s telecom market
  • 3. Regulatory Environment
    • 3.1 History
    • 3.2 Revised NFR
    • 3.3 Regulatory authority
      • 3.3.1 Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg)
    • 3.4 Telecom sector liberalisation in Ireland
      • 3.4.1 Privatisation of eircom
      • 3.4.2 Interconnect
      • 3.4.3 Access
      • 3.4.4 Fibre access
    • 3.5 Number Portability (NP)
    • 3.6 Carrier PreSelection (CPS)
  • 4. Fixed Network Market
    • 4.1 Overview
    • 4.2 Operator market shares
    • 4.3 Eircom
      • 4.3.1 Going into 2013
      • 4.3.2 Company restructure
      • 4.3.3 Managing debt
    • 4.4 BT Ireland
    • 4.5 Smart Telecom
    • 4.6 Tele2
    • 4.7 Other operators
  • 5. Telecommunications Infrastructure
    • 5.1 National telecom network
    • 5.2 Structural separation issues
    • 5.3 Next Generation Networks (NGNs)
    • 5.4 International
      • 5.4.1 Submarine cable networks
      • 5.4.2 Satellite networks
  • 6. Broadband Market
    • 6.1 Overview
      • 6.1.1 Broadband statistics
      • 6.1.2 National Development Plan
      • 6.1.3 Promoting broadband
      • 6.1.4 Government networks
      • 6.1.5 Other providers
      • 6.1.6 Regional infrastructure
      • 6.1.7 Wholesale bitstream
    • 6.2 Cable modems
    • 6.3 Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)
      • 6.3.1 Alternative operators
      • 6.3.2 ADSL2+
      • 6.3.3 VDSL
    • 6.4 Fibre-to-the-Home (FttH) networks
      • 6.4.1 Eircom
      • 6.4.2 BT Ireland
    • 6.5 Broadband Powerline (BPL)
    • 6.6 Mobile broadband
    • 6.7 Wireless broadband
      • 6.7.1 1.7GHz band
      • 6.7.2 10.5GHz band
      • 6.7.3 3.5GHz band
      • 6.7.4 Other spectrum
      • 6.7.5 Digiweb
      • 6.7.6 National Fixed Wireless Point to Multipoint Licences (FWPMA)
      • 6.7.7 Other developments
      • 6.7.8 Other bands
      • 6.7.9 WiFi
      • 6.7.10 Worldwide Interoperability of Microwave Access (WiMAX)
      • 6.7.11 WiFibre
      • 6.7.12 Internet via satellite
  • 7. Digital Media
    • 7.1 Key general trends
    • 7.2 Business models
      • 7.2.1 Bundled services
      • 7.2.2 Smart Telecom
      • 7.2.3 Magnet Networks
      • 7.2.4 UPC Ireland
    • 7.3 Regulatory issues
      • 7.3.1 VoIP
      • 7.3.2 Multichannel Multipoint Distribution Systems (MMDS)
    • 7.4 Digital TV
      • 7.4.1 Overview and statistics
      • 7.4.2 Broadband TV (IPTV)
      • 7.4.3 Cable TV
      • 7.4.4 Satellite TV
      • 7.4.5 Digital Terrestrial TV (DTTV)
      • 7.4.6 Video-on-Demand (VoD)
      • 7.4.7 VoIP
      • 7.4.8 Digital cinema
      • 7.4.9 Interactive TV (iTV)
  • 8. Mobile Communications
    • 8.1 Overview of Ireland’s mobile market
      • 8.1.1 Mobile statistics
    • 8.2 Regulatory issues
      • 8.2.1 Spectrum regulations and spectrum auctions
      • 8.2.2 Roaming
      • 8.2.3 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
      • 8.2.4 Mobile termination rates (MTRs)
      • 8.2.5 Wideband Digital Mobile Data Services (WDMDS)
      • 8.2.6 Network sharing
    • 8.3 Mobile technologies
      • 8.3.1 Digital
      • 8.3.2 Third Generation (3G) mobile
    • 8.4 Major mobile operators
      • 8.4.1 Vodafone Ireland
      • 8.4.2 O2 Ireland
      • 8.4.3 Meteor Mobile
      • 8.4.4 Eircom Mobile
      • 8.4.5 3 Ireland
      • 8.4.6 MVNOs
    • 8.5 Mobile voice services
      • 8.5.1 Prepaid
    • 8.6 Mobile Messaging
      • 8.6.1 Short Message Service (SMS)
      • 8.6.2 Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
    • 8.7 Mobile data services
      • 8.7.1 General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)
      • 8.7.2 High-Speed Circuit-Switched Data (HSCSD)
      • 8.7.3 Enhanced Data for GSM Evolution (EDGE)
      • 8.7.4 High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA)
      • 8.7.5 Enhanced High Speed Packet Access (HSPA+)
      • 8.7.6 Long-term Evolution (LTE)
    • 8.8 Mobile applications
      • 8.8.1 Overview
      • 8.8.2 Mobile TV
  • 9. Forecasts
    • 9.1 Forecasts – broadband subscribers – 2009 - 2012; 2020
      • 9.1.1 Scenario 1 – higher broadband subscriber growth
      • 9.1.2 Scenario 2 – lower broadband subscriber growth
    • 9.2 Forecasts – mobile ARPU – 2009 - 2010; 2015
    • 9.3 Forecasts – UMTS subscribers – 2009 - 2010; 2015
    • 9.4 Notes on scenario forecasts
  • 10. Glossary of Abbreviations
  • Table 1 – Country statistics – 2012 (e)
  • Table 2 – Telecom revenue and investment statistics – 2012 (e)
  • Table 3 – Telephone network statistics – September 2012
  • Table 4 – Internet user statistics – June 2012
  • Table 5 – Broadband statistics – September 2012
  • Table 6 – Mobile statistics – 2012 (e)
  • Table 7 – National telecommunications authority
  • Table 8 – Market revenue annual change by fixed, mobile and broadcasting sectors – 2010 - 2012
  • Table 9 – Market revenue by fixed, mobile and broadcasting sectors – 2010 - 2012
  • Table 10 – Market revenue share by fixed, mobile and broadcasting sectors – 2002 - 2012
  • Table 11 – Unbundled loops and access lines – 2005 - 2012
  • Table 12 – Indirect access lines: CPS and WLR – 2005 - 2012
  • Table 13 – Fixed-line and mobile voice traffic in minutes – 2008 - 2012
  • Table 14 – Proportion of fixed-line revenue by service – 2004 - 2012
  • Table 15 – Fixed-line share of revenue by operator (eircom and altnets) – 2011 - 2012
  • Table 16 – Eircom financial data (historic) – 2001 - 2007
  • Table 17 – Eircom financial data (year to June) – 2009 - 2012
  • Table 18 – Eircom revenue by sector (year to June) – 2009 - 2011
  • Table 19 – Eircom subscribers by sector (year to June) – 2010 - 2012
  • Table 20 – BT Ireland broadband subscribers – 2006 - 2009
  • Table 21 – BT Ireland revenue – 2008 - 2012
  • Table 22 – Smart Telecom financial data (historic) – 2003 - 2005
  • Table 23 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 1995; 1997; 1999; 2000 - 2012
  • Table 24 – Broadband penetration by technology – 2006 - 2013
  • Table 25 – Dial-up internet subscribers – 2005 - 2013
  • Table 26 – Total internet users – 2005 - 2013
  • Table 27 – Total broadband subscribers by access type – 2002 - 2013
  • Table 28 – Total broadband penetration – 2013 - 2012
  • Table 29 – Share of broadband subscribers by platform – 2007 - 2012
  • Table 30 – Market share of fixed broadband subscriptions by operator – 2010 - 2012
  • Table 31 – Fixed-line broadband revenue – 2005 - 2012
  • Table 32 – Broadband access speeds: market share, business and residential – 2011 - 2012
  • Table 33 – UPC Ireland subscribers – 2006 - 2012
  • Table 34 – UPC Ireland revenue – 2006 - 2009
  • Table 35 – DSL access provision by type and operator – 2002 - 2012
  • Table 36 – Eircom retail broadband subscribers (year to June) – 2010 - 2012
  • Table 37 – Mobile broadband subscribers – 2007 - 2013
  • Table 38 – Mobile broadband share of all broadband subscribers – 2007 - 2013
  • Table 39 – Mobile broadband market share by operator – 2010 - 2012
  • Table 40 – Wireless broadband subscribers – 2005 - 2013
  • Table 41 – Wireless hotspots and access points - 2007 - 2012
  • Table 42 – Proportion of bundled services, by type – 2011 - 2012
  • Table 43 – Statistical overview of Ireland’s broadcasting market – 2008 - 2012
  • Table 44 – Proportion of homes by reception method – 2008 - 2012
  • Table 45 – Proportion of pay TV and FTA households – 2003 - 2012
  • Table 46 – Proportion of digital and analogue households – 2007 - 2012
  • Table 47 – Cable TV subscribers and penetration rate – 2000 – 2011; 2015
  • Table 48 – UPC Ireland subscribers – 2006 - 2012
  • Table 49 – UPC Ireland revenue – 2006 - 2009
  • Table 50 – Satellite TV antennae and home penetration – 1992 - 2011; 2015
  • Table 51 – BSkyB satellite TV subscribers – 2003 - 2008
  • Table 52 – Operator blended ARPU – 2005 - 2012
  • Table 53 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 1995; 1997; 1999 - 2013
  • Table 54 – Mobile market revenue, voice and data – 2005 - 2012
  • Table 55 – Mobile share of subscribers by operator – 2005 - 2012
  • Table 56 – Mobile share of revenue by operator – 2005 - 2012
  • Table 57 – European roaming charges – 2007 - 2012
  • Table 58 – Annual mobile numbers ported – 2005 - 2012
  • Table 59 – Cumulative mobile numbers ported – 2003 - 2012
  • Table 60 – MTRs by operator – 2010 - 2013
  • Table 61 – 3G subscribers by type – 2011 - 2012
  • Table 62 – Vodafone mobile subscribers – 2006 - 2012
  • Table 63 – Vodafone fixed-line subscribers – 2010 - 2012
  • Table 64 – Vodafone service revenue – 2010 - 2012
  • Table 65 – Vodafone blended ARPU – 2006 - 2008; 2010 - 2011
  • Table 66 – O2 mobile financial data – 2007 - 2012
  • Table 67 – O2 mobile data statistics – 2007 - 2012
  • Table 68 – O2 ARPU, blended, prepaid and contract – 2006 - 2012
  • Table 69 – O2 subscribers – 2006 - 2012
  • Table 70 – Meteor Mobile subscribers – 2006 - 2012
  • Table 71 – Meteor Mobile services revenue – 2009 - 2010
  • Table 72 – Meteor Mobile ARPU - 2006 - 2010
  • Table 73 – 3 Ireland subscribers – 2006 - 2012
  • Table 74 – 3 Ireland financial data – 2007 - 2012
  • Table 75 – Mobile voice minutes – 2005 - 2013
  • Table 76 – Prepaid versus postpaid share of subscribers – 2000 - 2013
  • Table 77 – Proportion of prepaid subscribers by operator – 2008 - 2012
  • Table 78 – SMS messages sent – 2000 - 2013
  • Table 79 – MMS messages sent – 2005 - 2013
  • Table 80 – Mobile data as proportion of total revenue – 2006 - 2013
  • Table 81 – Forecast fixed-line broadband subscribers – higher market growth scenario– 2009 - 2012; 2020
  • Table 82 – Forecast fixed-line broadband penetration – higher market growth scenario– 2009 - 2012; 2020
  • Table 83 – Forecast fixed-line broadband subscribers – lower market growth scenario – 2009 - 2012; 2020
  • Table 84 – Forecast fixed-line broadband penetration – lower market growth scenario – 2009 - 2012; 2020
  • Table 85 – Forecast mobile ARPU – 2005 - 2012; 2015
  • Table 86 – Forecast UMTS subscribers – 2006 - 2010; 2015
  • Chart 1 – Market revenue share by fixed, mobile and broadcasting sectors – 2002 - 2012
  • Chart 2 - Unbundled loops and access lines – 2005 - 2012
  • Chart 3 – Fixed-line and mobile voice traffic in minutes – 2008 - 2012
  • Chart 4 – Proportion of fixed-line revenue by service – 2004 - 2012
  • Chart 5 – Eircom financial data (historic) – 2001 - 2007
  • Chart 6 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 2002 - 2012
  • Chart 7 – Total broadband subscribers by access type – 2002 - 2013
  • Chart 8 – Share of broadband subscribers by platform – 2007 - 2012
  • Chart 9 – UPC Ireland broadband, phone, cable TV subscribers – 2006 - 2012
  • Chart 10 – DSL access provision by type and operator – 2002 - 2012
  • Chart 11 – Wireless hotspots and access points – 2007 - 2012
  • Chart 12 – TV households by type (cable, satellite, pay) – 2008 - 2012
  • Chart 13 – Cable TV subscribers and penetration rate – 2000 - 2011; 2015
  • Chart 14 – UPC Ireland cable TV subscribers – 2006 - 2012
  • Chart 15 – Satellite TV subscribers and home penetration – 2000 - 2011; 2015
  • Chart 16 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 2000 - 2013
  • Chart 17 – Mobile market revenue, voice and data – 2006 - 2012
  • Chart 18 – Mobile share of subscribers by operator – 2006 - 2012
  • Chart 19 – Mobile share of revenue by operator – 2006 - 2012
  • Chart 20 – O2 mobile financial data – 2007 - 2012
  • Chart 21 – O2 annualised ARPU, blended, prepaid and contract – 2006 - 2012
  • Chart 22 – O2 subscribers – 2007 - 2012
  • Exhibit 1 – EU – The New Regulatory Framework (NRF)
  • Exhibit 2 – Access and the local loop
  • Exhibit 3 – Overview of digital media
  • Exhibit 4 – 3G licence results – June 2002
  • Exhibit 5 – Multiband frequency award process - 2012
  • Exhibit 6 – WDMDS licences: operators, spectrum and fees – 2005

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