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

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Last updated: 17 Jun 2013 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 110

Publication Overview

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

  • NGN Committee works on open access network, Fastweb, Wind and Vodafone continue with €2.5 billion NGN project;
  • Milan’s Metroweb sold to F2i and IMI Investimenti;
  • TI sets up JV to build open access fibre network covering 80% of buildings in Milan;
  • Fastweb bundles broadband with Sky Italia;
  • Fastweb buys 11% of Metroweb and begins deploying vectoring DSL;
  • Metroweb proposes €4.5 billion FttH network covering 30 cities;
  • regulator extends 3G licences to 2029 and GSM licences to 2027;
  • Hutchison fails in bid to merge H3 with TIM;
  • TIM closes mobile TV service;
  • 3 Italia signs seven-year managed services contract with Ericsson;
  • Dahlia TV folds;
  • SKY Italia and Fastweb team to provide bundled services;
  • Fastweb closes IPTV service;
  • State Council allows SKY Italia withdraws from tender for DTT frequencies;
  • SKY Italia reaches five million subscribers by end-2011;
  • TivùSat reports over one million active cards;
  • WiMAX operator Linkem trials LTE;
  • Digi Mobil launches mobile services tailored to Romanians in Italy;
  • regulator proposes lower MTRs to 2015;
  • Vodafone launches LTE;
  • spectrum auction opens up LTE sector and delivers €3.945 billion for the government;
  • MVNO customer base exceeds four million. 

Companies covered in this report include:

Telecom Italia, Metroweb, Fastweb, Vodafone, 3 Italia, Tiscali, Wind, BT Italia, SKY Italia, Tivùsat.

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

Executive Summary

Regulated pricing brings down wholesale fibre access costs, stimulates fibre deployment

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 sectors of one of Europe’s largest markets. The report includes the regulator’s 2012 market data, telcos’ operating and financial data to Q1 2013 and market developments to mid-2013.

Telecom market overview

Italy has the fourth largest telecom market in Europe. Deeply affected by the country’s continuing economic difficulties, there remains deflationary pressure on telecom services as consumers cut back on discretionary spend. The base price for services continues to fall year-on-year, exacerbating operator’ falling revenue. This trend is expected to continue into 2014 as competition and regulated tariffs combine with changing customer usage of services. This has had a knock-on effect on investment as operators struggle to meet their investment commitments. Nevertheless, considerable efforts are being made to extend fibre networks, though outside a select few towns the cheaper FttC architecture dominates.

Mobile market

Mobile penetration is far ahead of the EU average, though distorted by the popular use of multiple SIM cards. The three largest MNOs have struggled with falling revenue and lower subscriber numbers during the last two years while the MVNO market has strengthened, broaching some five million subscribers by mid-2013. Market consolidation remains a possibility, with 3 Italia a distant fourth player. Talks on the operator’s potential merger with TIM were suspended in mid-2013 following the announcement that Telecom Italia would spin off its fixed-line infrastructure. Investments in LTE have led to a number of commercial launches, with operators planning to cover at least half of the population by the end of 2014. The trial of LTE by the WiMAX operator Linkem has shown the dominance of LTE over WiMAX among operators having access to technology-neutral spectrum.

Key telecom parameters – 2010; 2013

Sector

2010

2013 (e)

Subscribers by sector (million):

Fixed broadband subscribers

13.2

13.9

Mobile broadband

16.9

35.5

Mobile phone

91.1

93.1

Fixed-line telephony

22.5

21.1

Penetration by sector:

Fixed broadband

22.1%

22.9%

Mobile

148%

161%

Fixed-line

29%

26%

(Source: BuddeComm) 

Market Highlights

  • TI plans to invest €10 billion in its fibre-optic infrastructure over the next ten years. The spending will help the company’s new network unit Opac to extend broadband access. The regulator’s pricing for wholesale access to TI’s infrastructure are lower than TI’s suggested pricing, making it cheaper for ISPs to provide FttC and FttH services.
  • LTE trials by the WiMAX operator Linkem showcase the dominance of LTE for mobile broadband and the flexibility of spectrum usage.
  • The IPTV sector has suffered from cross platform competition, with a number of services closing in recent years. At the end of 2012 Fastweb also closed down its IPTV offer, having seen the number of subscribers fall to about 200,000.
  • In a bid to encourage greater competition, in 2013 the regulator banned RAI, Mediaset and Telecom Italia from applying for frequencies in the auction for three DTT multiplexes (L1, L2 and L3), reserving them for new entrants alone. Two lots are available to operators which already hold two multiplexes: RAI and Mediaset have four multiplexes and TI Media has three.
  • Italy’s parliament has passed legislation to implement the EU’s Digital Agenda which requires faster broadband services to be delivered nationally by 2020. Part of this legislation includes a €750 million investment to expand broadband access in underserved areas.
  • Fastweb’s €300 million project with TI and the local energy utility operator in Rome, ACEA, will extend fibre-optic coverage across in the city, delivering 100Mb/s services to over one million premises by the end of 2014 via a newly deployed 4,000km network. 

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

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