2013 United Kingdom - Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts

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Last updated: 3 Apr 2013 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 152

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 1.5Gb/s cable broadband, extends 100Mb/s service to ten million households; government allocates £363 million for regional broadband schemes; superfast broadband accounting for almost 7% of all broadband lines; broadband availability influencing home buying habits; BT extends ADSL2+ to 90% of premises, doubles FttC downloads to 80Mb/sO2 sells broadband and fixed-line business to BSkyB; community fibre deployment gaining traction; Rutland Telecom plans for county-wide FttH platform; Vodafone restructures European operations; China Telecom launches MVNO service; H3 signs five-year managed services contract with Huawei; 4G auction in 2.6GHz and 800MHz bands delivers £2.34 billion; Vodafone posts 7% drop in revenue for 2012, signs partnership with Zain to expand presence in Middle East; regulator’s 2011 market data and updates to Q1 2012; telcos’ operating and financial data to end-2012; market developments to March 2013.

Companies covered in this report include:

H3UK, O2, Vodafone, EE, Virgin Mobile, UK Broadband, British Telecom, Virgin Media, BSkyB, Freeview, BBC, Tiscali, The Cloud, KCom, Carphone Warehouse, BSkyB, O2.

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

Executive Summary

BT secures monopoly on UK’s public rural broadband spending

BuddeComm’s annual publication, UK - 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 and more progressive markets. The report includes the regulator’s market data to the end of 2011, telcos’ financial and operating data to Q4 2012, and market developments to March 2013.

Economic background

The UK has suffered from lower economic output for three of the last five years. Economic data for the fourth quarter of 2012 showed the economy could slide into a significant triple-dip recession. Although not in the Eurozone, the UK during the last two years has also been obliged to contribute to the IMF and ECB bail-outs of southern European economies, thus exacerbating its own liquidity difficulties. GDP growth for 2013 is expected to be less than 1%, while the government’s March 2013 budget has reflected the effects of the stalled construction industry, lower industrial production and falling economic output.

Telecom market overview

Total telecom revenue fell in 2011 for the third successive year, by some £800 million, and revenue may have fallen by a further 1.5% in 2012. Partly attributed to regulatory measures, falling revenue also reflects competitive pressure on pricing as also consumer reluctance to overspend on services. Investment in the telecom sector has also been affected by the economic climate, and has been channelled principally to upgrading cable and fibre networks, as also mobile networks with LTE technologies and additional spectrum acquisitions.

Mobile broadband market

Mobile broadband based on LTE and to a lesser extent WiMAX/WiFi will be central to the market’s development in coming years. LTE, launched by EE in late 2012, is expected to have wider commercial use later in 2013 following the significant auctions held earlier in the year. Amended rules on refarming spectrum for 4G will also hasten the take-up and range of mobile broadband services. As a result of the network sharing deals among MNOs, it is likely that there will be only two major LTE networks, with one Vodafone-O2 competing with EE joined with H3.

Key telecom parameters – 2010; 2013



2013 (e)

Subscribers by sector (million):

Fixed broadband subscribers



Mobile broadband



Mobile phone



Fixed-line telephony



Penetration by sector:

Fixed broadband









(Source: BuddeComm)

Market Highlights

  • BSkyB’s play to acquire O2’s fixed-line and broadband business will substantially enhance the broadcaster’s own market share in the telecoms sector.
  • BT’s launch of commercial FttH services and its anticipated reduction in wholesale FttC pricing will boost the number of customers able to make use of broadband at 80Mb/s.
  • Ofcom faces some organisational changes with its slated merger with the postal services watchdog Postcom. The Digital Economy Act also extended Ofcom’s authority to cover TV, radio and on-demand services. It jointly regulates VoD content with the industry body ATVOD.
  • The Chinese influence in the UK’s telecoms landscape is becoming more pronounced, with the launch of China Telecom as an MVNO, and with H3 signing up Huawei with a five-year managed services contract. Huawei has also committed to investing substantially in the UK.
  • London has become a centre-piece for municipal WiFi networks, with 16 of 33 boroughs looking to roll out free WiFi services.

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.

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