2014 Ireland - Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts

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Last updated: 11 Mar 2014 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 97

Publication Overview

This report provides statistics and analysis on the key sectors of the Irish telecom market, presenting an overview of the regulatory environment, fixed network operators and services, and telecom infrastructure. It profiles the fixed and wireless broadband markets, including developments in technologies such as FttP, powerline broadband, wireless and mobile broadband, WiFi and internet via satellite. It also provides forecasts for broadband uptake to 2020. The report presents an overview of digital media platforms and service providers, noting the status of digital TV via the terrestrial, cable and satellite sectors, as well as interactive TV services. In addition, it provides statistics and analysis on the mobile market, including the key regulatory issues, a snapshot of the consumer market, emerging technologies, and the growth of mobile data services.

Key developments:

Government promotes NewEra National Recovery Programme requiring 90% FttC connectivity; Emerald Networks secures loan approval for 100Gb/s cable linking Ireland to Iceland and the US; eircom obliged to make fibre networks available to altnets, reports falling revenue for 2013; Vodafone plans fibre network to 450,000 premises; UPC launches a 500Mb/s service; Next Generational Broadband Taskforce set up for broadband roadmap; eircom begins deploying DSL vectoring; eircom’s eFiber service to pass 70% or premises by mid-2016; recovery in the number of WiFi hotspots and access points; Sky launches triple play service; eircom expands ‘eVision’ service in competition to Sky and UPC Ireland; regulator suspends auction of remaining blocks of 1800MHz wireless spectrum after receiving no bids; Meteor and O2 sign network sharing deal; Vodafone and 3 agree to a 50/50 JV; O2 launches MVNO; Hutchison makes €780 million bid for O2 Ireland; mobile broadband subscriber base falls; Vodafone increases investment; half of Vodafone subscribers using smartphones; MTRs reduced again; regulator’s market data to Q3 2013; telco operating and financial data to Q4 2013; market developments to March2014.

Companies covered in this report include:

UPC Ireland, Smart Telecom, Magnet Networks, eircom, Casey Cablevision, Vodafone Ireland, O2 Ireland, eMobile, Meteor Mobile, Tesco Mobile, Digiweb.

Researcher:- Henry Lancaster
Current publication date:- March 2014 (13th Edition)

Executive Summary

Proposed merger of key mobile players promises overhaul of the mobile market

Ireland’s telecom market has undergone a long period in which the incumbent eircom was mismanaged and under-invested in its infrastructure. Concurrently, the poor economic conditions have dented consumer spend in telecom services. The government’s indebtedness also obliged it to rein in investment in infrastructure. As a result, telecom sector revenue fell 4.5% in the year to September 2013, affecting the ability of telcos to invest across the board. However, some renewed momentum among operators suggests that some recovery in the sector should be expected into 2014 and 2015.

For some years, the market for converged media and applications in Ireland was hampered by poor broadband infrastructure. The position has become brighter more recently, since the main cable operator UPC Ireland has upgraded its network and eircom has begun to deliver in its fibre infrastructure. Relatively low penetration has partly been due to high wholesale costs, lack of competition, high retail prices, and limited coverage of fast services in many non-urban areas. Broadband growth is now largely in the cable and mobile sectors, though in coming years it is expected that a larger proportion of subscribers to DSL services will be migrated to fibre networks where these become available.

Ireland’s mobile market has undergone considerable changes in recent years. The market enjoys effective competition between four main players as well as a small number of MVNOs, which provide additional market competition. Mobile broadband, on the back of expanding HSPA and LTE networks, has become popular among consumers since the introduction of flat-rate data plans. The regulator has also set aside UHF spectrum for use by mobile TV services, while spectrum in several bands has been freed up for 4G use. The acquisition by Hutchison of O2 Ireland, subject to regulatory scrutiny, would create a triopoly of players with roughly equal market share.

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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