Iceland - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media - Statistics and Analyses

Executive summary

Iceland prepares for release of multi-band spectrum for LTE

Although Iceland has one of Europe’s smallest economies, it is an affluent country and its people are avid users of technology and telecom services. There is effective competition in the mobile and broadband markets, with a number of players having emerged to challenge the dominance of the two leading players Síminn and Vodafone Iceland. The new entrants Nova and 365 have expanded their launched fixed-line services, complementing their existing presence in the mobile phone market. Both launched mobile services in 2007, and by mid-2016 Nova had become a market leader in terms of the number of subscribers. 365 secured spectrum to develop national LTE services, but its coverage obligations were weakened in 2016 as its struggled against the pressure of a network sharing deal in place between Nova and Vodafone and with a state-funded fibre project aimed at delivering broadband to rural areas.

The telecom market for some years suffered from the effects of the economic downturn which erupted in 2008, though economic growth has translated into improved investment in the sector as the main telcos have been stimulated to upgrade mobile and fixed networks. The government has also been supportive by promoting Next Generation Access networks, particularly affecting rural areas.

The incumbent, Síminn, found itself in a precarious position with creditors as a result of it having hedged against the falling króna and the failure of banks to honour their currency swap agreements. With falling revenue the company was obliged to adopt efficiency measures and streamline its operations. Having undergone a restructure in 2013 to separate its wholesale and retail activities, the company in early 2015 gained regulatory approval to merge with its holding company Skipti.

Key developments:

  • Regulator opens consultation on auction of spectrum in the 700MHz, 2100MHz and 2600MHz bands;
  • Capital Advisers acquires Nova;
  • Regulator extends 900Hz concessions of Síminn and Vodafone for an additional five years;
  • Síminn’s LTE network provides near 90% population coverage, delivering data at up to 150Mb/s;
  • Regulator caps the amount of frequencies which Vodafone Iceland and Nova can share;
  • Síminn lists on the Nasdaq Iceland exchange;
  • Regulator proposes reduction in MTRs effective from January 2017;
  • LTE licensees committed to providing 99% population.
  • Report update includes the regulator’s annual report for 2015 and market data to June 2016, operator data updates, recent market developments.

Market penetration rates in Iceland’s telecoms sector – 2016 (e)

Penetration of telecoms services: Penetration
Fixed-line telephony 47%
Fixed broadband 38%
Mobile SIM (population) 134%

(Source: BuddeComm)

Companies mentioned in this report:

Vodafone Iceland, Síminn, Nova, Tal, 365 Media.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Executive summary
  • 2. Key statistics
  • 3. Country overview
  • 4. Telecommunications market
    • 4.1 Historical overview
  • 5. Regulatory environment
    • 5.1 Historical overview
    • 5.2 Regulatory authority
    • 5.3 Privatisation
    • 5.4 Interconnect
    • 5.5 Access
    • 5.6 Number Portability (NP)
    • 5.7 Carrier preselection (CPS)
  • 6. Fixed-network operators
    • 6.1 Síminn
    • 6.2 Vodafone Iceland
  • 7. Telecommunications infrastructure
    • 7.1 Overview of the national telecom network
    • 7.2 International infrastructure
  • 8. Fixed-line broadband market
    • 8.1 Market analysis
      • 8.1.1 Broadband statistics
      • 8.1.2 Government policies
    • 8.2 Forecasts – broadband subscribers – 2016; 2018; 2021
      • 8.2.1 Notes on scenario forecasts
    • 8.3 Fixed-line broadband technologies
      • 8.3.1 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks
      • 8.3.2 Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP) networks
      • 8.3.3 Other fixed broadband services
  • 9. Digital media
    • 9.1 Digital TV
      • 9.1.1 Videostreaming
    • 9.2 Communications: VoIP
  • 10. Mobile market
    • 10.1 Market analysis
    • 10.2 Mobile statistics
      • 10.2.1 General statistics
      • 10.2.2 Mobile data services
      • 10.2.3 Mobile broadband
    • 10.3 Regulatory issues
      • 10.3.1 Roaming
      • 10.3.2 Network sharing
      • 10.3.3 Mobile Termination Rates (MTRs)
      • 10.3.4 Licensing
      • 10.3.5 Spectrum auctions
    • 10.4 Mobile infrastructure
      • 10.4.1 Analogue networks
      • 10.4.2 Digital networks
      • 10.4.3 Other infrastructure developments
    • 10.5 M2M networks
    • 10.6 Major mobile operators
    • 10.7 Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO)
    • 10.8 Mobile content and applications
      • 10.8.1 Mobile TV
  • 11. Related reports
  • Table 1 – Country statistics Iceland – 2016 (e)
  • Table 2 – Telephone network statistics – 2016 (e)
  • Table 3 – Internet user statistics – 2016 (e)
  • Table 4 – Broadband statistics – 2016 (e)
  • Table 5 – Mobile statistics – 2016 (e)
  • Table 6 – National telecommunications authority
  • Table 7 – Telecom market revenue by sector – 2004 - 2016
  • Table 8 – Telecom market investment by sector – 2004 - 2016
  • Table 9 – Fixed and mobile number portings – 2013 - 2015
  • Table 10 – Skipti financial data – 2006 - 2015
  • Table 11 – Historic - Fixed-line access channels: PSTN and ISDN – 1995; 1997; 1999 - 2009
  • Table 12 – Fixed-line access channels: PSTN and ISDN – 2010 - 2016
  • Table 13 – Fixed-line (PSTN) subscribers by operator – 2006 - 2016
  • Table 14 – Fixed-line subscriber market share by operator – 2006 - 2016
  • Table 15 – Fixed-line traffic (PSTN/ISDN) – 2000 - 2016
  • Table 16 – Fixed-line revenue – 2007 - 2016
  • Table 17 – International internet bandwidth – 2001 - 2015
  • Table 18 – Dial-up internet calls – 2007 - 2016
  • Table 19 – Internet and data revenue – 2007 - 2016
  • Table 20 – Historic - Internet users and penetration rate – 1996 - 2009
  • Table 21 – Internet users and penetration rate – 2010 - 2017
  • Table 22 – Total broadband subscribers – 2001 - 2016
  • Table 23 – Broadband penetration by access type – 2004 - 2015
  • Table 24 – Annual growth in DSL and fibre lines – 2001 - 2016
  • Table 25 – Broadband subscribers by operator – 2008 - 2016
  • Table 26 – Forecast broadband subscribers – 2016; 2018; 2021
  • Table 27 – DSL subscribers by operator – 2004 - 2016
  • Table 28 – Proportion of broadband connections by speed (Mb/s) – 2011 - 2014
  • Table 29 – Proportion of broadband connections by speed (Mb/s) – 2015 - 2016
  • Table 30 – Fibre subscribers by operator – 2005 - 2016
  • Table 31 – Satellite broadband subscribers – 2005 - 2016
  • Table 32 – Wireless broadband subscribers – 2004 - 2016
  • Table 33 – IPTV subscriptions by platform – 2013 - 2016
  • Table 34 – IPTV subscriptions by provider – 2013 - 2016
  • Table 35 – VoIP subscribers – 2006 - 2016
  • Table 36 – IP phone subscribers – 2007 - 2016
  • Table 37 – Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 1997; 1999 – 2009
  • Table 38 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 2010 – 2017
  • Table 39 – Mobile market share of voice subscribers by operator– 2006 - 2016
  • Table 40 – Mobile voice traffic – 2000 - 2016
  • Table 41 – Historic - Mobile subscribers: analogue and GSM – 1995; 1997; 1999 - 2012
  • Table 42 – Mobile voice subscribers by operator (regulator data) – 2005 - 2016
  • Table 43 – Mobile services revenue – 2007 - 2016
  • Table 44 – Prepaid and contract market subscribers – 2000 - 2016
  • Table 45 – Prepaid subscribers by operator – 2006 - 2016
  • Table 46 – Mobile data traffic by operator – 2008 - 2012
  • Table 47 – Mobile data traffic by type – 2008 - 2016
  • Table 48 – Mobile data-only subscribers – 2009 - 2016
  • Table 49 – Total SMS traffic by operator – 2000 - 2016
  • Table 50 – Total MMS traffic by operator – 2007 - 2016
  • Table 51 – Mobile broadband subscribers by operator (voice and data) – 2009 - 2016
  • Table 52 – European roaming charges – 2007 – 2016
  • Table 53 – European roaming charges – 2014 - 2017
  • Table 54 – Active mobile phone cards by type – 2006 - 2016
  • Table 55 – Proportion of active GMS and UMTS cards – 2008 - 2016
  • Table 56 – M2M subscriptions – 2013 - 2016
  • Table 57 – Vodafone Iceland financial data – 2013 - 2015
  • Chart 1 – Telecom market revenue by sector – 2004 – 2016
  • Chart 2 – Telecom market investment by sector – 2004 – 2016
  • Chart 3 – Skipti financial data – 2006 – 2015
  • Chart 4 – Fixed-line subscribers by operator – 2006 – 2016
  • Chart 5 – Fixed-line traffic (PSTN/ISDN) – 2000 – 2016
  • Chart 6 – Fixed-line revenue – 2007 – 2016
  • Chart 7 – Total broadband subscribers by type – 2003 – 2016
  • Chart 8 – Broadband subscribers by operator – 2008 – 2016
  • Chart 9 – DSL subscribers by operator – 2004 – 2016
  • Chart 10 – Mobile market share of voice subscribers by operator– 2006 – 2016
  • Chart 11 – Mobile data traffic by type – 2008 – 2016
  • Chart 12 – Active GMS and UMTS cards – 2006 – 2016
  • Chart 13 – Proportion of active GMS and UMTS cards – 2008 – 2016
  • Exhibit 1 – Overview of digital media

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