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Iceland - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

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Last updated: 18 Apr 2020 Update History

Report Pages: 154

Iceland sees continuing migration from DSL to fibre connectivity

Iceland has one of the smallest yet most progressive telecom markets in Europe. 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 operators Síminn and Sýn, which have interests across the telecom sectors. Sýn was formerly Vodafone Iceland before being rebranded to reflect the company’s move into broadband and broadcasting following its December 2017 acquisition of most of the telecoms and media interests of 365 Media. The new entrant Nova has become the leading player in the mobile market and has quickly expanded its presence in the fixed-line segment, particularly in fibre.

The telecom market has shown some resilience in recent years following the significant economic downturn a decade ago, supported by continuing investment in mobile and fixed-line broadband infrastructure by operators and well as by the government’s Telecommunications Fund which is supporting Next Generation Access networks, particularly in rural areas.

BuddeComm notes that the outbreak of the Coronavirus in 2020 is having a significant impact on production and supply chains globally. During the coming year the telecoms sector to various degrees is likely to experience a downturn in mobile device production, while it may also be difficult for network operators to manage workflows when maintaining and upgrading existing infrastructure. Overall progress towards 5G may be postponed or slowed down in some countries.

On the consumer side, spending on telecoms services and devices is under pressure from the financial effect of large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes. However, the crucial nature of telecom services, both for general communication as well as a tool for home-working, will offset such pressures. In many markets the net effect should be a steady though reduced increased in subscriber growth.

Although it is challenging to predict and interpret the long-term impacts of the crisis as it develops, these have been acknowledged in the industry forecasts contained in this report.

The report also covers the responses of the telecom operators as well as government agencies and regulators as they react to the crisis to ensure that citizens can continue to make optimum use of telecom services. This can be reflected in subsidy schemes and the promotion of tele-health and tele-education, among other solutions.

Key developments:

  • Regulator increases MTRs;
  • Government adds ISK450 million to Telecommunications Fund for fibre network builds;
  • Farice planning new IRIS submarine cable to Ireland and the UK;
  • Sýn extends 500Mb/s FttP service to northern areas of Iceland;
  • Síminn's LTE network delivering data at up to 300Mb/s;
  • LTE licensees providing 99% population coverage;
  • Report update includes the regulator's market data to June 2019, operator data to Q3 2019, Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses, assessment of the global impact of COVID-19 on the telecoms sector, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Sýn (Vodafone Iceland), Síminn, Nova, Tal, 365 Media.

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