Italy - Mobile Infrastructure, Broadband, Operators - Statistics and Analyses

Synopsis

Italy’s vibrant mobile market has one of the highest penetration rates in Europe, though the number of subscribers has fallen in recent years as customers respond to attractive off-net pricing and bundled offers from the main providers. The market underwent considerable changes following the merger of Wind and 3 Italia (becoming Wind Tre). As a result of the merger the market gained a new entrant in the form of Iliad, which secured access to spectrum and to part of Wind Tre’s infrastructure to enable it to offer services while its own network is being developed. The company launched services in May 2018 and by the following August had secured more than two million subscribers. The popularity of its offers has considerably disrupted the market, leading competitors to rethink their strategies. Wind Tre in particular struggled with customers losses in 2018, while the continuing effort to merge the networks of Wind and 3 Italia was disrupted by the brief ban on commercial ties with its principal vendor ZTE.

Network operators have been among the first in Europe to trial services based on 5G. To this end they have been helped by the regulator which made available spectrum in the 3.5GHz band for trial licenses. An auction of spectrum in a range of bands for 5G was completed in October 2018, raising €6.55 billion. The sum was higher than the government anticipated, and though the licence fees are payable over five years the cost will place a strain on financing future financing network development. Operators are looking at cost-saving options and, in the case of Wind Tre, have considered the sale of their base station portfolio.

This report provides an analytic overview of Italy’s mobile market, including statistics, key regulatory issues and an assessment of mobile data services. It also profiles the major providers and the likely impact of emerging technologies on their strategies for coming years.

Key developments:

  • TIM and Vodafone agree on tower network merge as prelude to 5G rollout;
  • TIM launches 5G in six cities;
  • Fastweb and Wind Tre sign 5G network-sharing deal;
  • Regulator raises €6.55 billion in multi spectrum auction, considers 30% cut in MTRs;
  • CK Hutchison completes purchase of VEON's 50% stake in Wind Tre;
  • TIM makes first 5G video call, sets up 5G Innovation Hub;
  • Vodafone Italy and TIM settle into NB-IoT services over their LTE networks;
  • Regulator consults on extending licenses in the 3.5GHz band;
  • Regulator extends 3G licences to 2029 and GSM licences to 2027;
  • Report update includes the regulator's market data to March 2018, telcos' operating and financial data to Q2 2019, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Wind Tre (3 Italia / Wind Telecom), Telecom Italia (TIM), Vodafone Italia.

Table of Contents

  • Market analysis

  • Mobile statistics

    • General statistics
    • Operator market shares
  • Mobile infrastructure

    • Digital networks
      • 5G
      • 4G (LTE)
      • 3G
    • Other infrastructure developments
      • Narrow-Band IoT (NB-IoT)
      • M2M
  • Mobile voice

  • Mobile data

    • Short Messaging Service (SMS)
    • Multimedia Messaging Services (MMS)
    • Mobile broadband
  • Regulatory issues

    • Spectrum regulations and spectrum auctions
      • Spectrum auctions – 2000
      • Spectrum auctions – 2011
      • Spectrum renewal
      • 3.5GHz
      • Spectrum auction – 2018
    • Roaming
    • Network sharing
    • Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
    • Mobile Termination Rates (MTRs)
  • Major mobile operators

    • Wind Tre (3 Italia/Wind)
    • TIM
    • Vodafone Italy
    • Iliad
    • MVNOs
  • Mobile content and applications

    • Mobile banking/ticketing
    • Payment services
    • Machine-to-Machine (M2M)
  • Appendix

  • Related reports


List of Tables

  • Table 1 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 2010 – 2019
  • Table 2 – Mobile subscribers and penetration (excluding M2M) – 2013 – 2019
  • Table 3 – Mobile market revenue – 2008 – 2017
  • Table 4 – Mobile device and service price index – 2013 – 2018
  • Table 5 – Mobile market share of subscribers by operator – 2009 – 2018
  • Table 6 – Prepaid and contract cards in service – 2009 – 2018
  • Table 7 – Proportion of prepaid and contract cards in service – 2010 – 2018
  • Table 8 – TIM LTE subscribers – 2015 – 2019
  • Table 9 – M2M connections – 2013 – 2017
  • Table 10 – SMS/MMS and other data revenue – 2008 – 2013
  • Table 11 – SMS traffic – 2008 – 2018
  • Table 12 – Mobile data traffic – 2008 – 2018
  • Table 13 – Average data per SIM card per month – 2012 – 2018
  • Table 14 – Vodafone SMS traffic – 2014 – 2016
  • Table 15 – Active mobile broadband subscribers – 2008 – 2018
  • Table 16 – Wind Telecom mobile internet subscribers – 2012 – 2016
  • Table 17 – Wind Telecom mobile internet revenue – 2013 – 2016
  • Table 18 – TIM mobile internet subscribers – 2013 – 2018
  • Table 19 – Annual mobile numbers ported – 2008 – 2019
  • Table 20 – Wind Tre registered mobile subscribers – 2008 – 2018
  • Table 21 – 3 Italia (Wind Tre) active mobile subscribers – 2012 – 2018
  • Table 22 – 3 Italia (Wind Tre) annualised ARPU – 2008 – 2018
  • Table 23 –Wind Tre operational statistics and mobile revenue – 2005 – 2018
  • Table 24 – Wind annualised mobile ARPU – 2005 – 2017
  • Table 25 – Wind Tre mobile revenue – 2008 – 2018
  • Table 26 –Wind Tre mobile EBITDA, capex – 2011 – 2018
  • Table 27 – TIM mobile subscribers (including M2M) – 2009 – 2019
  • Table 28 – TIM active mobile subscribers – 2107 – 2019
  • Table 29 – TIM mobile revenue by sector (new style) – 2018 – 2019
  • Table 30 – Vodafone mobile customer cost – 2007 – 2019
  • Table 31 – MVNO mobile subscribers – 2008 – 2018
  • Table 32 – Tiscali mobile subscribers – 2013 – 2017
  • Table 33 – Fastweb mobile subscribers – 2016 – 2018
  • Table 34 – MVNO market share of MVNO subscribers – 2010 – 2018
  • Table 35 – M2M connections – 2013 – 2018
  • Table 36 – Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 1995; 1997; 1999 – 2009
  • Table 37 – Mobile market share of subscribers by operator – 2004 – 2009
  • Table 38 – Historic - Annual mobile numbers ported – 2003 – 2008
  • Table 39 – Annual mobile numbers portings – 2002 – 2008
  • Table 40 – Vodafone mobile service revenue by sector – 2010 – 2019

List of Charts

  • Chart 1 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 2013 – 2019
  • Chart 2 – Mobile market revenue – 2008 – 2017
  • Chart 3 – Mobile market share of subscribers by operator – 2004 – 2018
  • Chart 4 – Active mobile broadband subscribers – 2008 – 2018
  • Chart 5 – 3 Italia mobile subscribers – 2008 – 2018
  • Chart 6 – 3 Italia annualised ARPU – 2008 – 2018
  • Chart 7 – TIM annualised ARPU – 2009 – 2019
  • Chart 8 – Change in TIM mobile revenue – 2008 – 2019
  • Chart 9 – Decline in Vodafone Italy’s mobile subscriber base – 2009 – 2019
  • Chart 10 – Change in Vodafone Italy’s mobile revenue by type – 2017 – 2020
  • Chart 11 – Decline in Vodafone Italy’s mobile ARPU – 2009 – 2019

List of Exhibits

  • Exhibit 1 – UMTS auction results – 2000
  • Exhibit 2 – UMTS auction results – 2009
  • Exhibit 3 – Spectrum allocations at auction – 2011
  • Exhibit 4 – Total spectrum outlay by operator – 2011
  • Exhibit 5 – 3 Italia spectrum concessions

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