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 had signed up more than 3.8 million subscribers by mid-2019. 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.

Fastweb, which launched services as an MVNO in 2008, was recognised as an MNO in its own right in June 2019. The company has secured spectrum in the 3.5GHz and 26GHz bands, and has a ten-year deal with Wind Tre providing it with national roaming as well as a partner with which to develop a 5G network.

Network operators were among the first in Europe to trial services based on 5G. Recent spectrum auctions raised €6.55 billion, a cost which has encouraged operators to looking at cost-saving options including network build cooperation and the sale of base station portfolios.

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 to support 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, reduces MTRs by a third;
  • Vodafone Italy and TIM settle into NB-IoT services over their LTE networks;
  • Regulator extends 3G licences to 2029 and GSM licences to 2027;
  • Report update includes the regulator's market data to June 2019, telcos' operating and financial data to Q3 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

    • 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
    • Fastweb
    • MVNOs
  • Mobile content and applications

    • Mobile banking/ticketing
    • Payment services
  • Appendix – Historic data

  • Related reports


List of Tables

  • Table 1 – Growth in the number of SIM and M2M cards – 2009 – 2019
  • Table 2 – Growth in the number of mobile subscribers and penetration – 2009 – 2024
  • Table 3 – Decline in mobile service market revenue – 2008 – 2018
  • Table 4 – Reduction in the mobile device and service price index – 2013 – 2019
  • Table 5 – Average revenue for mobile service per SIM card – 2017 – 2018
  • Table 6 – Change in mobile market share of subscribers among main MNOs – 2009 – 2019
  • Table 7 – Development of prepaid and contract cards in service – 2009 – 2019
  • Table 8 – Change in the proportion of prepaid and contract cards in service – 2010 – 2019
  • Table 9 – TIM LTE subscribers – 2015 – 2019
  • Table 10 – Growth in the number of M2M connections – 2013 – 2019
  • Table 11 – Mobile voice traffic – 2017 – 2018
  • Table 12 – Increase in SMS/MMS and other data revenue – 2008 – 2018
  • Table 13 – Change in SMS traffic – 2008 – 2019
  • Table 14 – Growth in mobile data traffic – 2008 – 2019
  • Table 15 – Average data per SIM card per month – 2012 – 2019
  • Table 16 – Growth in the number of mobile broadband subscribers – 2009 – 2024
  • Table 17 – Change in TIM’s mobile internet subscriber base – 2013 – 2019
  • Table 18 – Change in the number of annual mobile numbers ported – 2008 – 2019
  • Table 19 – Decline in the number of Wind Tre’s registered mobile subscribers – 2008 – 2019
  • Table 20 – Decline in the number of Wind Tre’s active mobile subscribers – 2012 – 2019
  • Table 21 – Development of Wind Tre’s annualised ARPU – 2008 – 2019
  • Table 22 – Development of Wind Tre’s mobile revenue – 2005 – 2019
  • Table 23 – Development of Wind Tre’s mobile EBITDA, capex – 2011 – 2019
  • Table 24 – Growth in the number of TIM’s mobile subscribers (include M2M) – 2009 – 2019
  • Table 25 – TIM active mobile subscribers – 2017 – 2019
  • Table 26 – TIM mobile revenue by sector (new style) – 2018 – 2019
  • Table 27 – Decline in Vodafone Italy’s mobile subscriber base – 2009 – 2019
  • Table 28 – Change in Vodafone Italy’s mobile revenue by type – 2017 – 2020
  • Table 29 – Decline in Vodafone Italy’s mobile ARPU – 2009 – 2019
  • Table 30 – Vodafone mobile customer cost – 2007 – 2019
  • Table 31 – Increase in the number of Fastweb’s mobile subscribers – 2016 – 2019
  • Table 32 – Growth in the number of MVNO mobile subscribers – 2008 – 2019
  • Table 33 – Growth in the number of Tiscali’s mobile subscribers – 2013 – 2019
  • Table 34 – MVNO market share of MVNO subscribers – 2010 – 2018
  • Table 35 – Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 1995; 1997; 1999 – 2009
  • Table 36 – Mobile market share of subscribers by operator – 2004 – 2009
  • Table 37 – Historic - Annual mobile numbers ported – 2003 – 2008
  • Table 38 – Annual mobile numbers portings – 2002 – 2008
  • Table 39 – Vodafone mobile service revenue by sector – 2010 – 2019

List of Charts

  • Chart 1 – Growth in the number of SIM and M2M cards – 2009 – 2019
  • Chart 2 – Growth in the number of mobile subscribers and penetration – 2009 – 2024
  • Chart 3 – Decline in mobile service market revenue – 2008 – 2018
  • Chart 4 – Reduction in the mobile device and service price index – 2013 – 2019
  • Chart 5 – Change in mobile market share of subscribers among main MNOs – 2009 – 2019
  • Chart 6 – Development of prepaid and contract cards in service – 2009 – 2019
  • Chart 7 – Change in the proportion of prepaid and contract cards in service – 2010 – 2019
  • Chart 8 – Growth in the number of M2M connections – 2013 – 2019
  • Chart 9 – Increase in SMS/MMS and other data revenue – 2008 – 2018
  • Chart 10 – Change in SMS traffic – 2008 – 2019
  • Chart 11 – Growth in mobile data traffic – 2008 – 2019
  • Chart 12 – Average data per SIM card per month – 2012 – 2019
  • Chart 13 – Growth in the number of mobile broadband subscribers – 2009 – 2024
  • Chart 14 – Change in TIM’s mobile internet subscriber base – 2013 – 2019
  • Chart 15 – Change in the number of annual mobile numbers ported – 2008 – 2019
  • Chart 16 – Decline in the number of Wind Tre’s registered mobile subscribers – 2008 – 2019
  • Chart 17 – Decline in the number of Wind Tre’s active mobile subscribers – 2012 – 2019
  • Chart 18 – Development of Wind Tre’s annualised ARPU – 2008 – 2019
  • Chart 19 – Development of Wind Tre’s mobile revenue – 2005 – 2019
  • Chart 20 – Development of Wind Tre’s mobile EBITDA, capex – 2011 – 2019
  • Chart 21 – Growth in the number of TIM’s mobile subscribers (including M2M) – 2009 – 2019
  • Chart 22 – Decline in TIM’s annualised mobile ARPU – 2009 – 2019
  • Chart 23 – Decline in TIM’s annualised mobile ARPU – 2009 – 2019
  • Chart 24 – Development of TIM’s mobile revenue – 2008 – 2019
  • Chart 25 – Development of TIM’s mobile revenue – 2008 – 2019
  • Chart 26 – Decline in Vodafone Italy’s mobile subscriber base – 2009 – 2019
  • Chart 27 – Change in Vodafone Italy’s mobile revenue by type – 2017 – 2020
  • Chart 28 – Decline in Vodafone Italy’s mobile ARPU – 2009 – 2019
  • Chart 29 – Growth in the number of MVNO mobile subscribers – 2008 – 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 – Wind Tre spectrum concessions

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