United Kingdom Telecoms Market Report

Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Report Cover Image

Publication Date: May 2024

Report Pages: 317

UK’s telcos continue to upgrade fixed and mobile networks amid economic turmoil

The UK telecoms market has seen declining revenue for several years, despite gains in subscriber numbers in some of the key growth areas of the market, particularly broadband, as well as in increases in data traffic, which was sustained at a lower level of growth following the easing of travel restrictions imposed during periods of lockdown in 2020. Revenue decline reflects the steady drop in ARPU which has resulted from an increased customer preference for bundling, as well as competitive pricing among all telcos.

The telco market’s gradual downward trend is also indicative of the tumultuous economic conditions within the UK. The effects of the pandemic and Brexit contributed to a 9.9% fall in GDP in 2020, a level more severe than all other G7 member states. Although GDP growth returned in 2021 and 2023, the IMF anticipated that growth for 2023 would be marginal. The OECD noted that GDP in the first quarter of 2023 was only 0.2%, year-on-year, far below the OECD average. This poor performance is reflected in economic hardship among households, which in turn has negatively impacted telcos’ revenue.

The government remains committed to maintaining a strong and competitive telecommunications environment. In policy and in investment, the industry is receiving a high level of government support for rolling out broadband throughout the country, with a focus on developing fibre infrastructure and upgrading from legacy copper networks. There is a particularly strong push to extend coverage into more rural and remote areas, with a national Full Fibre broadband access target set for 2033. One of the additional downsides to the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, however, is that the country no longer has access to the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), which previously provided much of the cash for the development of broadband. The UK government must instead fund its fibre-broadband initiatives using internal resources.

Key developments:

  • KCOM applies for its regional license to be extended nationally.
  • Department for Science, Innovation and Technology issues 5G and 6G strategies to investment and innovation.
  • Some 28.7 million premises (90% of the total) able to access a superfast broadband service.
  • Ofcom outlines plans to provide at least 6GHz of mmWave spectrum in the 26GHz and 40GHz bands for mobile use.
  • OneWeb completes 19th satellite launch, with 634 craft now in orbit.
  • H3 aiming to close its 3G network by 2024 as it transitions to 5G.
  • Report update includes the regulator's market data to Q4 2022, telcos' financial and operating data updates to March 2023, updated Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses, and recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

British Telecom (BT), KCOM, Virgin Media O2 (VMO2), Hutchison Three (H3), EE, Vodafone, Liberty Global, Telefónica, Ericsson, Virgin Mobile, Openreach, Eutelsat, Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC), COLT, Dixons Carphone Group/Carphone Warehouse, TalkTalk, Sky, OneWeb.

Related Reports

Share this Report

TMT Intelligence

A platform to scale your intelligence tasks

Monitor critical insights with our AI-powered Market Intelligence Platform gathering and analyzing intelligence in real time. With AI trained to spot emerging trends and detect new strategic opportunities, our clients use TMT Intelligence to accelerate their growth.

If you want to know more about it, please see:

TMT Intelligence Platform

Research Methodology

BuddeComm's strategic business reports contain a combination of both primary and secondary research statistics, analyses written by our senior analysts supported by a network of experts, industry contacts and researchers from around the world as well as our own scenario forecasts.

For more details, please see:

Research Methodology

More than 4,000 customers from 140 countries utilise BuddeComm Research

Are you interested in BuddeComm's Custom Research Service?

News & Views

Have the latest telecommunications industry news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to BuddeComm's weekly newsletter.