United Kingdom - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Publication Overview

This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in the UK’s telecommunications market. The report analyses the fixed-line, mobile and broadband sectors. Subjects include:

  • Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
  • Facts, figures and statistics;
  • Industry and regulatory issues;
  • Infrastructure developments;
  • Major Players, Revenues, Subscribers, ARPU, MoU;
  • Mobile Voice and Data Markets;
  • Broadband (FttP, DSL, cable, wireless);
  • Mobile subscribers and ARPU;
  • Broadband market forecasts;
  • Government policies affecting the telecoms industry;
  • Market liberalisation and industry issues;
  • Telecoms operators – privatisation, IPOs, acquisitions, new licences;
  • Mobile technologies (GSM; 3G, HSPA, LTE, 5G).

Researcher:- Henry Lancaster
Current publication date:- December 2018 (17th Edition)

Executive Summary

UK aiming to be fully-fibred by 2033

The UK’s telecom market remains one of the largest in Europe, characterised by fierce competition which has resulted in reduced pricing for end-users. Following some market consolidation in the mobile segment there are four key players and a number of MVNOs. Mobile broadband in coming years will place some additional pressure on the fixed-line broadband subscriber base as customers are tempted to migrate to 5G-enabled services. The fixed-line broadband sector is characterised by the steady decline in DSL and the ongoing efforts among a good number of operators to expand the reach of fibre networks. This is being supported by government efforts to encourage the right economic environment facilitating the ambition to have a fully-fibred UK by 2033. British Telecom is aiming to provide ultra-fast broadband services to some ten million premises by 2020, while Vodafone is also partnering with CityFibre to deliver an extensive 1Gb/s service to about five million premises by 2025.

The fixed-line voice segment is being similarly repositioned, with PSTN services making way for IP-delivered content. BT’s independent wholesale unit Openreach plans to complete the switch to fibre by 2025.

The mobile market has room for a growing number of low-cost MVNOs providing effective price and service competition for subscribers. The market has also been characterised by developments in advanced data services delivered over upgraded networks, the bundling of mobile as a quad-play service, and regulatory controls on charges and fees. Mobile penetration is above the EU average, and in common with developments in many other European markets subscriber growth has dipped in recent quarters as consumers respond to economic pressures and more generous pricing offers among operators which has negated some of the justifications for multiple SIM card ownership.

Auctions for spectrum in the 2.3GHz and 3.4GHz bands have made more bandwidth available for mobile broadband services, supported by regulatory moves which allow the refarming of 2G spectrum for 3G and 4G use. Spectrum will also be released in the 700MHz band during 2019, which spectrum is also being allocated for 5G. Operators continue to trial 5G technologies with a number of key vendor partners.

This report analyses the key aspects of the UK’s telecom market, presenting statistics on the fixed network services sector and an overview of the key regulatory issues including the status of interconnection, local loop unbundling, and carrier preselection. This report also surveys the mobile market, providing an overview of mobile statistics, regulatory issues and technologies. It covers the major operators and MVNOs and looks ahead to mobile market developments in coming years. In addition the report assesses the overall UK broadband market, covering broadband technologies and including the latest statistics, an update on recent commercial initiatives, an assessment of Next Generation Access, and subscriber forecasts.

Key developments:

  • BT transfers 31,000 employees to Openreach Ltd;
  • BT and Huawei trial 3Tb/s channel over existing fibre;
  • Arctic cables to connect UK to Japan;
  • Government to invest £1 billion of fibre infrastructure and 5G technologies, launches £400 million investment aimed at connecting up to two million premises with a 1Gb/s FttP service by 2020;
  • Hyperoptic to deliver FttP to Brent borough;
  • Government publishes its Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review;
  • USO to guarantee minimum 10Mb/s service by 2020;
  • O2 trials Li-Fi technology;
  • Openreach to commercialise Dark Fibre Access product;
  • CityFibre partners with Vodafone to extend fibre;
  • BT developing G.fast technology;
  • Hyperoptic to extend fibre broadband to two million people across 50 cities;
  • BT launches Fibre-on-Demand product, trials 10Gb/s service using XGPON technology;
  • Ofcom completes 2.3GHz and 3.4GHz spectrum auction;
  • Vodafone aiming to close 3G infrastructure by 2020, EE by 2022;
  • EE achieves 2.8Gb/s in pre-5G trials, plans to launch services in 16 cities in 2019;
  • MNOs extend Wi-Fi calling and VoLTE services;
  • New rates for MNP imposed;
  • Government increases funding for 5G test-beds;
  • 4G auction in 2.6GHz and 800MHz bands delivers £2.34 billion;
  • Vodafone trials LTE-V2X technology;
  • Report update includes the regular’s market updates to June 2018, telcos’ financial and operating data to Q3 2018, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Virgin Media, BT Group, KCom, Orange, Cable & Wireless, COLT Telecom, Dixons Carphone Group, Sky, O2, H3, Vodafone, O2, Everything Everywhere (BT/EE, incorporating the former T-Mobile UK and Orange UK), Virgin Mobile, Tesco Mobile.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Key statistics
    • 1.1 Country overview
  • 2. Telecommunications market
    • 2.1 Market analysis
  • 3. Regulatory environment
    • 3.1 Historical overview
    • 3.2 Regulatory authority
      • 3.2.1 Office of Communications (Ofcom)
    • 3.3 Telecom sector liberalisation
    • 3.4 Interconnect
    • 3.5 Access
      • 3.5.1 Number Portability (NP)
    • 3.6 Carrier PreSelection (CPS)
    • 3.7 Wholesale Line Rental (WLR)
  • 4. Fixed network operators
    • 4.1 Overview
    • 4.2 British Telecom
      • 4.2.1 Openreach
      • 4.2.2 Company restructure
    • 4.3 KCom
    • 4.4 Cable & Wireless Communications (C&WC)
    • 4.5 Virgin Media
    • 4.6 COLT Telecom
    • 4.7 Dixons Carphone Group (Carphone Warehouse)
    • 4.8 TalkTalk Group
    • 4.9 Sky
  • 5. Telecommunications infrastructure
    • 5.1 Overview of the national telecom network
    • 5.2 Next Generation Networks
    • 5.3 International infrastructure
      • 5.3.1 Submarine cable networks
      • 5.3.2 Satellite networks
    • 5.4 Cloud services
    • 5.5 Smart infrastructure
  • 6. Broadband market
    • 6.1 Introduction and statistical overview
      • 6.1.1 Market analysis
      • 6.1.2 Broadband statistics
      • 6.1.3 Forecasts – broadband subscribers – 2019; 2021; 2023
      • 6.1.4 Government support
    • 6.2 Hybrid Fibre Coax (HFC) networks
    • 6.3 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks
      • 6.3.1 G.fast
    • 6.4 Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP) networks
      • 6.4.1 BT
      • 6.4.2 Virgin Media/Fujitsu
      • 6.4.3 Other developments
    • 6.5 Other fixed broadband services
      • 6.5.1 Broadband Powerline (BPL)
      • 6.5.2 Fixed wireless (Wi-Fi and WiMAX)
  • 7. Digital media
    • 7.1 Video-streaming
  • 8. Mobile communications
    • 8.1 Market analysis
    • 8.2 Mobile statistics
      • 8.2.1 Operator market shares
    • 8.3 Mobile infrastructure
      • 8.3.1 5G
      • 8.3.2 4G (LTE)
      • 8.3.3 3G
      • 8.3.4 Other infrastructure developments
    • 8.4 Mobile voice
    • 8.5 Mobile data
      • 8.5.1 SMS and MMS
      • 8.5.2 Mobile broadband
    • 8.6 Forecasts – mobile subscribers – 2019; 2021; 2023
    • 8.7 Regulatory issues
      • 8.7.1 Spectrum regulations
      • 8.7.2 Spectrum refarming
      • 8.7.3 Spectrum sharing
      • 8.7.4 Spectrum 2.6GHz
      • 8.7.5 Spectrum 800MHz
      • 8.7.6 Spectrum 900MHz
      • 8.7.7 Spectrum 700MHz
      • 8.7.8 Spectrum 1800MHz
      • 8.7.9 Spectrum 2.3GHz and 3.4GHz
      • 8.7.10 Revised licence conditions
      • 8.7.11 Other spectrum auctions
      • 8.7.12 Roaming
      • 8.7.13 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
      • 8.7.14 Mobile Termination Rates (MTRs)
    • 8.8 Major mobile operators
      • 8.8.1 Hutchison 3
      • 8.8.2 O2
      • 8.8.3 Vodafone
      • 8.8.4 EE
      • 8.8.5 Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
    • 8.9 Mobile content and applications
      • 8.9.1 Mobile applications
      • 8.9.2 M-payment MNO collaboration
      • 8.9.3 Operator platforms
      • 8.9.4 Contactless payments
      • 8.9.5 m-ticketing
      • 8.9.6 m-banking
      • 8.9.7 m-health
      • Table 1 – Top Level Country Statistics and Telco Authorities – United Kingdom – 2018 (e)
      • Table 2 – Percentages of mobile and fixed phones in homes – 2000 - 2016
      • Table 3 – Consumer take-up of telecom services by type – 2006 - 2016
      • Table 4 – Fixed-line calls and access revenue by main operator– 2007 - 2018
      • Table 5 – Communications retail revenue by sector – 2003 - 2018
      • Table 6 – Telecoms revenue by service – 2008 - 2017
      • Table 7 – Average household spend on telecoms services – 2005 - 2017
      • Table 8 – Average household spend on fixed voice/data services – 2012 - 2017
      • Table 9 – Communications revenue by sector – 2003 - 2017
      • Table 10 – Communications wholesale and retail revenue – 2005 - 2017
      • Table 11 – Call volumes, fixed-line and mobile in minutes – 2003 - 2018
      • Table 12 – Proportion of calls made, fixed-line and mobile – 2006 - 2018
      • Table 13 – Telecom retail revenue by sector: fixed, mobile – 2007 - 2018
      • Table 14 – Telecom connections: fixed, mobile, broadband – 2002 - 2018
      • Table 15 – Household take-up of telecom services – 2003 - 2016
      • Table 16 – BT LLU, shared wholesale lines (old format) – 2004 - 2017
      • Table 17 – BT wholesale lines (new format) – 2016 - 2018
      • Table 18 – Lines with CPS – 2004 - 2018
      • Table 19 – WLR lines – 2004 - 2018
      • Table 20 – Fixed-voice traffic by type in minutes – 2002 - 2018
      • Table 21 – Fixed-voice traffic volume by call type – 2010 - 2018
      • Table 22 – Fixed-voice revenue by call type – 2011 - 2018
      • Table 23 – Average fixed-voice revenue per month by call type – 2011 - 2016
      • Table 24 – BT share of residential call types by traffic volumes – 2002 - 2018
      • Table 25 – BT Consumer lines and TV subscribers – 2011 - 2017
      • Table 26 – BT financial data – 2006 - 2018
      • Table 27 – BT retail revenue, Consumer, Business divisions – 2012 - 2018
      • Table 28 – BT revenue, Consumer divisions (new style) – 2017 - 2019
      • Table 29 – BT revenue by Global Services, Wholesale and Openreach divisions – 2007 - 2019
      • Table 30 – KCom revenue – 2000 - 2019
      • Table 31 – Virgin Media revenue – 2003 - 2018
      • Table 32 – Virgin Media revenue by sector – 2006 - 2018
      • Table 33 – Virgin Media subscribers by sector – 2007 - 2018
      • Table 34 – COLT financial data – 2006 - 2015
      • Table 35 – COLT financial data by business – 2013 - 2015
      • Table 36 – Carphone Warehouse Europe revenue, profit – 2008 - 2014
      • Table 37 – TalkTalk financial data – 2009 - 2019
      • Table 38 – TalkTalk subscribers – 2011 - 2015
      • Table 39 – Historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 1999 - 2009
      • Table 40 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 2010 - 2018
      • Table 41 – Fixed-line broadband retail revenue – 2001 - 2018
      • Table 42 – Fixed-line broadband connections by type – 2002 - 2018
      • Table 43 – Average headline broadband speed – 2006 - 2017
      • Table 44 – Proportion of residential broadband connections by speed – 2011 - 2016
      • Table 45 – Devices used for internet access, market share – 2013 - 2017
      • Table 46 – Market share of fixed-line broadband subscribers by provider – 2005 - 2016
      • Table 47 – Broadband penetration by technology – 2004 - 2017
      • Table 48 – Historic - Percentage internet access by dial-up and broadband – 2000 - 2013
      • Table 49 – Historic - Internet users and penetration – 2002 - 2009
      • Table 50 –Internet users and penetration – 2010 - 2018
      • Table 51 – Fixed-line broadband subscribers and penetration – 2002 - 2018
      • Table 52 – Fixed-line broadband subscribers and penetration – 2002 – 2018
      • Table 53 – Internet connectivity type, by household – 2003 - 2016
      • Table 54 – Average consumer fixed-line broadband traffic – 2011 - 2017
      • Table 55 – Forecast broadband subscribers – 2019; 2021; 2023
      • Table 56 – Superfast broadband subscribers and market share – 2010 - 2017
      • Table 57 – Virgin Media subscribers by sector – 2007 - 2018
      • Table 58 – Virgin Media ARPU – 2007 - 2018
      • Table 59 – Virgin Media revenue – 2007 - 2018
      • Table 60 – Virgin Media cable revenue – 2015 - 2018
      • Table 61 – Cable broadband subscribers – 2011 - 2017
      • Table 62 – DSL subscribers – 2000 - 2018
      • Table 63 – BT retail and wholesale broadband subscribers – 2004 - 2018
      • Table 64 – BT consumer and wholesale broadband revenue – 2015 - 2018
      • Table 65 – Fibre broadband subscribers – 2011 - 2017
      • Table 66 – BT fibre broadband subscribers – 2014 - 2018
      • Table 67 – Vodafone broadband subscribers – 2014 - 2018
      • Table 68 – Virgin Media bundled services subscribers as proportion to total – 2014 - 2018
      • Table 69 – Virgin Media bundled services subscribers as proportion to total – 2008 - 2018
      • Table 70 – Call volumes, fixed-line and mobile in minutes – 2003 - 2017
      • Table 71 – Mobile retail revenue by service – 2002 - 2018
      • Table 72 – Historic - Mobile subscribers and SIM penetration rate – 1995; 1997; 1999 - 2009
      • Table 73 – Mobile subscribers and SIM penetration rate – 2010 - 2018
      • Table 74 – Mobile ARPU by contract, prepaid – 2006 - 2018
      • Table 75 – Average household spend of fixed-voice, mobile and internet services – 2008 - 2016
      • Table 76 – Prepaid and contract subscribers – 2002 - 2018
      • Table 77 – Mobile market share by operator – 2004 - 2016
      • Table 78 – LTE subscribers – 2013 - 2018
      • Table 79 – Average 3G and 4G speeds (Mb/s) – 2014 - 2015
      • Table 80 – O2 LTE subscribers and penetration – 2014 - 2018
      • Table 81 – EE LTE subscribers – 2013 - 2015
      • Table 82 – M2M connections – 2010 - 2018
      • Table 83 – O2 M2M accesses – 2014 - 2018
      • Table 84 – Average mobile data traffic per user– 2011 - 2017
      • Table 85 – SMS and MMS messages sent – 2004 - 2018
      • Table 86 – Average SMS/MMS traffic per month by contract type – 2010 - 2017
      • Table 87 – SMS and MMS revenue – 2015 - 2017
      • Table 88 – Dedicated mobile broadband subscribers – 2008 - 2018
      • Table 89 – Active mobile broadband subscribers – 2009 - 2018
      • Table 90 – Broadband take-up by technology – 2007 - 2016
      • Table 91 – Forecast mobile subscribers – 2019; 2021; 2023
      • Table 92 – European roaming charges – 2007 – 2016
      • Table 93 – European data roaming charges – 2014 - 2017
      • Table 94 – MTRs by operator (pence per minute) – 2015 - 2018
      • Table 95 – Mobile interconnection traffic – 2007 - 2018
      • Table 96 – H3 registered subscribers by sector – 2008 - 2018
      • Table 97 – H3 active subscribers by sector – 2014 - 2018
      • Table 98 – H3 financial data – 2008 - 2018
      • Table 99 – H3 annualised gross ARPU by sector – 2009 - 2018
      • Table 100 – O2 financial data –2007 - 2018
      • Table 101 – O2 quarterly financial data –2013 - 2018
      • Table 102 – O2 ARPU – blended, contract, prepaid and data – 2006 - 2018
      • Table 103 – O2 proportion of data to service revenue – 2006 - 2018
      • Table 104 – O2 subscribers, prepaid and contract – 2005 - 2018
      • Table 105 – Vodafone end-year ARPU – blended, contract and prepaid – 2005 - 2018
      • Table 106 – Vodafone (UK) subscribers and proportion prepaid – 2001 - 2018
      • Table 107 – Vodafone (UK) mobile financial data – 2008 - 2019
      • Table 108 – Vodafone customer churn – 2007 - 2018
      • Table 109 – Vodafone Group revenue by sector – 2007 - 2019
      • Table 110 – Vodafone UK mobile service revenue by sector – 2009 - 2019
      • Table 111 – Vodafone mobile customer retention cost – 2007 - 2019
      • Table 112 – Vodafone customer smartphone adoption – 2010 - 2016
      • Table 113 – Vodafone mobile data traffic – 2013 - 2018
      • Table 114 – EE quarterly revenue (old format) – 2009 - 2016
      • Table 115 – EE financial data (old format) – 2011 - 2015
      • Table 116 – EE mobile revenue (new format under BT) – 2017 - 2018
      • Table 117 – EE quarterly mobile revenue (new format under BT) – 2016 - 2018
      • Table 118 – EE ARPU (Q4) – 2009 - 2018
      • Table 119 – EE subscriber data – 2009 - 2018
      • Table 120 – Virgin Mobile subscribers – 2005 - 2018
      • Table 121 – Virgin Mobile revenue – 2007 - 2017
      • Chart 1 – Communications revenue by sector – 2003 - 2017
      • Chart 2 – Communications wholesale and retail revenue – 2005 - 2017
      • Chart 3 – Call volumes, fixed-line and mobile in minutes – 2003 - 2018
      • Chart 4 – Telecom connections: fixed, mobile, broadband – 2002 – 2018
      • Chart 5 – BT LLU, shared wholesale lines (old format) – 2008 – 2017
      • Chart 6 – Fixed-voice traffic volume by call type – 2010 – 2018
      • Chart 7 – Fixed-voice revenue by call type – 2011 – 2018
      • Chart 8 – BT share of residential call types by traffic volumes – 2002 – 2018
      • Chart 9 – BT financial data – 2006 - 2018
      • Chart 10 – BT revenue by operating division – 2012 - 2018
      • Chart 11 – Virgin Media revenue by sector – 2006 - 2018
      • Chart 12 – Virgin Media subscribers by sector – 2007 - 2018
      • Chart 13 – Fixed-line broadband connections by type – 2002 – 2018
      • Chart 14 – Broadband penetration by technology – 2004 – 2017
      • Chart 15 – Virgin Media subscribers by sector – 2007 - 2018
      • Chart 16 – BT retail and wholesale broadband subscribers – 2004 - 2018
      • Chart 17 – Call volumes, fixed-line and mobile in minutes – 2003 - 2017
      • Chart 18 – Mobile retail revenue by service – 2002 – 2018
      • Chart 19 – Mobile subscribers and SIM penetration rate – 2003 - 2018
      • Chart 20 – Mobile ARPU by contract, prepaid – 2006 – 2018
      • Chart 21 – Prepaid and contract subscribers – 2002 - 2018
      • Chart 22 – H3 subscribers by sector – 2008 - 2018
      • Chart 23 – H3 financial data – 2008 – 2018
      • Chart 24 – H3 ARPU by sector – 2009 – 2018
      • Chart 25 – O2 financial data –2007 - 2018
      • Chart 26 – O2 annualised ARPU – blended, contract, prepaid and data – 2006 - 2018
      • Chart 27 – O2 subscribers, prepaid and contract – 2005 - 2018
      • Chart 28 – Vodafone ARPU – blended, contract and prepaid – 2005 - 2018
      • Chart 29 – Vodafone (UK) subscribers and proportion prepaid – 2001 - 2018
      • Chart 30 – Vodafone (UK) financial data – 2008 - 2019
      • Chart 31 – EE ARPU – 2009 - 2018
      • Chart 32 – EE subscriber data – 2009 - 2018
      • Exhibit 1 – Principal submarine cables from the UK
      • Exhibit 2 – Wireless opportunities using technology and frequencies
      • Exhibit 3 – 3G licence results – April 2000
      • Exhibit 4 – 3G licensee and infrastructure suppliers
      • Exhibit 5 – Spectrum available for mobile services
      • Exhibit 6 – Spectrum awards – 800MHz and 2.6GHz – 2013
      • Exhibit 7 – Spectrum awards – 2.3GHz, 3.4GHz – April 2018
      • Exhibit 8 – Spectrum auction results 10GHz – February 2008
      • Exhibit 9 – H3 spectrum concessions –2018

Related Reports

Purchase this Report

US$1,400.00

Licence Information

Share this Report

Purchase with Confidence

Paul was that fast, he outpaced with his message the entire Dutch (financial) press as well as international news agencies like DowJones. BuddeComm, your Australian news source that informs faster than that other Australian NewsCorp ;-)

Hendrik Rood, Senior consultant, Stratix Consulting

Special Offers

Guatemala - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses
US$375.00 until 16 Jan 2019
(normal price US$750.00)

Latin America - Mobile Network Operators and MVNOs
US$1,500.00 until 16 Jan 2019
(normal price US$3,000.00)

Africa - Mobile Network Operators and MVNOs
US$1,500.00 until 26 Dec 2018
(normal price US$3,000.00)

Africa - Fixed Broadband Market - Statistics and Analyses
US$1,500.00 until 26 Dec 2018
(normal price US$3,000.00)

Sample Reports

A selection of downloadable samples from our Annual Publications catalogue.


Download a Sample Report

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 Paul's FREE weekly News & Views.