One measure of how much the telecom market has changed, in Western Europe and elsewhere, is market share. Consider that former U.K. monopoly provider BT, which once had 100 percent share, supplies just 31 percent of all fixed network broadband connections. In France, Orange has 41 percent share, while in Italy Telecom Italia has 51 percent share.
Even in the mobile markets, the leading provider owned by the former monopoly provider, faces similar market share dynamics. In the United Kingdom, EE operated 31 percent of mobile connections in January 2013. In Germany the former incumbent had 32 percent share, while in Italy the leading supplier had 33 percent share. In Spain the leader had 38 percent of connections, while in France the former incumbent had 36 percent market share.
Those sorts of figures are one reason why triple-play packages now are a fixture: the only way to maintain revenue under such conditions is to sell more products and services to a smaller number of customers. Those are some findings from a new Ofcom report, which also shows that the United Kingdom has the highest take-up and coverage of superfast broadband among leading European economies, new figures show. In the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany and Spain (EU5), at least 95 percent of households are in areas served by standard broadband (speeds less than 30 Mbps).
At least 95 percent of households are in areas served by mobile broadband in the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Spain. In Germany, between 90 percent and 95 percent of households are in areas with standard coverage (Germany generally applies a more rigorous definition of mobile coverage than most countries, based on actual download speeds rather than simple reception of a signal). “Superfast” (at least 30 Mbps) broadband coverage has increased from 55 percent to 60 percent of households up to 70 percent to 75 percent. Germany has 65 percent to 70 percent coverage of households at 30 Mbps or faster. Spain has 60 percent to 65 percent of homes served by networks running at 30 Mbps or faster.
France has 20 percent to 25 percent of homes capable of buying 30 Mbps or faster service. Italy has 10 percent to 15 percent of homes capable of buying service at 30 Mbps or faster. Ofcom’s European Broadband Scorecard also shows that adoption of services operating at 30 Mbps or faster has reached nine percent of the U.K. population and 22 percent of households. The study was conducted by Point Topic on behalf of Ofcom. Among the EU5, the United Kingdom has the highest broadband take-up (all types, by household), at 83 percent, Ofcom says. Ofcom says the United Kingdom comes either first or second within the EU5 on all measures of average price, and either second or third on measures of the lowest available price.