The value of Europe’s mobile market has shown consistent but slower growth for several years. This slowdown has largely been due to intensifying competition which has led to falling prices for voice minutes, as well as regulatory measures which have reduced roaming and interconnection charges. This negative impact has been compensated by increased consumer use of mobile data services.
In response to this trend, mobile network operators (MNOs) have during the last few years focused their efforts on migrating prepaid users to contract plans, commanding higher ARPU and higher average use, and on cultivating high-end mobile services among subscribers. These efforts will continue as MNOs move forward. To support this, most CAPEX is being channelled to upgrading networks to utilise HSPA and LTE technologies, and to investing in spectrum licences as they become available.
Moving from Voice to Data
These upgrades, having considerable implications for revenue, business models and investment opportunities, will be paramount during the next few years if MNOs are to avoid further capacity restraints on their stretched networks. To alleviate the burden, an increasing number of operators have abandoned offers of unlimited data use, instead reverting to caps of about 500Mb/s per month. Although mobile broadband revenue has doubled annually since 2007, the sector still only accounts for no more than 10% of total revenue. Considerable further growth is anticipated to the end of the decade.
Mobile operators have similarly expanded their interests in the fixed line sector. Led by Vodafone, which now operates IPTV, broadband and telephony in several European markets, this diversification has extended the revenue base and so weakened the continuing financial impact from falling mobile voice revenue.The countries covered in this report include: Albania, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, FYR Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom. Source: research and markets