Mobile Network Providers - UK - February 2015
“When it comes to selling triple-play packages, the mobile industry still has a large proportion of pay-as-you-go and rolling month-by-month contract customers to market to, free of restrictions on when they can enter into new agreements.”
– Samuel Gee, Senior Technology and Media Analyst
This report covers the following issues:
- Is there a market for triple-play mobile offerings?
- Average revenue per user (ARPU) is consistently falling
The mobile network provider market may see some shake up over 2015, with BT’s purchase of EE moving the incumbent fixed-line provider back into the mobile sphere for the first time since it divested itself of O2 (née BT Cellnet) in 2002, undoubtedly with an eye toward offering triple- or quad-play bundles including a mobile element.
In a market with less than 2% change in market value year on year since 2008, this may be just the approach to break into rich new revenue streams – but it may also prove a damaging distraction, running aground on the same lack of interest for quad-play bundles that fixed-line operators have been encountering in consumers for years.
This report examines these issues, as well as the network operator and type of mobile connection consumers currently have. It also looks at their contract duration, the amount they pay monthly for their phone service and the motivations they had in choosing their current provider. Finally, it looks at consumer attitudes and feelings about operator-provided mobile wallets.
This report looks at the scope of mobile network usage by consumers.
Mobile networks are defined as networks providing either data, voice or SMS facilities down to a mobile device. Data delivered over Wi-Fi is not included under the “data” category.
Primarily, this report refers to the use of mobile networks through traditional mobile phones or smartphones. However, reference at times is made to tablet devices, as these can connect to mobile networks for data.
Network connections can come in two forms – pre-paid and post-paid. The former involves buying credit for a phone, which is then worked through. The latter refers to the use of a handset with a monthly contract charge covering the previous month’s usage.
Pre-paid is better known to consumers as “pay-as-you-go”, and is referred to as such throughout the consumer sections of this report. Similarly, “post-paid” is better known to consumers as “contract”, and is referred to as such throughout the consumer sections of this report.
Historical market size data for this report is taken from the Ofcom Communications Market Report 2014, with forecasting carried out by Mintel.
Market size covers the volume of mobile network connections sold to consumers. This includes data-only tablet device connections, as well as dongle connections to a portable router designed to provide internet services by connecting to the mobile network. Market size also covers the value of those connections at retail.
The “Big Four” are the four largest networks in the UK: Vodafone, EE, Three and O2.
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