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Mobile Network Providers - UK - February 2016

“The convenience of managing quad-play subscriptions in a single bill is not always a big enough decision driver for high-spending consumers (including young consumers, the highest spending), as their mobile usage behaviours probably lead them to favour a mobile provider based on other factors, such as data allowance and deals on a specific phone.”
– Sara Ballaben, Technology Analyst

This report discusses the following key topics:

  • How big a threat are quad-play deals?
  • The importance of attracting PAYG customers

This report looks at the scope of mobile network usage by consumers.

Mobile networks are defined as networks providing either data, voice or SMS (Short Message Service) 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 – prepaid 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.

Prepaid is better known to consumers as “pay-as-you-go” (PAYG), 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.

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Covered in this report
      • Executive Summary

          • Mobile network providers’ market continues to show relative stability
            • Figure 1: Forecast value of retail mobile network connections in the UK, 2010-20
          • Big Four lose market share to virtual network operators
            • Figure 2: Consumers’ mobile network provider, December 2015
          • Two thirds of UK consumers are on contract
            • Figure 3: Connection type, December 2015
          • Consumers shifting to shorter contracts
            • Figure 4: Contract length, December 2015
          • Contract customers significantly more profitable than PAYG users
            • Figure 5: Monthly spend, by connection type, December 2015
          • Quad-play deals the most sought after by consumers
            • Figure 6: Interest in using and payment preferences for additional services, December 2015
          • More data the biggest motivator to switch
            • Figure 7: Factors that would encourage consumers to switch provider, December 2015
          • What we think
          • Issues and Insights

            • How big a threat are quad-play deals?
              • The facts
                • The implications
                  • The importance of attracting PAYG customers
                    • The facts
                      • The implications
                      • The Market – What You Need to Know

                        • Mobile network providers’ market continues to show relative stability
                          • Mobile connections continue to grow in the UK
                            • BT’s acquisition of EE speeds up consolidation of quad-play market
                              • Adoption of smart devices drives appetite for mobile connections
                                • Mobile viewing boosts demand for greater data allowances
                                  • Fast-growing Internet of Things speeds up 5G developments
                                  • Market Size, Segmentation and Forecast

                                    • Mobile network providers’ market continues to show relative stability
                                      • Figure 8: Forecast value of retail mobile network connections in the UK, 2010-20
                                      • Figure 9: Forecast value of retail mobile network connections in the UK, 2010-20
                                      • Figure 10: Average monthly revenue per user, by contract type, 2010-14
                                    • Mobile bundles drive change in revenues breakdown
                                      • Figure 11: Mobile retail revenue, by service (£ billions), 2010-14
                                    • Mobile connections continue to grow in the UK
                                      • Figure 12: Forecast volume of mobile network connections in the UK, 2010-20
                                      • Figure 13: Forecast volume of mobile network connections in the UK, 2010-20
                                  • Market Drivers

                                    • BT’s acquisition of EE speeds up consolidation of quad-play market
                                      • Adoption of smart devices drives appetite for mobile connections
                                        • Figure 14: Ownership of smartphones and tablets, January 2013-December 2015
                                      • Mobile viewing boosts demand for greater data allowances
                                        • Figure 15: Attitudes towards mobile viewing, July 2015
                                      • Fast-growing Internet of Things speeds up 5G developments
                                      • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                        • Innovation a common lack among the Big Four
                                          • EE and O2 looking into network-level ad blocking
                                            • Vodafone brings next-generation calls to the UK with Call+
                                              • Apple and Samsung rumoured to be working on e-SIM standards
                                                • Anywhere SIM lets you choose to not choose
                                                  • EE and O2 focus on connectivity
                                                  • Brand Research

                                                      • Brand map
                                                        • Figure 16: Attitudes towards and usage of selected brands, October 2015
                                                      • Key brand metrics
                                                        • Figure 17: Key metrics for selected brands, October 2015
                                                      • Brand attitudes: Big Four lack association with innovation
                                                        • Figure 18: Attitudes, by brand, October 2015
                                                      • Brand personality: Vodafone perceived as worn-out
                                                        • Figure 19: Brand personality – Macro image, October 2015
                                                      • EE’s upbeat image competes with O2’s more traditional connotations
                                                        • Figure 20: Brand personality – Micro image, October 2015
                                                      • Brand analysis
                                                        • O2’s traditional image fails to appeal to older generations
                                                          • Figure 21: User profile of O2, October 2015
                                                        • EE’s upbeat image has wide appeal
                                                          • Figure 22: User profile of EE, October 2015
                                                        • Young consumers drive Three’s uptake and reputation
                                                          • Figure 23: User profile of Three, October 2015
                                                        • Vodafone at risk due to ‘outdated’ brand image
                                                          • Figure 24: User profile of Vodafone, October 2015
                                                      • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                        • EE and O2 looking into network-level ad blocking
                                                          • Vodafone brings next-generation calls to the UK with Call+
                                                            • Figure 25: Vodafone Call+ app interface
                                                          • Apple and Samsung rumoured to be working on e-SIM standards
                                                            • Anywhere SIM lets you choose to not choose
                                                              • EE and O2 focus on connectivity
                                                                • Figure 26: EE’s 4GEE Capture Cam, November 2015
                                                            • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                              • Big Four lose market share to virtual network operators
                                                                • Two thirds of UK consumers are on contract
                                                                  • Consumers shifting to shorter contracts
                                                                    • Contract customers significantly more profitable than PAYG users
                                                                      • Quad-play deals the most sought after by consumers
                                                                        • More data the biggest motivator to switch
                                                                        • Network Operator and Type of Connection

                                                                          • Big Four lose market share to virtual network operators
                                                                            • Figure 27: Consumers’ mobile network provider, December 2015
                                                                          • Two thirds of UK consumers are on contract
                                                                            • Figure 28: Connection type, December 2015
                                                                          • Industry positioning impacts customer base
                                                                              • Figure 29: Connection type, by consumers’ mobile network providers, December 2015
                                                                          • Contract Length

                                                                            • Consumers shifting to shorter contracts
                                                                              • Figure 30: Contract length, December 2015
                                                                            • Smartphones attract parents and 16-44s to two-year contracts
                                                                              • Figure 31: Connection type, by contract length, December 2015
                                                                          • Connection Cost

                                                                            • Contract customers significantly more profitable than PAYG users
                                                                              • Figure 32: Monthly spend, by connection type, December 2015
                                                                            • Can PAYG customers be shifted to contract?
                                                                              • Figure 33: Additional products and services paid in monthly bill, December 2015
                                                                            • The Big Four attract the most profitable customers
                                                                              • Figure 34: Monthly contract spend, by consumers’ mobile network providers, December 2015
                                                                          • Payment Preferences for Additional Services

                                                                            • Quad-play deals the most sought after by consumers
                                                                              • Figure 35: Interest in using and payment preferences for additional services, December 2015
                                                                            • The potential of the non-quad-play counter-offer
                                                                              • Figure 36: Payment preferences for quad-play services, by payment preferences for additional services (Nets), December 2015
                                                                          • Incentives to Switch Provider

                                                                            • More data the biggest motivator to switch
                                                                              • Figure 37: Factors that would encourage consumers to switch provider, December 2015
                                                                            • Most UK consumers are loyal to their provider
                                                                              • Figure 38: Repertoire of factors that would encourage consumers to switch provider, December 2015
                                                                            • Young consumers are easier to influence
                                                                              • Figure 39: Factors that would encourage consumers to switch provider, by age, December 2015
                                                                          • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                            • Data sources
                                                                              • Abbreviations
                                                                                • Market size and forecast
                                                                                  • Fan chart forecast
                                                                                    • Value
                                                                                      • Figure 40: Best- and worst-case forecast for the value of the UK mobile network providers’ market, 2015-20
                                                                                    • Volume
                                                                                      • Figure 41: Best- and worst-case forecast for the volume of the UK mobile network providers’ market, 2015-20
                                                                                    • Brand research
                                                                                      • Brand map

                                                                                      Companies Covered

                                                                                      To learn more about the companies covered in this report please contact us.

                                                                                      Mobile Network Providers - UK - February 2016

                                                                                      £1,995.00 (Excl.Tax)