Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 05/05/2014 -- The UK telecoms market is mature with a high penetration of all services, and a roll-out of next generation services including fibre and LTE services is in progress. As a result of its maturity the UK market has diminished opportunities for subscription growth, and operator strategies reflect this by increasingly focusing on value generation from subscriptions. In the mobile market this means operators are focused on rolling out LTE, with three networks operational from the end of August 2013, as well as VAS such as mobile advertising and payments. Meanwhile, in the fixed broadband sector, operators continue to target the converged services market through the provision of triple- and quad-play packages, with BSkyB the outperformer in this area since 2010, but BT remains the market leader in fixed-line and broadband services.
- The mobile market is mature with limited subscription growth prospects, with penetration of 123% at YE13.
- Smartphone penetration has continued to rise, with operator data showing it reached around 55% by the end of 2013, creating opportunities for operators to market VAS.
- The residential and small business fixed broadband market climbed by 5.4% in 2012, with a bias towards higher speed technologies such as cable and fibre, according to data from the telecoms regulator Ofcom.
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Key Trends And Developments
The refinement of operator LTE strategies was again the dominant theme in the UK telecoms market in the past quarter. The most notable developments were from the smallest operator Three, which signed a deal with LTE-first mover Everything Everywhere (EE) to share LTE network infrastructure. The deal, worth GBP1bn was signed in February 2014, and is passive, meaning the companies will share mast infrastructure and backhaul transmission, but antennas and base stations are company-owned and maintained. This will allow the two companies to maintain differentiated services. Operators are competing with each other to broaden the reach of their services as LTE uptake outperforms expectations, with EE reported 2mn LTE subscriptions by the end of 2013 - double its initial target of 1mn.
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