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Ireland-Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media-Statistics and Analyses

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Ireland’s telecom regulator updates radio spectrum strategy to 2018

Ireland’s telecom market has recently emerged from a long period in which it had been held back by poor broadband uptake, underinvestment, and mismanagement among some of the key operators. Eir perhaps suffered most from the recent financial crisis, though the government’s indebtedness also obliged it to rein in investment in infrastructure. However, although there is a continuing downward trend for overall telecom revenue, there was an encouraging 1.4% increase in revenue in the fourth quarter of 2015, year-on-year.

The main operators, including the incumbent eir as well as Vodafone Ireland and Virgin Media Ireland, are pressing ahead with renewed, and significant, investment programs geared to improving broadband infrastructure and to providing 1Gb/s services. In addition, the National Broadband Scheme will ensure the delivery of a 30Mb/s service nationally by 2022. This will greatly boost the adoption of OTT videostreaming services, as well as encourage services including e-government, e-health and e-learning.

For many years Ireland’s broadband market was underdeveloped by European standards, although government efforts to improve local loop unbundling and wholesale access has meant that growth, albeit from a relatively low base, has been strong in recent years. Separate efforts undertaken by eir, Virgin Media Ireland and Vodafone Ireland, as well as a small number of small-scale fibre operators, has resulted in a rejuvenated broadband sector where average download speeds are now among the highest in Europe. The National Broadband Plan, underpinned by government investment of about €500 million, will see services extended to some 900,000 premises considered uncommercial by market players.

Ireland’s mobile market has undergone considerable changes in recent years, particularly after 3 Ireland acquired O2 and so secured a 36% market share, behind only Vodafone at 38%. Despite this consolidation, the market enjoys effective competition between three main players as well as a small number of MVNOs. Eir returned to the mobile sector with its Meteor division, although it also operates an MVNO, eMobile, hosted by Meteor. Mobile broadband, on the back of expanding HSPA and LTE networks, has become very popular among consumers since the introduction of flat-rate data plans, and LTE forms an integral part of the government’s national broadband strategy. The regulator has revised its strategy to manage spectrum through to 2018, so improving the provision of mobile broadband services.

This report provides statistics and analysis on the key sectors of the Irish telecom market, presenting an overview of the regulatory environment, fixed network operators and services, and telecom infrastructure. It also profiles the fixed and wireless broadband markets, together with developments in related technologies such as FttP, powerline broadband, wireless and mobile broadband, including forecasts for broadband uptake to 2021. In addition the report provides statistics and analyses on the mobile market, including regulatory issues, a snapshot of the consumer market, emerging technologies, and the growth of mobile data services.

Key developments:

Government expected to sign contracts for the National Broadband Network build by June 2017;

Emerald Networks secures loan approval for 100Gb/s cable linking Ireland to Iceland and the US;

Eir obliged to open fibre networks to altnets;

Eir reports continuing falling revenue into fiscal 2016;

Vodafone launches 1Gb/s IP service;

Virgin Media Ireland increases broadband speed to 360Mb/s;

Eir delivering 100Mb/s services to over a million premises;

Recovery in the number of Wi-Fi hotspots and access points;

Regulator rules that eir make fibre networks available to altnets;

Vodafone Ireland becomes a quad-play provider with its IPTV launch;

Virgin Media Ireland discontinues its MMDS service;

Regulator revises strategy to manage radio spectrum to 2018;

3 Ireland invests €300 million to provide 225Mb/s ‘4G Plus’ service nationally;

3 Ireland extends Nokia vendor relationship with a five-year managed services contract;

Vodafone Ireland completes national LTE network upgrade project;

SMS traffic shows continuing decline;

Mobile broadband subscriber base falls;

Mobile retail revenue and ARPU continue to fall;

Report updates includes the regulator’s market data to Q4 2015, telcos’ operating and financial data to Q1 2016, recent market developments

Companies mentioned in this report:

BT Ireland, eir (Eircom), Smart Telecom, Tele2, Virgin Media Ireland (formerly UPC Ireland), Casey CableVision, Digiweb, Vodafone Ireland, O2, Meteor, eMobile; Tesco Mobile

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Table Of Content

Scope

1. Key statistics

1.1 Country overview

2. Telecommunications market

3. Regulatory environment

3.1 Historical overview

3.2 Revised NFR

3.3 Regulatory authority

3.4 Telecom sector liberalisation in Ireland

3.5 Privatisation of eir

3.6 Interconnect

3.7 Access

3.8 Leased lines

3.9 Fibre access

3.10 Number Portability (NP)

3.11 Carrier PreSelection (CPS)

4. Fixed network operators

4.1 Introduction

4.2 Eir

4.2.1 Company restructure

4.3 BT Ireland

4.4 Smart Telecom

4.5 Tele2

4.6 Other operators

5. Telecommunications infrastructure

5.1 International infrastructure

5.1.1 Submarine cable networks

5.1.2 Satellite networks

6. Broadband market

6.1 Introduction and statistical overview

6.1.1 Market analysis

6.1.2 National Development Plan

6.1.3 Government networks

6.1.4 Regional infrastructure

6.1.5 Wholesale bitstream

6.1.6 Broadband statistics

6.1.7 Forecasts broadband subscribers 2016; 2018; 2021

6.2 Hybrid Fibre Coax (HFC) networks

6.3 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks

6.3.1 Alternative operators

6.3.2 ADSL2+

6.3.3 VDSL

6.3.4 Vectoring DSL

6.4 Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP) networks

6.4.1 Eir

6.4.2 BT Ireland

6.4.3 Vodafone/ Electricity Supply Board (ESB)

6.4.4 Sky

6.4.5 Other developments

6.5 Broadband Powerline (BPL)

6.6 Wireless broadband

6.6.1 1.7GHz band

6.6.2 10.5GHz band

6.6.3 3.5GHz band

6.6.4 Other spectrum

6.6.5 Digiweb

6.6.6 National Fixed Wireless Point to Multipoint Licences (FWPMA)

6.6.7 Other developments

6.6.8 Other bands

6.6.9 Wi-Fi

6.6.10 Worldwide Interoperability of Microwave Access (WiMAX)

6.6.11 Wi-Fibre

6.6.12 Internet via satellite

7. Digital media

7.1 Introduction

7.2 Business models

7.2.1 Bundled services

7.2.2 Smart Telecom

7.2.3 Magnet Networks

7.2.4 Virgin Media Ireland

7.2.5 Vodafone Ireland

7.3 Regulatory issues

7.3.1 Multichannel Multipoint Distribution Systems (MMDS)

7.4 Digital TV

7.4.1 Overview and statistics

7.4.2 Videostreaming

7.4.3 Communications: VoIP

7.4.4 Cable TV

7.4.5 Satellite TV

7.4.6 Digital Terrestrial TV (DTTV)

7.4.7 Digital cinema

7.4.8 Interactive TV (iTV)

8. Digital economy

8.1 eHealth

9. Mobile communications

9.1 Market analysis

9.2 Mobile statistics

9.2.1 General statistics

9.2.2 Mobile voice

9.2.3 Mobile data

9.2.4 Mobile broadband

9.2.5 Forecasts mobile subscribers 2016; 2018; 2021

9.3 Regulatory issues

9.3.1 Spectrum regulations and spectrum auctions

9.3.2 Roaming

9.3.3 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)

9.3.4 Mobile termination rates (MTRs)

9.3.5 Wideband Digital Mobile Data Services (WDMDS)

9.3.6 Network sharing

9.4 Mobile infrastructure

9.4.1 Analogue networks

9.4.2 Digital networks

9.4.3 Other infrastructure developments

9.4.4 Machine-to-Machine (M2M) networks

9.5 Major mobile operators

9.5.1 Vodafone Ireland

9.5.2 O2 Ireland

9.5.3 Meteor Mobile

9.5.4 3 Ireland

9.5.5 MVNOs

9.6 Mobile content and applications

9.6.1 Mobile TV


List Of Figure

Chart 1 Market revenue share by fixed, mobile and broadcasting sectors 2002-2015

Chart 2-Unbundled loops and access lines 2005-2015

Chart 3 Fixed-line and mobile voice traffic in minutes 2008-2015

Chart 4 Fixed voice subscriptions and teledensity 2005-2016

Chart 5 Total broadband subscribers by access type 2002-2015

Chart 6 Share of broadband subscribers by platform 2007-2015

Chart 7 Virgin Media Ireland broadband, phone, cable TV subscribers 2006-2016

Chart 8 DSL access provision by type and operator 2002-2015

Chart 9 Wireless hotspots and access points 2007-2015

Chart 10 TV households by type (cable, satellite, pay) 2008-2015

Chart 11 UPC Ireland cable TV subscribers 2006-2016

Chart 12 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 2005-2016

Chart 13 Mobile market revenue, voice and data 2005-2015

Chart 14 Mobile share of subscribers by operator 2006-2015

Chart 15 Mobile share of revenue by operator 2006-2015

Chart 16 O2 ARPU, blended, prepaid and contract (historic) 2006-2013

Chart 17 O2 subscribers (historic) 2007-2014

Exhibit 1 EU The New Regulatory Framework (NRF)

Exhibit 2 Access and the local loop

Exhibit 3 3G licence results June 2002

Exhibit 4 Multiband frequency award process-2012

Exhibit 5 WDMDS licences: operators, spectrum and fees 2005


List Of Table

Table 1 Country statistics 2015 (e)

Table 2 Telecom revenue and investment statistics 2015

Table 3 Telephone network statistics 2015

Table 4 Internet user statistics 2015

Table 5 Broadband statistics 2015

Table 6 Mobile statistics 2015

Table 7 National telecommunications authority

Table 8 Telecom sector retail revenue 2012-2015

Table 9 Market revenue annual change by fixed, mobile and broadcasting sectors 2010-2015

Table 10 Market revenue by fixed, mobile and broadcasting sectors 2010-2015

Table 11 Market revenue share by fixed, mobile and broadcasting sectors 2002-2015

Table 12 Market revenue share by retail fixed, mobile and broadcasting sectors 2012-2015

Table 13 Unbundled loops and access lines 2005-2015

Table 14 Annual ported fixed-line numbers 2010-2015

Table 15 Indirect access lines: CPS and WLR 2006-2014

Table 16 Fixed-line and mobile voice traffic in minutes 2008-2015

Table 17 Fixed-line share of retail revenue by operator 2012-2015

Table 18 Eir financial data (historic) 2001-2007

Table 19 Eir financial data (year to June) 2009-2016

Table 20 Eir revenue by sector (year to June) 2009-2016

Table 21 Eir subscribers by sector 2010-2016

Table 22 Smart Telecom financial data (historic) 2003-2005

Table 23 Historic-Fixed voice subscriptions in service and teledensity 1995; 1997; 1999-2009

Table 24 Fixed voice subscriptions and teledensity 2010-2016

Table 25 Broadband penetration by technology 2006-2015

Table 26 Dial-up internet subscribers 2005-2015

Table 27 Total internet subscribers 2005-2016

Table 28 Total fixed-line broadband subscribers 2012-2016

Table 29 Retail broadband revenue 2014-2016

Table 30 Total broadband subscribers by access type 2002-2015

Table 31 Total broadband penetration 2003-2016

Table 32 Share of broadband subscribers by platform 2007-2015

Table 33 Market share of fixed broadband subscriptions by operator 2010-2015

Table 34 Residential market share of broadband access speed 2012-2015

Table 35 Total market share of broadband access speed 2013-2015

Table 36 Forecasts broadband subscribers 2016; 2018; 2021

Table 37 Virgin Media Ireland subscribers 2006-2016

Table 38 Virgin Media Ireland revenue 2006 2009; 2013-2016

Table 39 Cable broadband subscribers 2002-2016

Table 40 DSL access provision by type and operator 2002-2015

Table 41 Eir retail broadband subscribers 2010-2015

Table 42 DSL subscribers 2010-2016

Table 43 VDSL connections 2013-2015

Table 44 Proportion of VDSL connections by access type 2014-2015

Table 45 Fixed wireless broadband subscribers 2005-2016

Table 46 Wireless hotspots and access points-2007-2015

Table 47 Proportion of bundled services, by type 2011-2015

Table 48 Virgin Media Ireland bundled service subscriptions 2015-2016

Table 49 Statistical overview of Ireland's broadcasting market 2008-2015

Table 50 Proportion of homes by reception method 2008-2015

Table 51 Proportion of pay TV and FTA households 2003-2015

Table 52 Proportion of digital and analogue households 2007-2015

Table 53 Virgin Media Ireland subscribers 2006-2016

Table 54 Virgin Media Ireland revenue 2006 2009; 2013-2016

Table 55 Historic-Satellite TV antennae and home penetration 1992-2004

Table 56 Satellite TV antennae and home penetration 2005-2016

Table 57 Sky TV subscribers by bundled type 2013-2015

Table 58 Operator blended ARPU 2005-2016

Table 59 Historic-Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 1995; 1997; 1999-2009

Table 60 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 2010-2016

Table 61 Mobile subscribers (not incl. mobile broadband, M2M) 2011-2016

Table 62 Mobile retail market revenue, voice and data 2005-2015

Table 63 Mobile share of subscribers by operator 2005-2015

Table 64 Operator share of subscribers (excl. M2M and broadband) 2014-2015

Table 65 Mobile share of revenue by operator 2005-2015

Table 66 Prepaid versus postpaid share of subscribers 2000-2015

Table 67 Proportion of prepaid subscribers by operator 2008-2015

Table 68 Mobile voice traffic 2005-2016

Table 69 Mobile data traffic share by technology 2014-2015

Table 70 Data use per subscriber 2011-2015

Table 71 SMS messages sent 2000-2015

Table 72 SMS and MMS messages sent per subscriber 2011-2015

Table 73 SMS and MMS revenue 2012-2015

Table 74 MMS messages sent 2005-2016

Table 75 Mobile broadband subscribers 2007-2015

Table 76 Mobile broadband market share by operator 2010 2015

Table 77 Forecast mobile subscribers 2016; 2018; 2021

Table 78 European roaming charges 2007-2016

Table 79 European data roaming charges 2012-2016

Table 80 Annual mobile numbers ported 2005-2015

Table 81 MTRs by operator 2010-2013

Table 82 Mobile subscriber market share by technology 2013-2015

Table 83 3G SIM cards in use by type 2011-2015

Table 84 M2M connections 2013-2016

Table 85 Vodafone mobile subscribers 2006-2016

Table 86 Vodafone fixed-line subscribers 2010-2016

Table 87 Vodafone mobile service revenue 2010-2016

Table 88 Vodafone blended ARPU 2006-2008; 2010-2011

Table 89 O2 mobile financial data (historic) 2007-2014

Table 90 O2 mobile data statistics (historic) 2007-2013

Table 91 O2 ARPU, blended, prepaid and contract (historic) 2006-2013

Table 92 O2 subscribers (historic) 2006-2014

Table 93 Meteor Mobile subscribers 2006-2016

Table 94 Meteor Mobile services revenue 2006-2010; 2012-2016

Table 95 Meteor Mobile annualised blended ARPU-2006 2014

Table 96 Meteor Mobile prepaid and contract ARPU-2013 2016

Table 97 3 Ireland subscribers 2006-2015

Table 98 3 Ireland financial data 2007-2015

Table 99 3 Ireland revenue by sector 2013-2015

Table 100 3 Ireland annualised ARPU 2013-2015

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Products and Companies


Companies

BT Ireland, eir (Eircom), Smart Telecom, Tele2, Virgin Media Ireland (formerly UPC Ireland), Casey CableVision, Digiweb, Vodafone Ireland, O2, Meteor, eMobile, Tesco Mobile