Wireless Tower Market in Europe: MNO Regulatory Requirements and Debt Burdens Create Opportunities for Tower Companies

Wireless Tower Market in Europe: MNO Regulatory Requirements and Debt Burdens Create Opportunities for Tower Companies


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Executive Summary

Wireless Tower Market in Europe: MNO Regulatory Requirements and Debt Burdens Create Opportunities for Tower Companies

Summary

"Wireless Tower Market in Europe: MNO Regulatory Requirements and Debt Burdens Create Opportunities for Tower Companies", a new Telecom Insider Report by GlobalData offers a thorough study of the wireless tower market in the European region. The first section of this report explains the major sources of wireless capacity and the different radio access nodes used to offer wireless coverage. The report then provides an assessment of the European wireless tower market with a focus on selected markets in the region. The report includes an in-depth examination of the key factors driving and inhibiting wireless tower activity in Europe. We then present case studies that analyze the wireless tower markets in the UK, Italy and Romania. The report concludes with a summary of key findings and a set of recommendations.

Mobile network operators (MNOs) have invested heavily in setting up wireless tower infrastructure, resulting in high financial burdens. With declining ARPS and pressure to invest in network quality and LTE roll-outs, MNOs are looking to divest their tower infrastructure in order to reduce capex and debt. This has emerged as an opportunity for third-party tower companies (towercos) in recent years.

Scope

In Europe, a growing LTE subscriber base and the increasing adoption of mobile video traffic driven applications over LTE-enabled smartphones is providing fuel for wireless tower market growth. It is, however, also resulting in substantial pressure being placed on operators to increase the number of wireless tower sites.

Until recently, the majority of wireless tower sites were owned and managed by MNOs, however this scenario is changing due to the increase in divestments of tower infrastructure by these operators. MNOs are either selling their tower infrastructure to independent towercos or creating independent entities to manage the tower infrastructure.

There are a variety of challenges faced by the key players in the European wireless tower market, which include complex permitting processes, site acquisition, environmental regulations and lower ARPU and population density in rural areas.

Reasons to Buy

This report examines the wireless tower market in the European region, in order to enable new tower companies to align their product offerings. The report also provides analysis of tower market structure along with drivers and inhibitors influencing the region with a focus on the region's major markets, including France, Italy, Romania, UK, Spain, Germany and Russia among others.

Helps executives build proactive, profitable growth strategies by offering comprehensive and relevant analysis of growing opportunities in the European wireless tower market, regulatory framework, competitive environment and best practices of the existing operators.

The case studies focus on the drivers and inhibitors within three leading tower markets in the region including the telco strategies being pursued in these markets to drive business, which can be beneficial to local players or prospective market entrants.

By understanding the interests and positions of the main stakeholders in the wireless tower market (including independent tower companies, MNOs, end users and regulators), telecom professionals and operators can develop strategies and increase their participation in the growing tower market.



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Table of Contents

List of exhibits 4

Executive summary 7

Section 1: Introduction 8

Section 2: Wireless towers market in Europe 11

Operator-owned vs. towerco-owned towers 12

Wireless tower count 13

Section 3: Wireless towers in Europe 14

Drivers 16

Inhibitors 20

Outlook 25

Section 4: Case studies 27

UK 28

Italy 30

Romania 32

Conclusions: Key findings and recommendations 33

Appendix: Acronyms and Definitions 36

List of Figures

Exhibit 1: Sources of wireless capacity 8

Exhibit 2: Heterogeneous networks (HETNETS) 9

Exhibit 3: Wireless tower market structure 11

Exhibit 4: Operator-owned vs. towerco-owned towers, selected countries, Europe, 2016 11

Exhibit 5: Wireless tower counts and top towercos, selected countries, Europe, Q1 2016 12

Exhibit 6: Main factors affecting the demand and need for wireless towers in Europe 14

Exhibit 7: Growth of LTE subscribers, Europe, 2015-2021 15

Exhibit 8: Monthly data traffic per smartphone, Europe, 2015-2021 15

Exhibit 9: Mobile data users who use video applications, Europe, 2015-2021 16

Exhibit 10: 4G Mobile handset penetration, Europe, 2015-2021 16

Exhibit 11: Recent government initiatives involving development of network infrastructure, Europe 17

Exhibit 12: Examples of recent MNO decisions involving tower infrastructure offloading, Europe 18

Exhibit 13: Major challenges faced by mobile operators and tower companies concerning the deployment of wireless tower infrastructure, Europe, 2016 19

Exhibit 14: Operational challenges faced by telcos and towercos in Europe 20

Exhibit 15: Potential benefits of mobile infrastructure sharing through joint ventures 21

Exhibit 16: Maximizing spectrum utilization through small cell implementation 22

Exhibit 17: Small cell shipments by segment 23

Exhibit 18: Outlook of factors impacting the deployment of wireless tower infrastructure, Europe 24

Exhibit 19: Recent major tower offloading deals, Europe 25

Exhibit 20: Wireless tower ownership, UK, Q1 2016 27

Exhibit 21: Growth of LTE subscribers, UK, 2015-2021 28

Exhibit 22: Outdoor mobile coverage, UK 28

Exhibit 23: Wireless tower ownership, Europe, Q1 2016 29

Exhibit 24: Recent tower deals in Italy 30

Exhibit 25: Growth of LTE subscribers, Romania, 2015-2021 31

List of Tables

Exhibit 1: Sources of wireless capacity 8

Exhibit 2: Heterogeneous networks (HETNETS) 9

Exhibit 3: Wireless tower market structure 11

Exhibit 4: Operator-owned vs. towerco-owned towers, selected countries, Europe, 2016 11

Exhibit 5: Wireless tower counts and top towercos, selected countries, Europe, Q1 2016 12

Exhibit 6: Main factors affecting the demand and need for wireless towers in Europe 14

Exhibit 7: Growth of LTE subscribers, Europe, 2015-2021 15

Exhibit 8: Monthly data traffic per smartphone, Europe, 2015-2021 15

Exhibit 9: Mobile data users who use video applications, Europe, 2015-2021 16

Exhibit 10: 4G Mobile handset penetration, Europe, 2015-2021 16

Exhibit 11: Recent government initiatives involving development of network infrastructure, Europe 17

Exhibit 12: Examples of recent MNO decisions involving tower infrastructure offloading, Europe 18

Exhibit 13: Major challenges faced by mobile operators and tower companies concerning the deployment of wireless tower infrastructure, Europe, 2016 19

Exhibit 14: Operational challenges faced by telcos and towercos in Europe 20

Exhibit 15: Potential benefits of mobile infrastructure sharing through joint ventures 21

Exhibit 16: Maximizing spectrum utilization through small cell implementation 22

Exhibit 17: Small cell shipments by segment 23

Exhibit 18: Outlook of factors impacting the deployment of wireless tower infrastructure, Europe 24

Exhibit 19: Recent major tower offloading deals, Europe 25

Exhibit 20: Wireless tower ownership, UK, Q1 2016 27

Exhibit 21: Growth of LTE subscribers, UK, 2015-2021 28

Exhibit 22: Outdoor mobile coverage, UK 28

Exhibit 23: Wireless tower ownership, Europe, Q1 2016 29

Exhibit 24: Recent tower deals in Italy 30

Exhibit 25: Growth of LTE subscribers, Romania, 2015-2021 31

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Telefonica, Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone, Orange, SFR, Bouygues, Telecom, Wind, Hutchison, BT, 3, T-Mobile, Cellnex, FPS Towers, TDS, INWIT, Arqiva, Wireless Infrastructure Group, Telxius, Omega Towers, Deutsche Funkturm

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