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Ireland - Telecoms, IP Networks and Digital Media

  • April 2015
  • -
  • Paul Budde Communication Pty Ltd
  • -
  • 103 pages

Investments in Ireland see improved broadband infrastructure

Ireland’s telecom market for long suffered from poor broadband uptake, underinvestment and mismanagement among some of the key operators. Eircom perhaps suffered most from the financial crisis which hit the country in 2008 and continues to reverberate. The financial difficulties of customers repressed company revenue and curtailed investment plans. On a larger scale, the government’s indebtedness obliged it to rein in investment in infrastructure. Although telecom sector revenue showed some recovery in 2014, the country’s economic woes, and the reluctance of consumers to spend on other than essential services, will restrain growth for the next few years at least.

Nevertheless, operators are showing some determination to invest in infrastructure upgrades and so provide improved services to attract and retain customers. This is particularly true in the broadband market, which for many years was underdeveloped by European standards. Regulatory efforts to improve local loop unbundling and wholesale access has contributed to market competition, while separate efforts undertaken by Eircom, UPC Ireland and Vodafone/ESB, 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.

The mobile market underwent a considerable shift in 2014 when 3 Ireland acquired O2, and so secured a 36% market share, behind only Vodafone at 38%. Eircom’s mobile service offers effective competition, while there is a lively and growing MVNO market. Mobile broadband, on the back of expanding HSPA and LTE networks, has become very popular among consumers while the regulator has also set aside spectrum in several bands for use by mobile services.

The market for converged media and applications in Ireland has advanced with improved poor broadband infrastructure, particularly from UPC Ireland and Eircom.

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 reviews mobile platforms, assesses key regulatory issues, and presents a snapshot of the consumer market, emerging technologies, and the growth of mobile data services. The report also notes the status of digital TV via terrestrial, cable and satellite platforms, and profiles the fixed and wireless broadband markets, together with developments in related technologies such as FttP, powerline broadband, wireless and mobile broadband, WiFi and internet via satellite. It also provides forecasts for broadband uptake to 2020.

Key developments:

• Government promotes NewEra National Recovery Program requiring 90% FttC connectivity;
• Eircom reports continuing falling revenue into fiscal 2015;
• Vodafone Ireland supporting Ryanair’s M2M requirements;
• Eircom signs five-year vendor contract with Ericsson;
• Hutchison Whampoa completes acquisition of O2 Ireland for €780 million;
• Eircom launches eVision on Demand service;
• National Broadband Plan expected to go to tender by end-2015;
• Eircom delivers 100Mb/s services to over a million premises;
• Vodafone and ESB connect premises for their 1Gb/s fibre trials;
• Regulator’s market data to Q4 2014;
• Telcos’ operating and financial data to Q4 2014;
• Recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report include:

BT Ireland, Eircom, Smart Telecom, Tele2, Vodafone Ireland, O2, Meteor, 3 Ireland; Eircom Mobile;
Tesco Mobile, UPC Ireland, Magnet Networks, Eircom, Casey Cablevisión, UPC Ireland, Digiweb.

Table Of Contents

Ireland - Telecoms, IP Networks and Digital Media
1. Key Statistics
2. Telecommunications Market
2.1 Overview of Ireland's telecom market
3. Regulatory Environment
3.1 History
3.2 Revised NFR
3.3 Regulatory authority
3.3.1 Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg)
3.4 Telecom sector liberalisation in Ireland
3.4.1 Privatisation of Eircom
3.4.2 Interconnect
3.4.3 Access
3.4.4 Fibre access
3.5 Number Portability (NP)
3.6 Carrier PreSelection (CPS)
4. Fixed Network Operators
4.1 Overview
4.2 Operator market shares
4.3 Eircom
4.3.1 Going into 2015
4.3.2 Company restructure
4.3.3 Managing debt
4.4 BT Ireland
4.5 Smart Telecom
4.6 Tele2
4.7 Other operators
5. Telecommunications Infrastructure
5.1 National telecom network
5.2 Structural separation issues
5.3 Next Generation Networks (NGNs)
5.4 International
5.4.1 Submarine cable networks
5.4.2 Satellite networks
6. Broadband Market
6.1 Overview
6.1.1 Broadband statistics
6.1.2 National Development Plan
6.1.3 Promoting broadband
6.1.4 Government networks
6.1.5 Other providers
6.1.6 Regional infrastructure
6.1.7 Wholesale bitstream
6.1.8 eHealth
6.2 Cable modems
6.3 Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)
6.3.1 Alternative operators
6.3.2 ADSL2+
6.3.3 VDSL
6.3.4 Vectoring DSL
6.4 Fibre-to-the-Premise (FttP) networks
6.4.1 Eircom
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 Mobile broadband
6.7 Wireless broadband
6.7.1 1.7GHz band
6.7.2 10.5GHz band
6.7.3 3.5GHz band
6.7.4 Other spectrum
6.7.5 Digiweb
6.7.6 National Fixed Wireless Point to Multipoint Licences (FWPMA)
6.7.7 Other developments
6.7.8 Other bands
6.7.9 WiFi
6.7.10 Worldwide Interoperability of Microwave Access (WiMAX)
6.7.11 WiFibre
6.7.12 Internet via satellite
6.8 Forecasts broadband subscribers 2013; 2015; 2020
6.8.1 Scenario 1 higher broadband subscriber growth
6.8.2 Scenario 2 lower broadband subscriber growth
6.9 Notes on scenario forecasts
7. Digital Media
7.1 Overview Digital Media
7.2 Key general trends
7.3 Business models
7.3.1 Bundled services
7.3.2 Smart Telecom
7.3.3 Magnet Networks
7.3.4 UPC Ireland
7.4 Regulatory issues
7.4.1 VoIP
7.4.2 Multichannel Multipoint Distribution Systems (MMDS)
7.5 Digital TV
7.5.1 Overview and statistics
7.5.2 Broadband TV (IPTV)
7.5.3 Cable TV
7.5.4 Satellite TV
7.5.5 Digital Terrestrial TV (DTTV)
7.5.6 Video-on-Demand (VoD)
7.5.7 VoIP
7.5.8 Digital cinema
7.5.9 Interactive TV (iTV)
8. Mobile Communications
8.1 Overview of Ireland's mobile market
8.2 Mobile statistics
8.2.1 General statistics
8.2.2 Operator market shares
8.2.3 Mobile voice services
8.2.4 Mobile data services
8.3 Forecasts Mobile ARPU and Mobile UMTS subscribers
8.3.1 Forecasts mobile ARPU 2009 - 2010; 2015
8.3.2 Forecasts UMTS subscribers 2009 - 2010; 2015
8.3.3 Notes on scenario forecasts
8.4 Regulatory issues
8.4.1 Spectrum regulations and spectrum auctions
8.4.2 Roaming
8.4.3 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
8.4.4 Mobile termination rates (MTRs)
8.4.5 Wideband Digital Mobile Data Services (WDMDS)
8.4.6 Network sharing
8.5 Mobile infrastructure
8.5.1 Analogue networks
8.5.2 Digital networks
8.5.3 Other infrastructure developments
8.5.4 Machine-to-Machine (M2M)
8.6 Major mobile operators
8.6.1 Vodafone Ireland
8.6.2 O2 Ireland
8.6.3 Meteor Mobile
8.6.4 3 Ireland
8.6.5 MVNOs
8.7 Mobile content and applications
8.7.1 Overview
8.7.2 Mobile TV
Table 1 Country statistics 2014 (e)
Table 2 Telecom revenue and investment statistics 2014
Table 3 Telephone network statistics 2014
Table 4 Internet user statistics 2014
Table 5 Broadband statistics 2014
Table 6 Mobile statistics 2014
Table 7 National telecommunications authority
Table 8 Market revenue annual change by fixed, mobile and broadcasting sectors 2010 - 2014
Table 9 Market revenue by fixed, mobile and broadcasting sectors 2010 - 2015
Table 10 Market revenue share by fixed, mobile and broadcasting sectors 2002 - 2014
Table 11 Market revenue share by retail fixed, mobile and broadcasting sectors 2012 - 2014
Table 12 Unbundled loops and access lines 2005 - 2014
Table 13 Annual ported fixed-line numbers 2010 - 2014
Table 14 Indirect access lines: CPS and WLR 2006 - 2014
Table 15 Fixed-line and mobile voice traffic in minutes 2008 - 2014
Table 16 Proportion of fixed-line revenue by service 2004 - 2013
Table 17 Fixed-line share of retail revenue by operator 2012 - 2014
Table 18 Eircom financial data (historic) 2001 - 2007
Table 19 Eircom financial data (year to June) 2009 - 2015
Table 20 Eircom revenue by sector (year to June) 2009 - 2015
Table 21 Eircom subscribers by sector 2010 - 2014
Table 22 BT Ireland broadband subscribers (historic) 2006 - 2009
Table 23 BT Ireland revenue 2008 - 2013
Table 24 Smart Telecom financial data (historic) 2003 - 2005
Table 25 Historic Fixed voice subscriptions in service and teledensity 1995; 1997; 1999 - 2004
Table 26 Fixed voice subscriptions and teledensity 2004 - 2015
Table 27 Broadband penetration by technology 2006 - 2014
Table 28 Dial-up internet subscribers 2005 - 2015
Table 29 Total internet subscribers 2005 - 2015
Table 30 Total broadband subscribers by access type 2002 - 2014
Table 31 Total broadband penetration 2003 - 2015
Table 32 Share of broadband subscribers by platform 2007 - 2014
Table 33 Market share of fixed broadband subscriptions by operator 2010 - 2014
Table 34 Residential market share of broadband access speed 2012 - 2014
Table 35 UPC Ireland subscribers 2006 - 2014
Table 36 UPC Ireland revenue 2006 2009; 2013-14
Table 37 DSL access provision by type and operator 2002 - 2014
Table 38 Eircom retail broadband subscribers 2010 - 2014
Table 39 VDSL connections 2013 - 2014
Table 40 Mobile broadband subscribers 2007 - 2015
Table 41 Mobile broadband market share by operator 2010 - 2014
Table 42 Mobile broadband market share by operator 2010 - 2013
Table 43 Wireless broadband subscribers 2005 - 2014
Table 44 Wireless hotspots and access points - 2007 - 2014
Table 45 Forecast fixed-line broadband subscribers higher market growth scenario 2013; 2015; 2020
Table 46 Forecast fixed-line broadband subscribers lower market growth scenario 2013; 2015; 2020
Table 47 Proportion of bundled services, by type 2011 - 2014
Table 48 Statistical overview of Ireland's broadcasting market 2008 - 2014
Table 49 Proportion of homes by reception method 2008 - 2014
Table 50 Proportion of pay TV and FTA households 2003 - 2014
Table 51 Proportion of digital and analogue households 2007 - 2014
Table 52 Cable TV subscribers and penetration rate 2000 2011; 2015
Table 53 UPC Ireland subscribers 2006 - 2014
Table 54 UPC Ireland revenue 2006 2009; 2013-14
Table 55 Historic - Satellite TV antennae and home penetration 1992 - 2004
Table 56 Satellite TV antennae and home penetration 2005 - 2011; 2015
Table 57 Sky satellite TV subscribers (historic) 2003 - 2008
Table 58 Operator blended ARPU 2005 - 2013
Table 59 Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 1995; 1997; 1999 - 2004
Table 60 Mobile subscribers (inc. Mobile broadband, M2M) and penetration rate 2005 - 2015
Table 61 Mobile subscribers (not incl. mobile broadband, M2M) 2011 - 2014
Table 62 Mobile market revenue, voice and data 2005 - 2014
Table 63 Mobile share of subscribers by operator 2005 - 2014
Table 64 Mobile share of revenue by operator 2005 - 2014
Table 65 Mobile voice minutes 2005 - 2014
Table 66 Prepaid versus postpaid share of subscribers 2000 - 2014
Table 67 Proportion of prepaid subscribers by operator 2008 - 2013
Table 68 Mobile data as proportion of total revenue 2006 - 2014
Table 69 Data use per subscriber 2011 - 2014
Table 70 SMS messages sent 2000 - 2014
Table 71 SMS and MMS messages sent per subscriber 2011 - 2014
Table 72 SMS and MMS revenue 2012 - 2013
Table 73 MMS messages sent 2005 - 2014
Table 74 Forecast mobile ARPU 2005 - 2015
Table 75 Forecast UMTS subscribers 2006 - 2010; 2015
Table 76 European voice roaming charges 2007 - 2014
Table 77 European data roaming charges 2012 - 2014
Table 78 Annual mobile numbers ported 2005 - 2014
Table 79 MTRs by operator 2010 - 2013
Table 80 3G SIM cards in use by type 2011 - 2014
Table 81 Vodafone mobile subscribers 2006 - 2014
Table 82 Vodafone fixed-line subscribers 2010 - 2014
Table 83 Vodafone service revenue 2010 - 2014
Table 84 Vodafone blended ARPU 2006 - 2008; 2010 - 2011
Table 85 O2 mobile financial data 2007 - 2014
Table 86 O2 mobile data statistics 2007 - 2013
Table 87 O2 ARPU, blended, prepaid and contract 2006 - 2013
Table 88 O2 subscribers 2006 - 2014
Table 89 Meteor Mobile subscribers 2006 - 2014
Table 90 Meteor Mobile services revenue 2006 - 2010; 2012- 2014
Table 91 Meteor Mobile ARPU - 2006 2014
Table 92 3 Ireland subscribers 2006 - 2014
Table 93 3 Ireland financial data 2007 - 2014
Table 94 3 Ireland revenue by sector 2013 - 2014
Chart 1 Market revenue share by fixed, mobile and broadcasting sectors 2002 - 2014
Chart 2 - Unbundled loops and access lines 2005 - 2014
Chart 3 Fixed-line and mobile voice traffic in minutes 2008 - 2014
Chart 4 Proportion of fixed-line revenue by service 2004 - 2013
Chart 5 Fixed voice subscriptions and teledensity 2005 - 2015
Chart 6 Total broadband subscribers by access type 2002 - 2014
Chart 7 Share of broadband subscribers by platform 2007 - 2014
Chart 8 UPC Ireland broadband, phone, cable TV subscribers 2006 - 2014
Chart 9 DSL access provision by type and operator 2002 - 2014
Chart 10 Wireless hotspots and access points 2007 - 2014
Chart 11 TV households by type (cable, satellite, pay) 2008 - 2014
Chart 12 UPC Ireland cable TV subscribers 2006 - 2014
Chart 13 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 2005 - 2015
Chart 14 Mobile market revenue, voice and data 2005 - 2014
Chart 15 Mobile share of subscribers by operator 2006 - 2014
Chart 16 Mobile share of revenue by operator 2006 - 2014
Chart 17 O2 mobile financial data 2007 - 2014
Chart 18 O2 ARPU, blended, prepaid and contract 2006 - 2013
Chart 19 O2 subscribers 2006 - 2014
Exhibit 1 EU The New Regulatory Framework (NRF)
Exhibit 2 Access and the local loop
Exhibit 3 Overview of digital media
Exhibit 4 3G licence results June 2002
Exhibit 5 Multiband frequency award process - 2012
Exhibit 6 WDMDS licences: operators, spectrum and fees 2005

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