[Close]  
Market research logo; years of Excellence in Market Research since 1988.

European Mobile Market

  Europe's mobile operators look to international opportunities and LTE for future growth

The value of Europe's mobile market has shown consistent but slower growth for several years. This slowdown has largely been due to intensifying competition which has led to falling prices for voice minutes, as well as regulatory measures which have reduced roaming and interconnection charges. This negative impact has been compensated by increased consumer use of mobile data services.

In response to this trend, mobile network operators (MNOs) have during the last few years focussed their efforts on migrating prepaid users to contract plans, commanding higher ARPU and higher average use, and on cultivating high-end mobile services among subscribers. These efforts will continue as MNOs move forward. To support this, most CAPEX is being channelled to upgrading networks to utilise HSPA and LTE technologies, and to investing in spectrum licences as they become available.

Moving from voice to data

These upgrades, having considerable implications for revenue, business models and investment opportunities, will be paramount during the next few years if MNOs are to avoid further capacity restraints on their stretched networks. To alleviate the burden, an increasing number of operators have abandoned offers of unlimited data use, instead reverting to caps of about 500Mb/s per month. Although mobile broadband revenue has doubled annually since 2007, the sector still only accounts for no more than 10% of total revenue. Considerable further growth is anticipated to the end of the decade.

Mobile operators have similarly expanded their interests in the fixed line sector. Led by Vodafone, which now operates IPTV, broadband and telephony in several European markets, this diversification has extended the revenue base and so weakened the continuing financial impact from falling mobile voice revenue.

Exploiting international opportunities

The financial difficulties experienced by all main cross-border MNOs in Europe in the wake of the continuing global economic crisis has led to their major strategic restructures and reviews of international commitments. Two of the main players, T-Mobile and Vodafone, have recently withdrawn from significant international markets (T-Mobile selling its US interests, and Vodafone selling interests in France, China and Japan). By contrast, TeliaSonera has expanded in Central and Eastern Europe, as well as in Eurasia, while Telefnica has skilfully used its advantages of language and cultural ties to consolidate its position in Latin America. As mobile software, technologies and applications steadily lessen the difficulties inherent in managing international businesses, players which recede from their global aspirations risk limiting their growth opportunities in coming years. Yet despite some retrenchments, Europes mobile operators remain a keystone for investors and for opportunities in developing markets alike.

Growing MVNO market share

MVNOs, offering own-branded mobile subscriptions and value-added services, have had a significant impact on the market generally, and on the operating behaviour of the host MNOs. Many of the latter have entered the field by buying up MVNOs and resellers, and so can tap into a low-cost segment while retaining their high-end brands. Nevertheless, MVNOs have succeeded in exploiting niche markets and novel business models. Some MVNOs have fruitfully targeted expatriate communities, while others have emerged as offshoots from large retailers (particularly in the UK, Germany, France and Spain). Sympathetic regulatory measures have helped the MVNO and reseller sector prosper, and during the next few years some markets will see them command up to a third of mobile subscribers.

Read more, see European Mobile Operators 2011

West Europe Top 10 States by Mobile Subscribers 4Q 2010

East Europe Top 10 States by Mobile Subscribers 4Q 2010

See also:
France Republic Mobile Operator Subscriber Statistics
Hungary Mobile Operator Subscriber Statistics
Poland Mobile Operator Subscriber Statistics
Slovakia Mobile Operator Subscriber Statistics
UK Mobile Operator Subscriber Statistics
UK Fixed Operators & Broadband

Europe's Top 50 Mobile Network Operators by Subscribers

Rank

Country:

Mobile Operator:

Subscribers 4Q 2007

% share

1

Russia

Mobile TeleSystems

57,430,000

6.7%

2

Russia

VimpelCom

42,221,000

4.9%

3

Italy

Telecom Italia Mobile

36,331,000

4.2%

4

Germany

T-Mobile

36,000,000

4.2%

5

Russia

MegaFon

35,660,000

4.1%

6

Germany

Vodafone D2

33,920,000

3.9%

7

France

Orange France

24,226,000

2.8%

8

Ukraine

Kyivstar GSM

23,604,000

2.7%

9

Spain

Telefonica Moviles Espana

22,826,600

2.7%

10

Italy

Vodafone Omnitel

22,791,000

2.7%

11

Ukraine

Ukrainian Mobile Communication (UMC)

20,500,000

2.4%

12

France

Societe Francaise de Radiotelephone

18,766,000

2.2%

13

United Kingdom

Vodafone

18,447,000

2.1%

14

United Kingdom

Telefonica O2

18,382,000

2.1%

15

United Kingdom

T-Mobile

17,300,000

2.0%

16

Spain

Vodafone Espana

15,810,000

1.8%

17

United Kingdom

Orange PCS

15,642,000

1.8%

18

Italy

Wind Telecomunicazioni

15,600,000

1.8%

19

Germany

E-Plus Mobilfunk

14,807,000

1.7%

20

Poland

Telekomunikacja Polska

14,158,000

1.6%

21

Poland

Polkomtel

13,452,000

1.6%

22

Poland

Polska Telefonia Cyfrowa

13,000,000

1.5%

23

Germany

Telefonica O2 Germany

12,472,000

1.5%

24

Spain

France Telecom Espana

11,091,000

1.3%

25

Romania

S.C. Orange Romania

9,813,000

1.1%

26

France

Bouygues Telecom

8,949,038

1.0%

27

Romania

Vodafone Romania

8,808,000

1.0%

28

Ukraine

Astelit

8,800,000

1.0%

29

Netherlands

KPN Mobile

8,730,769

1.0%

30

Russia

TELE2 Russia Telecom

8,560,000

1.0%

31

Italy

H3G

8,100,000

0.9%

32

Greece

COSMOTE

6,278,846

0.7%

33

Portugal

TMN

6,244,160

0.7%

34

Kazakhstan

GSM Kazakhstan

6,017,000

0.7%

35

Serbia

Telekom Srbija A.D.

5,576,923

0.6%

36

Greece

Vodafone-Panafon

5,438,000

0.6%

37

Czech Republic

T-Mobile Czech

5,300,000

0.6%

38

Czech Republic

Telefonica O2

5,126,000

0.6%

39

Portugal

Vodafone Portugal

5,111,000

0.6%

40

Russia

Uralsvyazinform

5,100,000

0.6%

41

Bulgaria

Mobiltel EAD

5,098,600

0.6%

42

Switzerland

Swisscom Mobile

5,010,000

0.6%

43

Hungary

Magyar Telekom

4,900,000

0.6%

44

Netherlands

T-Mobile Netherlands

4,900,000

0.6%

45

Sweden

TeliaSonera Sweden

4,807,000

0.6%

46

Belgium

Belgacom Mobile

4,620,000

0.5%

47

Kazakhstan

Kar-Tel

4,603,000

0.5%

48

Greece

Wind Hellas

4,520,000

0.5%

49

Russia

Sibirtelecom

4,134,615

0.5%

50

Netherlands

Vodafone Libertel

4,038,000

0.5%

 

Other

 

146,561,543

17.1%

 

Total

 

859,582,095

100.0%


Source: The Worldwide Directory of Mobile Network Operators 2011

Click here for a current Vodafone and Vodacom market overview.

European mobile phone operator market share 4Q 2007 pie-chart

Source: The Worldwide Directory of Mobile Network Operators 2011

At the end of 2007 the Top 10 European nations acounted for 76 percent of the European mobile subscriber market. Russia was the largest European mobile phone market with some 157.9 million mobile subscribers, and representing some 18.5 percent of the European mobile market. Register here for a free report on the Eastern Europe telecom market, including detailed mobile phone market statistics. In second place was Germany with some 97.2 million subscribers (11.4 percent), followed by Italy in third place with some 82.8 million users (9.7 percent). The UK market, with 73.1 million subscribers, represents 9 percent of the market, and is in fourth place. In total there were some 854.7 million mobile subscribers in Europe at the end of 2007.

European States by Mobile Penetration: 4Q 2007

State

Mobile Penetration

State

Mobile Penetration

Faroe Islands

205%

Belgium

104%

Gibraltar

179%

Latvia

101%

Montenegro

167%

Macedonia (FYROM)

93%

Greece

151%

Greenland

92%

Channel Islands

149%

Slovenia

89%

Italy

142%

Serbia

89%

Bulgaria

139%

Switzerland

88%

Cyprus

139%

Andorra

83%

Ireland

138%

France

81%

Lithuania

135%

Belarus

74%

Portugal

133%

land Islands, Finland

74%

Denmark

132%

Luxembourg

71%

Czech Republic

129%

Kazakhstan

70%

Spain

124%

Albania

64%

Monaco

121%

Malta

62%

United Kingdom

120%

Armenia

61%

Ukraine

120%

Azerbaijan

59%

Estonia

120%

Hungary

57%

Sweden

119%

Georgia

56%

Austria

118%

Kosovo

49%

Germany

118%

Moldova

42%

Netherlands

117%

Tajikistan

40%

Finland

114%

Bosnia and Herzegovina

38%

Croatia

113%

Nagorno Karabakh Republic (NKR)

36%

Russia

112%

Georgia (Abkhazia)

31%

Slovakia

107%

Kyrgyzstan

30%

Poland

107%

Uzbekistan

22%

Iceland

106%

Liechtenstein

16%

Norway

106%

Abkhazia

11%

Romania

106%

Turkmenistan

8%


Source: The Worldwide Directory of Mobile Network Operators 2011 & CMSinfo c. 2008

See also...

Czech Republic Mobile Operator Subscriber Statistics
France Republic Mobile Operator Subscriber Statistics
Hungary Mobile Operator Subscriber Statistics
Slovakia Mobile Operator Subscriber Statistics
UK Mobile Operator Subscriber Statistics
UK Fixed Operators & Broadband
Vodafone Group

Top of Page