Europe’s operators invest through the pain barrier

They may rail against an unfriendly investment environment, but Europe’s network operators keep digging deeper to pay for the likes of 4G and superfast broadband. A recent report from the European Commission said EU telecoms revenue declined in 2013 yet investment grew.

Even arch-critics of Europe’s regulators – Cesar Alierta and Vittorio Colao, the respective chief executives of Telefonica and Vodafone Group – have sanctioned enormous increases in network spending. (more…)

Four’s a crowd?

Europe’s national regulators tend to like having at least four mobile network operators (MNOs). The more infrastructure competition there is, they reason, the more consumers are likely to benefit from lower prices and service innovation.

Ofcom, the UK telecoms regulator, bent over backwards to make sure 4G spectrum auction rules would result in at least four MNOs each having enough wireless frequencies to offer what it believes would be a “viable” high-speed data service nationwide. Other European Union (EU) national regulators have been equally assiduous in setting aside 4G spectrum for a fourth player. There are signs, however, that regulatory attitudes – both at a national and European level – are softening. (more…)

Quad-play appetites growing in Europe

First published on Mobile World Live, 1 April 2013

Think Europe and quad-play, then Spain and France might immediately spring to mind. In both countries, the bundling together of mobile and fixed-line services is going down a storm with customers.

Belgium, Portugal and the Netherlands may also figure in your thinking. In all five countries, says Bernstein Research, quad-play is a “mainstream offer”.

Look elsewhere in Europe, though, and quad-play is thin on the ground. Analysys Mason estimates fewer than 5 per cent of households in Germany, Italy and the UK have a bundled package of fixed and mobile services. (more…)