Some telcos in France and Spain implemented this strategy to lure-in more mobile customers amidst intense competition and market saturation
In 1Q18, mobile subscriptions in the monitored European markets (i.e. Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, the UK) managed to grow 1% YoY as the gains in both Spain and France offset the sustained losses in Belgium and Bulgaria. InfoCom noted that convergent services are increasingly becoming popular especially in Spain and France which resulted in mobile subscription growth. For instance, Telefonica (Spain) is aggressively promoting its quad-play offers as it implemented between 16% to 20% discounts to some of its Fusion services (i.e. Fusion Series 100 Mbps, Fusion + Leisure 100 Mbps, Fusion + Premium) while also implementing up to EUR 5 price increase in its lower-value tariffs (i.e. contract only services and FTTH/VDSL and fixed telephony offers). The said price adjustments resulted in a 10% YoY growth in Fusion subscribers - driven mainly by the growth in mobile lines which now accounts around 81% (+6 p.p. YoY) of its total mobile contract subscriber base as of end-1Q18. In France, Bouygues Telecom also markets its “Bbox + Mobile” tariff plans on a discounted price of as low as EUR 15 per month for a one-year contract – inclusive of a VDSL Internet connection, unlimited fixed line calls, and up to 50 GB of mobile data allowance. Note that the operator registered the highest subscription development among the monitored operators in France (+10% YoY), whose growth was also attributed to increased network coverage (e.g. 4G) and convergent offers.
Meanwhile, the sustained decline in Belgium's and Bulgaria’s mobile subscriptions is still mainly attributed to the implementation of SIM card registration in these markets.
Faster FTTH adoption in Iran as telcos rollout fibre network to more areas
As of end-2017, the Iranian fixed broadband subscriptions expanded by 17% YoY – closing the period with nearly 11m subscriptions. In general, the continued fibre network expansion and upgrades resulted in increasing take-up of FTTH services which drove the overall fixed broadband subscriptions in the country. Since 2015, Iranian Net has been investing in fibre networks, and recently announced of extending its fibre coverage further to the areas of Tehran, Karaj, Qom, Tabriz, Shiraz, and Ahvaz as part of its partnership with MTN. The operator currently offers FTTH services of up to 50 Mbps for IRR 3 000 000 per month (around USD 71) (price excludes IRR 6 700 000 (around USD 159) worth FTTH connection cost). Likewise, TCI has kicked-off its FTTH rollout project in May 2017 with the goal of connecting around 580 000 fibre optic installed lines across Tehran, Isfahan, Mashhad, Shiraz, Ahvaz, Karaj, and Kermanshah. The initiative was implemented with the help of Huawei, Fiber Home of China, and Nokia.