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Brazilian operators reap benefits from network sharing agreements to cover expansive market with fibre broadband

Strategic Highlights
Published: 2020-03-20

The total fixed broadband subscriptions in Brazil continued to grow by 6% YoY – exhibiting one of the fastest developments as per InfoCom's Quarterly Fixed Broadband monitoring in the Rest of World* region. Coming next to China in terms of subscription growth, Brazil's fixed broadband development was mainly driven by the substantial growth in its fibre to the premises (FTTP) segment, stemming mainly from the heightened broadband network outlays which resulted in wider coverage. During the period, Vivo Brasil launched its fibre to the home (FTTH) services to 43 new cities, reaching a total 164 cities covered with its FTTH networks. Meanwhile Oi has already laid more than 360 000km of fibre lines nationwide, and is planning to extend this further once its pending sale of its mobile operations materialises (note: the company announced that proceeds of the transaction will be used to finance its FTTH network investments). Aside from own network expansion initiatives, the said players further benefit from network access agreements with regional providers. For instance, Vivo Brasil, even if it just recently launched the said scheme, already saw 9% QoQ increase in its fibre user base. InfoCom noted that during November 2019, Vivo Brasil launched 'Terra, conectado por Vivo Fibra' franchising scheme (Terra, connected by Vivo) which allows regional operators to access its nationwide 115 000km fibre network and offer FTTH services to cities with 20 000 to 50 000 inhabitants. Vivo claimed that the said scheme could contribute around 1m households to its existing FTTH user base by end-2021.

As per InfoCom's monitoring, there were more than 29m fixed broadband subscriptions in Brazil, with FTTP subscriptions exhibiting the most significant increase in share among the fixed broadband technologies (FTTP growth at +13p.p. YoY to 33% of total country connections).

*Rest of World region includes China, the USA, Japan, Brazil, South Korea, India, Canada, and Taiwan - Click here to find out more information about this report.

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Published: 2020-03-20





Household-centric offers drive FTTH/B uptake in key Western European markets in 2019

Strategic Highlights
Published: 2020-03-20

In 2019, InfoCom observed that telecom operators especially in Belgium, Italy, and Portugal refreshed their convergent offers highlighting fibre to the premises (FTTP) alongside other services in the product bundle such as discounted energy costs, TV units, and/or mobile data-sharing among family members. For instance, Telenet in Belgium registered higher fixed broadband subscriptions partly due to its "Wigo" offerings that included up to 300 Mbit/s cable broadband connection and mobile data-sharing for the entire household; while Vodafone Portugal offered a discount to some of its LED TV units in its "TvNetVoz+Móvel" packages. Similarly, Fastweb lured Italian households with its "FastEnergy" offer that included FTTH and a discounted and fixed prices on energy bills for a two-year contract (electricity at EUR 0.084/kWh, gas at EUR 0.315/scm. Note that rates are not affected by any changes in prices of energy). As per InfoCom's monitoring, these operators managed to see improvements in their user bases (up to 4% YoY increase), with Telenet even recording a relative increase in market share – click here to find out more information about this report.

https://www.infocom-de.com/contact.php

Published: 2020-03-20





Mobile voice usage grows in Hungary with increasing adoption of convergent services

Strategic Highlights
Published: 2020-03-19

Hungary remains to be one of the few markets in Eastern Europe with a growing monthly minutes of use (MoU) for mobile voice services in 2019 as per InfoCom’s Quarterly Monitoring of Mobile Voice Traffic in the region. The country registered 188 average mobile MoU per subscription in 4Q19, up by 1% YoY mainly driven by the positive impact of convergent offers that normally include unlimited mobile voice services. For instance, Magyar Telekom further improved its Magenta 1 convergent services which are now being offered with hefty subscription and handset discounts, free access to HBO Go, and consolidated fixed and mobile billing, among other features. The said bundle proves to be popular for the operator as it already registered more than 500 000 customers since its launch in 2015.

InfoCom expects average mobile voice MoU in Hungary to sustain its increasing trend albeit only marginally, as more users turn to integrated telecom services which are seen to reach 50% household adoption coverage by 2021.

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Published: 2020-03-19





In 2019: More than a third of households in Eastern Europe have FTTH/B service

Strategic Highlights
Published: 2020-03-17

Around 36% of the total households in Eastern Europe are already subscribed to either fibre to the home/building (FTTH/B) service based on InfoCom’s 4Q19 fixed broadband monitoring(+2.4 p.p. YoY) as operators remained active with their infrastructure upgrades and expansion during the period. This factor was mostly observed in Croatia, with fibre to the premises (FTTP) subscriptions surging by 40% YoY. Incumbent operator T-Hrvatski Telekom already covered 30% of the Croatian households with fibre networks as it doubled its capital outlay in 2019. Customer complaints also reportedly declined by 22% following its recent broadband network upgrades. A similar trend was observed in Poland, Serbia, and Slovakia where telcos also increasingly prioritised fibre networks to improve competitiveness – although FTTP adoption in these markets remains to be relatively low as compared with xDSL and cable modem (i.e. between 8% - 23% FTTP household adoption rate) – click here to find out more information about this report.

https://www.infocom-de.com/contact.php

Published: 2020-03-17





Among Baltic incumbents: VoLTE and VoWiFi adoption grows further at the expense of traditional voice channels

Strategic Highlights
Published: 2020-03-13

As per InfoCom’s Quarterly Line Loss monitoring covering the Baltic region incumbents (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania), the adoption of alternative voice calling services such as voice over LTE (VoLTE) and voice over WiFi (VoWiFi) expanded even more in 2019, further contributing to fixed-to-mobile substitution and impacting fixed access line development, in general. For instance, Telia Lithuania reported that around 20% of its calls are already through VoLTE, as more than half of its 1.3m mobile customers already have access to the said service. It is even higher for its counterpart in Estonia with more than 30% of the mobile calls already via VoLTE. In addition, the Estonian incumbent registered more than 100 000 VoWiFi users on iPhones to supplement its VoLTE service.

InfoCom believes that the said development was mainly due to the continued uptake of 4G services as well as the increasing number of handsets supporting the said voice services – from only selected “flagship” models from device manufacturers (e.g. Apple, Huawei, Samsung, Xiaomi), to also covering mid-range devices. Thus, InfoCom expects the continued increase in the proportion of voice calls made through VoLTE/VoWiFi and eventually 5G in the coming quarters at the expense of traditional voice channels, especially from fixed lines.

As of 4Q19, fixed access lines of the Baltic incumbents declined by an average of 9% YoY in 2019, well above the Eastern European incumbents’ average of 6% during the same period.

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Published: 2020-03-13





KPN puts "unlimited mobile data" to centerstage as competition sizzles further in the Dutch market

Strategic Highlights
Published: 2020-03-13

In 2019, InfoCom observed that KPN took to the centerstage its unlimited mobile data option in its SIM-only LTE offer and its product bundle KPN Hussel. The latter allows customers to pick additional fixed and/or mobile services, or even the entire product bundle at highly discounted rates. In October 2019, the operator started to offer an unlimited mobile data option in Hussel which also includes unlimited voice minutes and SMS.

InfoCom believes that the said development is in response to the increasing competition in the Dutch market, with other operators such as Tele2 (now under T-Mobile Netherlands) and Vodafone offering almost similar services at competitive rates. Expanded 4G coverage and unlimited mobile data allowance were also prominently advertised for mobile data-focused customers who are in parallel increasingly reducing their consumption of other services such as voice calls. As of 4Q19, InfoCom’s Quarterly Mobile Voice Traffic monitoring in Western Europe identified the Netherlands as among the countries with the steepest decline in monthly mobile minutes of use (MoU) YoY (-8% to around 125 minutes) amidst the burgeoning mobile data consumption in the region. Its incumbent, KPN, suffered an even higher decline rate at 10% despite offering unlimited voice/SMS services as standard features in its postpaid packages.

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Published: 2020-03-13





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