In 2019, InfoCom observed that 5G services are being rolled out in many countries in Europe, with telcos in Ireland being the latest to do so in December 2019 (note: other markets include Finland, the UK, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Germany, Hungary, and Romania). However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, InfoCom is expecting a slowdown in terms of 5G deployment in other areas and possibly some delays in the launching of related services. Nonetheless, for those operators who have already rolled out, InfoCom observed aggressive marketing campaigns featuring hefty discounts and inclusions for 5G plans which are mainly being bundled with 5G-ready smartphones, or as a Fixed-Wireless Access (FWA) solution. For instance, Vodafone in the UK started to offer its 5G services (i.e. unlimited data, SMS, and voice under “Unlimited” tariff) with a 50% discount for the first six months of subscription, while EE’s 5G plans include free access to BT Sport HDR and Amazon Prime Video. Meanwhile, Three UK announced that its SIMs are now 5G-ready and some locations can already access the network.
While Internet access via smartphones and even FWA is generally increasing, mobile broadband via USB modems and datacards continued to dwindle. As per InfoCom’s Quarterly Fixed versus Mobile Broadband monitoring, there were roughly 49m mobile broadband subscriptions in the EU28+NO and CH* markets as of end-2019 (-1% YoY).
*EU28 + NO and CH includes: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK. CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THIS REPORT.