& cplSiteName &

Europe Needs Mobile Mavericks

Michelle Donegan
Wireless Bits
Michelle Donegan
1/10/2013
50%
50%

10:00 AM -- Consumers pay far more to use data on their smartphones in European countries that don't have an independent competitive mobile network operator, according to new research from Helsinki, Finland-based consultancy Rewheel. While it's no secret that lack of competition in any particular market results in higher prices for users, this study shows that significant price declines are driven by the operators that Rewheel refers to as "independent challengers." As the Financial Times noted in this article, those challengers are known as "mavericks" by industry regulators. These maverick operators are not part of any incumbent national operator or a subsidiary of one of Europe's five largest mobile operator groups (dubbed, the E5 group) -- that is, Deutsche Telekom AG, France Telecom - Orange, Telecom Italia SpA, Telefonica SA and Vodafone Group plc . Rewheel finds that even when an operator from the E5 group is in a challenger position as the third or fourth biggest network in a market, it does not drive price competition. The best examples of European challengers are 3 in the U.K., Free Mobile in France or Tele2 AB in the Netherlands, now that it has an LTE license. Rewheel shows just how much these operators drive down prices: the lowest available smartphone tariffs in markets without a challenger operator is 140 percent higher than in markets that have at least one maverick mobile operator. (For the study, Rewheel compared the lowest smartphone tariffs in each market for a minimum of 2GB of data and 200 off-net minutes per month.) Also, markets that have an independent challenger have on average 34 percent higher mobile data penetration. The Rewheel study shows how these competitors are needed to make smartphone usage more affordable and pervasive across the EU. The big operators clearly haven't done it on their own. There are such challengers in 14 of Europe's 27 markets, according to Rewheel's study, which didn’t specify the country names. So, where are the upstarts that will take on the rest of Europe's mobile data scene? Perhaps the painful economic situation in Europe is enough to keep would-be investors away for now. But that makes it more important than ever for Europe's regulators to set the conditions that will attract investment from new, independent operators. The upcoming 4G auctions in the region will be good opportunities for regulators to encourage new entrants, like Ofcom in the U.K. has done by designing its auction to ensure that there are at least four 4G mobile network operators. We're hoping regulators will get it right and the rollout of 4G networks will also launch a new breed of mobile operator challengers. — Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile

(7)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
pal.zarandy
50%
50%
pal.zarandy,
User Rank: Light Beer
1/11/2013 | 6:23:22 PM
re: Europe Needs Mobile Mavericks
If instead of being fixated on protecting their existing voice and sms centric business models and revenue streams they would start focusing on squeezing down variable, data traffic related capex and opex - as for example operators in "mobile data progressive", truly competitive markets like in Finland do - they could-áaccommodate-áfar more traffic without hurting their margins. Of course, if the regulatory climate allows them to protect their margins without this extra "stress", why would they bother.

http://uk.reuters.com/article/...
Gabriel Brown
50%
50%
Gabriel Brown,
User Rank: Light Sabre
1/11/2013 | 2:19:21 PM
re: Europe Needs Mobile Mavericks
On the other hand if there's insufficient profit, where's the incentive to build better networks? The industry needs a decent level of profit to innovate.

A lot of the cost reduction we've seen as consumers over the past few years (especially in the UK, for example) is the result of development started/done when the industry had cash to invest.

The danger of a race to bottom is-áthat we'll have cheap services, but not very good ones.
pal.zarandy
50%
50%
pal.zarandy,
User Rank: Light Beer
1/11/2013 | 11:35:48 AM
re: Europe Needs Mobile Mavericks
Mostly bad.

Mobile network operators need to feel a burning pressure to keep innovating and increasing mobile network capacities and spectrum efficiency, ultimately their own competitive cost level advantage of "producing" - or rather delivering a GByte on their network.-áEven if they are confronted by the realities of flat or even declining market revenues, and maybe even that they themselves will not be able to grow any more their revenues.

If local regulators, competition commission, allows spectrum pooling and extensive active network infrastructure sharing, there will be not much incentive for the MNOs to push down cost per Gbyte. Especially not in light of the threat of voice and SMS cannibalisation. Why would they bother swapping their network gears for more modern, higher capacity, much cheaper platforms and negotiating better pricing deals with their infra vendors if at the end of the day their competitors are using the same cost level and everybody is more or less happy with their 50, 30, 20% market shares and existing margins?

Would the breathtaking speed of innovation, growth of processor power, memory, screen size have happened in smartphones, if the device market was a closed market with hard barriers of entry like in the case of service providers, if the few incumbents like Nokia, RIM, etc would have been "allowed" to start sharing the development of their hardware and software platforms? Definitely not.
Michelle Donegan
50%
50%
Michelle Donegan,
User Rank: Light Beer
1/11/2013 | 11:21:35 AM
re: Europe Needs Mobile Mavericks
Given the report's findings, you also have to wonder about how network sharing and spectrum pooling will affect consumers -- will these trends be good or bad for consumers?
Michelle Donegan
50%
50%
Michelle Donegan,
User Rank: Light Beer
1/10/2013 | 7:42:09 PM
re: Europe Needs Mobile Mavericks
Most countries weren't called out for their smartphone pricing, but the top four priciest markets were the Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary and Germany, based on Rewheel's data, which was collected in December 2012. -áAnyone surprised?-á
Michelle Donegan
50%
50%
Michelle Donegan,
User Rank: Light Beer
1/10/2013 | 7:37:34 PM
re: Europe Needs Mobile Mavericks
The 27 EU countries are diverse by any comparison. But Rewheel found that the tariffs for the smartphone plans it compared (that is, at least 2GByte data and 200 off-net minutes per month) ranged from 8 euros to 78 euros. That's a massive gap and it's bound to raise eyebrows in Brussels.
More Blogs from Wireless Bits
Undercuts Huawei and ZTE in China Mobile 4G tender
CTO says vendor is seeking insight and inspiration from developer competitions
After a few months away, Sarah Reedy is back on the Light Reading team
Four new focus areas for NGMN Alliance highlight the key challenges facing mobile network operators in 2013
9:00 AM Smartphones have bigger mobile data appetites than tablets in Europe
From The Founder
NFV's promises of automation and virtualization are intriguing, but what really excites service providers is the massive amount of money they could save.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
VMWare VP Brings Women Up With Her

8|16|17   |   6:49   |   (1) comment


It's an art and a science to make mentorship, inclusive leadership, diversity and promotion of high-potential women work, says Honore' LaBourdette, vice president of Global Market Development at VMWare.
LRTV Documentaries
5G Spectrum Wars – The Recap

8|15|17   |   2:22   |   (0) comments


Service provider 3 has filed a lawsuit against Ofcom over 5G spectrum auction in the UK.
LRTV Custom TV
Say What? Facebook Unleashes AI Anarchy – The Recap

8|7|17   |     |   (0) comments


A recap of the week's talking points on Light Reading's sister site, telecoms.com. Facebook AI programmers had a bit of a brain-fade as they allowed one of its AI applications to invent its ...
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Fujitsu's Women Band Together to Help Girls Do STEM

8|2|17   |   9:35   |   (1) comment


Supporting women both inside and outside of Fujitsu is a top priority of the telecom vendor. Yanbing Li, Fujitsu Network Communication's director of System Software Development & Delivery, shares why it's important, but why there's still a long road ahead.
LRTV Custom TV
If You're Not First, You're Last – The Recap

7|31|17   |   08:18   |   (1) comment


In case you missed it, Amazon's 1% stock increase helped Jeff Bezos dethrone Bill Gates as the richest man in the world. Also, Taiwanese electronics manufacturer
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
AT&T's Tech President Preps Workforce for the Future

7|26|17   |   5:47   |   (10) comments


AT&T is focused on the software-defined network of the future and is reskilling its workforce to get ready too, according to AT&T's President of Technology Development Melissa Arnoldi.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Cisco: Mentoring Critical to Attract & Retain Women

7|19|17   |   6:40   |   (1) comment


Liz Centoni, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's Computing System Product Group, shares why mentoring in all its forms is important for women and what Cisco is doing that's made a difference for women in tech.
LRTV Custom TV
Gigabit LTE With Snapdragon 835

7|12|17   |     |   (1) comment


At an event in Wembley stadium, EE used its live network to demonstrate gigabit LTE using a Sony Xperia XZ Premium smartphone with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chip.
LRTV Custom TV
Implementing Machine Intelligence With Guavus

7|12|17   |     |   (0) comments


Guavus unites big data and machine intelligence, enabling many of the the largest service providers in the world to save money and drive measureable revenue. Learn how applying Machine Intelligence substantially reduces operational costs and in many cases can eliminate subscriber impact, meaning a better subscriber experience and higher NPS.
LRTV Custom TV
Unlocking Customer Experience Insights With Machine Intelligence

7|12|17   |     |   (0) comments


When used to analyze operational data and to drive operational decisions, machine intelligence reduces the number of tasks which require human intervention. Guavus invested in Machine Intelligence early. Learn about the difference between Machine Learning and Machine Intelligence.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Verizon VP Talks Network, Career Planning

7|12|17   |   4:49   |   (0) comments


Heidi Hemmer, vice president of Technology, Strategy & Planning at Verizon, shares how bold bets and the future of tech define her career.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Masergy's NFV Journey

7|11|17   |     |   (0) comments


Ray Watson, vice president of global technology at Masergy, discusses the advantages and challenges in entering the still-maturing NFV market for the past three years.
Upcoming Live Events
September 28, 2017, Denver, CO
October 18, 2017, Colorado Convention Center - Denver, CO
November 1, 2017, The Royal Garden Hotel
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, UK
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Intel CEO Leaves Trump Biz Advisory Board
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 8/15/2017
Are Cord-Cutting's Days Numbered?
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 8/14/2017
Orchestration Startup UBiqube Pivots Away From NFV
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 8/15/2017
Verizon Video Woes Pile On
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 8/14/2017
WiCipedia: Dolly Babes, Manifesto Backlash & 'Brotastic' Failures
Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 8/18/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Animals with Phones
We Know a Tough Day When We See One Click Here
Live Digital Audio

Understanding the full experience of women in technology requires starting at the collegiate level (or sooner) and studying the technologies women are involved with, company cultures they're part of and personal experiences of individuals.

During this WiC radio show, we will talk with Nicole Engelbert, the director of Research & Analysis for Ovum Technology and a 23-year telecom industry veteran, about her experiences and perspectives on women in tech. Engelbert covers infrastructure, applications and industries for Ovum, but she is also involved in the research firm's higher education team and has helped colleges and universities globally leverage technology as a strategy for improving recruitment, retention and graduation performance.

She will share her unique insight into the collegiate level, where women pursuing engineering and STEM-related degrees is dwindling. Engelbert will also reveal new, original Ovum research on the topics of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, security and augmented reality, as well as discuss what each of those technologies might mean for women in our field. As always, we'll also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air and chat board.