Capacity utilization and fixed-to-mobile broadband substitution potential with existing macro site grids – 2017
September 2018

A study of 80 European, US, Japanese, Korean, Australian and New Zealand mobile operators

Topical for operators contemplating fixed-to-mobile broadband substitution ahead of upcoming 700, 1400 (SDL), 2300, 3400-3800 MHz spectrum auctions

Capacity utilization in 2017 and capacity potential of existing macro cell site grids
  • Elisa in Finland is the operator (and Finland is the country) with the highest mobile data capacity potential in the world
  • Verizon was the operator with the highest yearly average capacity utilization of 57% in 2017. Most mobile operators utilized in 2017, similarly to 2016, a fraction (below 20%) of their readily available network capacity
  • The United States was the country with the highest capacity utilization of 33% in 2017 even though the US mobile networks carried in average only 4 GB per person per month (US ranked fourteenth in mobile data usage per capita).
  • In Europe Play Poland was the operator with the highest mobile data capacity utilization of 55% in 2017 (48% in 2016)
  • Operators in the Nordics, Austria and Korea have 5 to 10 times denser macro site grids than operators in the United States or Canada and hence much higher capacity potential (i.e. 3.6 GHz massive MIMO deployed on macro sites)
Fixed-to-mobile broadband substitution potential with existing macro cell site grids
  • Elisa in Finland was the operator with the highest mobile data and spectrum usage per capita in the world and as well the operator with the highest fixed-to-mobile broadband substitution potential
  • Finland is the country with the highest fixed-to-mobile broadband substitution potential of 185% followed by Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Korea and Austria. The United States ranks second from the bottom in this metric with 37%
  • Mobile operators that will gain access to sizable TDD spectrum holdings in the 3400-3800 MHz bands and deploy it with massive MIMO can unleash the full potential of fixed-to-mobile broadband substitution i.e. 200 GB per person per month or ˜500 GB per household
  • In Finland where 36% of all households were mobile broadband only households (no fixed broadband connection) the average mobile data consumption per capita reached 30 gigabytes per month in 1H2018 (˜60 gigabytes per household)
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2018
spectrum
mobile-first
massiveMIMO
Finland
Elisa
5G
networkeconomics
Verizon
UnitedStates
Play
Poland
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