4G&5G prices, competitiveness rankings, competition & mobile merger analysis, network economics and 4th MNO BC research studies, 2010–2021
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2015
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KPN’s message to Liberty Global: Swallow the remedies and complete the merger or else I go “truly mobile” and disrupt the market with mobile-only play
2015
KPN
Libertyglobal

November 2015
The statement above is our interpretation of the motive behind the launch by the KPN group in one of its markets of “truly mobile” smartphone plans with enough mobile internet gigabytes to “live completely mobile”.


The competition effect – After Telenor’s and TeliaSonera’s merger was blocked a Danish operator doubled its smartphone plan cap from 20 to 40 gigabytes
2015
Denmark
TeliaCompany
Telenor

September 2015
Before the planned merger a Danish operator was selling in Denmark a 4G LTE smartphone plan with 100 gigabytes for €39. Ahead of the planned merger the operator slashed the gigabytes down to 20 while keeping the price the same. After the merger was blocked the operator doubled the maximum gigabytes on its smartphone plans by launching a plan that packs 40 gigabytes.

The 4 to 3 consolidation effect – Hutchison Three Italy halved the gigabytes in its flagship smartphone plan and launched its own zero-rated film store
2015
Italy
Vimpelcom
Hutchison
merger
zero-rating

September 2015
- Ahead of its planned merger with Wind in Italy Hutchison Three has halved the gigabytes in its flagship 4G LTE smartphone mobile internet access plan and launched its own zero-rated (unlimited gigabytes at €0/GB) film store.

The 4 to 3 consolidation effect – Hutchison Three UK doubled the price of its flagship smartphone plan
2015
Hutchison
Telefonica
United Kingdom
merger

August 2015
Ahead of its planned merger with Telefonica O2 in the UK Hutchison Three has more than doubled (+113%) the price of its flagship 4G LTE smartphone plan.

Tight oligopolies and the need for ex ante regulation – Why BEREC is right and ETNO is wrong
2015
tight-oligopoly
mobile-first
zero-rating
pricing

August 2015
There are substantial empirical market evidences supporting the notion that close to half of EU’s mobile markets exhibit tight oligopoly non- or sub-competitive market outcomes.


UK and French 4-network-operator competitive mobile markets versus the consolidated German protected oligopoly – 2Q 2015
2015
United Kingdom
France
Germany
Iliad
Hutchison
DeutscheTelekom
Vodafone
Telefonica
EverythingEveywhere
SFR
BouyguesTelecom
Orange

June 2015
Triggered by the planned mergers in the UK, Commissioner Vestager’s assertion that “In fact, infrastructure investment can be stimulated by competition” and by the court challenge filed by Airdata AG against the Commission’s unlawful approval of Telefonica E-Plus German merger we take a closer look at effective competition and in particular 4G LTE mobile internet access (smartphone plan) prices and hotspot/tethering restrictions in the consolidated German protected oligopoly, UK and France.

10 gigabyte 4G basket EU28 & OECD country and operator rankings
2015
prices

June 2015
In this premium research note we present the 10 gigabyte basket EU28 & OECD country and operator ranking for 4G LTE unlimited (>1,000) minute & SMS smartphone plans that include hotspot/tethering functionality for the entire volume. MVNOs are not competitive!

Affordably priced 100 or unlimited gigabyte 4G LTE smartphone plans with tethering – Trouble is brewing for cable and fixed-line operators
2015
Germany
Telefonica
KPN
merger

June 2015
4G LTE smartphone plans with 100 or unlimited gigabyte volume are promoted by European mobile operators as the ultimate packages for connecting computers and tablets and streaming movies while at home. Affordably priced 100, 200, 500 or unlimited gigabyte 4G LTE data only home broadband plans - Cheaper than cable.


The 4 to 3 consolidation effect – The Austrian mobile market has fallen considerably behind in competitiveness in EU28
2015
zero-rating
merges
Austria
Hutchison

May 2015
Smartphone tariff price competitiveness snapshots between December 2012 and May 2015. Before the price hikes that followed approval of Hutchison’s and Orange’s merger Austria used to rank as the country in EU28 with the second lowest 4 gigabyte smartphone tariff basket price. Now prices doubled and Austria has fallen to the fourteenth place.


The 4 to 3 consolidation effect – In Denmark the prices of mid range and high gigabyte usage smartphone plan baskets edged higher
2015
zero-rating
Denmark
Hutchison
TeliaCompany
Telenor
TDC

April 2015
While in the neighbouring Swedish 4 operator competitive market gigabyte allowances doubled for same prices (40, 50 and 100 gigabyte smartphone plans are now available and on some Swedish networks 30% of the residential smartphone customers are now on the 20, 50 or 100 gigabyte plans) in Denmark two operators started moving in the opposite direction.

What Telefonica does not want EU competition and regulatory authorities to know
2015
Telefonica

April 2015
Telefonica published (link here) on their public policy blog a review of the Digital Fuel Monitor methodology. Telefonica’s critical review of the Digital Fuel Monitor methodology is based on a review (link here) conducted by a consulting firm called Solchaga Recio & Associates (SR). In this 2-pager research note we respond to Telefonica's criticism. The note also includes the copy of our first reactions posted under the Telefonica blog post.
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The competition effect – In Sweden, a 4 operator market, 4G smartphone volume caps doubled (for same prices)
2015
Sweden
Hutchison
Tele2
Telenor
TeliaSonera

April 2015
Northern Europeans get 50 times more gigabyte allowance on mass affordable tariff plans than consumers in non-competitive EU member states such as Greece

The 4 to 3 consolidation effect – Hutchison Three UK increases prices, again!
2015
United Kingdom
Hutchison
Telefonica
merger

April 2015
Three UK has now more than doubled the price of its flagship SIM-only smartphone plan. Hutchison appears confident that price increases will not deter the European Commission from approving its planned acquisition of o2 in the UK with an ineffective upfront ‘throughput≠capacity’ based MVNO remedy.

The dubious consolidation economics of Frontier Economics
2015
Austria
Hutchison
merger

March 2015
In its report ‘Assessing the case for in-country mobile consolidation’, prepared for the GSMA, Frontier Economics claimed “...that there is no evidence that prices increased following the merger” in Austria. According to Frontier’s dubious methodology unit prices fall even when consumers are asked to pay more Euros every month to purchase the same amount of goods. The fact is that before the merger, in December 2012, Austrian consumers paid €11 to purchase a smartphone plan with at least 1,000 minutes/SMS and 2 gigabytes. By February 2015 the price has doubled to €22.


In 4 to 3 consolidated markets average mobile internet access prices rose by up to 56%
2015
Germany
Austria
Hutchison
Telefonica
KPN
DeutscheTelekom

March 2015
In 4 to 3 consolidated markets and in a market where consolidation is on the making the average price of the 5 gigabyte mobile internet access basket rose by up to 56% while the lowest available price rose by up to 68%. In markets that went from 3 to 4 operators and in a 4-player market where consolidation was blocked the average price of the 5 gigabyte mobile internet access basket fell by up to 37% while the lowest available price fell by up to 40%.

EU vs US Perspectives on Net Neutrality
2015
zero-raring
UnitedStates

[Open Forum Europe round table discussion in the European Parliament]
March 2015
Downlad Rewheel's presentation » here

Drillisch, the MVNO that helped clear Telefonica’s acquisition of E-Plus in Germany raised mobile internet gigabyte prices by 138%
2015
Germany
Telefonica
KPN

February 2015
Meanwhile Telefonica, post merger, also raised mobile internet smartphone plan prices by double digit percentage.

The real threat to the open Internet is zero-rated content
2015
zero-rating

[External guest blog, World Wide Web Foundation]
February 2015
In this two-part guest blog for the World Wide Web Foundation, Antonios Drossos of Rewheel discusses the potential threats of price discrimination. Download as PDF: » here

In the Netherlands, where zero-rating is banned, KPN just doubled (free of charge) the mobile internet volume caps to encourage a carefree usage of its online videos
2015
Netherlands
zero-rating
KPN

February 2015
This is the first empirical evidence of the pro-competitive benefits of real net neutrality rules that ban price discrimination (zero-rating) – it leads to lower internet usage prices and higher volume caps!

Telenor launched a vertically price discriminated internet video service in a European market
2015
Telenor
Hungary
zero-rating

February 2015
Unlike all other vertically price discriminated telco mobile TV and film store video services Telenor’s service is not zero-rated but the price is massively discounted. Telenor charges 10 times less per Gigabyte when consumers watch its own internet video service over its mobile network compared to the price it charges consumers for open mobile internet access!

36 leading US scholars, in a letter addressed to the FCC, have called for the ban of paid prioritisation, including zero-rating
2015
United States
zero-rating

January 2015
This is the first letter by leading scholars that unequivocally supports a bright-line ban on all forms of paid prioritization (including zero-rating).


The Dutch regulator has fined Vodafone for violating national net neutrality law by zero-rating HBO mobile video streaming
2015
Netherlands
zero-rating
Vodafone

January 2015
On the 27th January 2015 ACM, The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets has fined Vodafone for violating the Dutch net neutrality law.

Slovenian telecom regulator orders mobile operators to stop zero-rating
2015
Slovenia
zero-rating
TelekomSlovenije
TelekomAustria

January 2015
Slovenian regulator has found that zero-rating internet apps is violating the non-discrimination clause of the Slovenian national net neutrality law.

Price discrimination (zero-rating), if allowed, will erect a new insurmountable barrier to EU’s Digital Single Market
2015
zero-rating

January 2015
The suggestion by the Presidency of the EU Council to omit from the scope of net neutrality regulation the potentially anti-competitive practice of price discrimination (e.g. zero-rating) and allow instead Member State legislative discretion will balkanise internet access and prevent the creation of a European Digital Single Market.

New Republican Bill Is Network Neutrality in Name Only
2015
United States
zero-rating

[External article, Stanford Law Review, by Barbara van Schewick & Morgan N. Weiland]
January 2015
On closer examination, the bill is so narrowly written that it fails to adequately protect users, innovators, and speakers against blocking, discrimination, and access fees. Citing Digital Fuel Monitor research.

The net neutrality study prepared by J. Scott Marcus for the European Parliament conveniently missed the elephant in the room – Price discrimination (zero-rating)
2015
zero-rating

January 2015
Although the author referred to its work as “analytical” the study made no reference whatsoever to the most important and wide spread economic net neutrality violation – application based price discrimination such as zero-rating.

The splinternet
2015
zero-rating

[External article, The Economist GE Look ahead]
January 2015
Net neutrality and why it matters (or not) for the digital economy. Based on Rewheel quotes and Digital Fuel Monitor analysis.

The European Commission unlawfully approved Hutchison’s acquisition of Orange in Austria by knowingly accepting ‘ineffective' commitments
2015
Austria
Hutchison
Orange
merger

January 2015
The Commission was well aware at the time it approved the Austrian merger (December 2012) that Hutchison’s Final Commitments (MVNO wholesale access) could not remove the competition concerns entirely.

Rewheel in the international media
Reducing Wireless Competition in Europe
The New York Times (editorial)


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