4G&5G prices, competitiveness rankings, competition & mobile merger analysis, network economics and 4th MNO BC research studies, 2010–2024
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Wireless markets and mobile network operator competitiveness – 2023
2023
5G Standalone
4G
mobile
data
usage
capacity
utilization
sites
spectrum
mmWave
operators
gigabytes
subscribers

December 2023
50 wireless markets and 168 mobile network operators. A comprehensive analysis and database of mobile network operator and wireless market competitiveness metrics. The database includes mobile subscribers, 5G Standalone, 5G-4G radio sites, radio site density, spectrum holdings, network data traffic load, data usage, spectrum usage, radio network capacity utilization, capacity limit, capacity potential, network performance, prices for 5G-4G voice plans, 5G voice plans, 5G fixed wireless broadband plans and many more wireless competitiveness metrics.

The state of broadband (FBB&FWA) pricing – 1H2023
2023
Broadband
FBB
FWA
FTTH
FTTN
FTTB
FTTP
5G
4G
mobile
wireless
prices
gigabytes
terabytes
unlimited
country
operators
rankings
Europe
America
Asia
Middle East
Africa

June 2023
5G fixed wireless access (FWA) broadband plans are marketed and priced as equal or better alternatives compared to non- pure fibre based broadband plans. In 9 out of 50 countries (e.g., in the UK and Switzerland) plans with the lowest monthly price, for 100 Mbit/s download speed, were 5G FWA rather than fixed broadband plans. While broadband prices are higher in more expensive countries mobile prices are not. Mobile monthly prices are, in average, 2-3 times lower in 4 vs. 3 MNO markets.

The state of 4G and 5G pricing, 1H2023 – Inflation edition
2023
5G
4G
mobile
wireless
prices
gigabytes
terabytes
unlimited
country
operators
rankings
inflation
Europe
America
Asia
Middle East
Africa

March 2023
4G&5G smartphone plan prices – for new contracts – continued to fall across most EU and OECD countries despite near double-digit inflation figures. The near-double-digit inflation in 2022 had a moderate price increase effect in markets where only 3-MNOs are present while it had no significant impact in markets where 4 MNOs are present. In almost all 4-MNO markets monthly prices fell or were flat despite an average inflation of ~9%.

The state of 4G and 5G pricing, 1H2022 - country rankings
2022
5G
4G
prices
gigabytes
terabytes
unlimited
country
rankings
Europe
America
Asia
Middle East
Africa

May 2022
Prices of 4G&5G smartphone plans continued to fall in EU in 1H2022. The median monthly price of smartphone plans in EU fell to 19 EUR in 1H2022. The median price of 4G plans fell to 15 EUR while the median price of 5G plans fell to 28 EUR. Prices of 5G plans continued to fall faster than 4G plans (~18% per annum versus ~12%). The Canadian wireless market, a de-facto network duopoly, was again ranked as the most expensive market among 50 European, American, Asia Pacific, Middle East and African countries.

Mobile data usage in 2021 and 4G & 5G operator capacity potential
2022
5G
4G
mobile
data
usage
capacity
utilization
sites
spectrum
mmWave
operators
gigabytes
subscribers

March 2022
When will mobile network operators run out of 4G capacity and how many more gigabytes per subscriber per month can they carry with 5G? A study of 170 mobile network operators from 50 European, American, Asian Pacific, Middle East and African countries. Zain Kuwait had the highest mobile data usage per subscriber in 2021 – 86 gigabytes per subscriber per month. Elisa Finland has the highest 4G & 5G untapped capacity potential – as much as a terabyte per subscriber per month.

Mobile prices are 2x to 5x lower in markets with 4 or more MNOs
2022
prices
4G
5G
concentration
HHI
4
MNOs
population
density
mobile
performance
wireless

January 2022
What are the factors that significantly affect mobile prices? Market concentration has a statistically significant effect on mobile prices. The lower the market concertation (HHI) the lower price. The number of mobile network operators (MNOs) has an even stronger statistically significant effects on mobile prices. The higher the number of MNOs the lower the price. The presence of a maverick (disruptive firm) has as well a significant lowering effect on mobile prices.

The Greek mobile market is the most expensive market in EU
2021
5G
4G
mobile
prices
expensive
gigabytes
Greece
Portugal
Spain
France
Italy
ANACOM
EETT
Masmovil
NOWO
Cosmote
Vodafone
Wind

November 2021
The Greek mobile market where only 3 mobile network operators (3-MNOs) are present, was once again, ranked as the most expensive mobile market in EU and as one of the most expensive markets in the world. Even after excluding the mobile telephony tax Greek minimum monthly prices of smartphone plans with 1, 3 or 5 gigabytes were the highest in EU. And while telecom regulators in EU’s remaining 3-MNO tight oligopoly markets are taking steps to remedy effective competition – see recent 4th MNO entry in Portugal and ANACOM’s social tariff (30 gigabytes for 6 EUR) decision – the Greek telecom regulator EETT is in denial and has done little to remedy the apparent market failures in Greece.

The state of 4G and 5G pricing, 2H2021 – operator rankings
2021
5G
4G
prices
gigabytes
unlimited
operator
rankings
Europe
America
Asia
Middle East
Africa

October 2021
Vodacom’s South Africa monthly price for 100 gigabytes was 19x higher than Pelephone’s Israel (~126 vs. ~6 EUR). Latest and historic (2014-2021) 4G and 5G prices from 172 operators in 50 European, American, Asia Pacific, Middle East and African countries.

The state of 4G and 5G pricing, 2H2021 - country rankings
2021
5G
4G
prices
gigabytes
unlimited
country
rankings
Europe
America
Asia
Middle East
Africa

October 2021
Prices of 5G smartphone, mobile broadband and wireless broadband plans continue to fall sharply in EU in 2H2021. While the share of plans with UNLIMITED data volume continue to increase the rate of increase slowdown in 2H2021. The median gigabyte price of 4G&5G smartphone plans in the Israeli 4-MNO market fell to 0.04 EUR. 4G and 5G prices from 172 operators in 50 European, American, Asia Pacific, Middle East and African countries.

Canada needs a new maverick mobile network operator
2021
5G
4G
wireless
prices
expensive
gigabytes
Canada
Rogers
Freedom Mobile
Telus
Bell
Videotron

April 2021
Canada has among the highest wireless prices in the world. The merger of Rogers and Shaw, if approved as notified, will be the final nail in the coffin of infrastructure-based competition in Canada. The only effective remedy for the merger is the upfront creation of a new maverick mobile network operator.

The state of 4G and 5G pricing, 1H2021 – operator rankings
2021
5G
4G
prices
mobile
wireless
gigabytes
unlimited
operator
world
rankings

April 2021
4G and 5G prices from 179 operators in 51 European, American, Asia Pacific, Middle East and African countries. Who are the operators with the highest and lowest monthly prices in the world?

Is Greece the most expensive mobile market in EU?
2021
5G
4G
mobile
prices
expensive
gigabytes
Greece
Cosmote
Vodafone
Wind
EETT

April 2021
Even after excluding the mobile telephony tax Greek prices – of smartphone plans with 1, 2 or 3 gigabytes – were the highest in EU. For 4 gigabytes Greek prices were the most expensive among 51 European, American, Asia Pacific, Middle East and African countries. Greek consumers pay 5 to 6 times more per month than French consumers to buy smartphone plans with, 1, 2, 3 or 4 gigabytes!

Is Canada the most expensive wireless market in the world?
2021
5G
4G
wireless
prices
expensive
gigabytes
Canada
Rogers
Freedom Mobile
Telus
Bell

April 2021
Canada has, if not the highest, among the highest wireless prices in the world. The minimum monthly price for a smartphone plan that includes 20 gigabytes in Canada is the highest among 51 European, American, Asia Pacific, Middle East and African countries. Consumers in Canada pay 7x more every month than consumers in France for 20 gigabytes.

The state of 4G and 5G pricing, 1H2021 - country rankings
2021
5G
4G
prices
gigabytes
unlimited
country
rankings
Europe
America
Asia
Middle East
Africa

April 2021
Monthly prices of 4G and as well 5G plans in EU continue to fall. Plans with unlimited data volume continue to spread. 4G and 5G prices from 179 operators in 51 European, American, Asia Pacific, Middle East and African countries.

5G capacity potential - more than 500 gigabytes/subscriber/month
2021
5G
4G
capacity
utilization
potential
macro
sites
spectrum
operators
gigabytes
subscribers

March 2021
When will mobile network operators run out of 4G capacity and how many more gigabytes per subscriber per month can they carry with 5G? A study of 169 European, American, Asian Pacific and African operators.

1&1 Drilisch’s 4th MNO entry in Germany - Will it work?
2021
1&1 Drillisch
Telefonica
Germany
4th MNO
business case
5G
national
roaming
data
costs

February 2021
1&1 Drillisch’s MVNO business in Germany would become unprofitable when 5G goes mainstream, so investing in spectrum was 1&1 Drillisch’s only choice to keep its business afloat. 1&1 Drillisch’s 4th MNO business case will be positive if BNetzA intervenes and mandates competitive national data roaming rates.

4G&5G prices are 2x to 4x lower in markets with four MNOs
2020
dfmonitor
prices
4G
5G
concentration
4
MNOs
population
density
speed
mobile
wireless

December 2020
What are the factors that determine mobile prices? Market concentration (no. of MNOs) has a statistically significant effect on 4G&5G monthly and gigabyte prices. The higher the no. of MNOs the lower the price.

4G&5G connectivity competitiveness 2020
2020
dfmonitor
broadband
pricing
4G
5G
operator
competitiveness
Elisa
Finland
Canada
Greece
mobile
wireless

November 2020
Elisa Finland had overall the most competitive 4G&5G connectivity monthly prices in 2H2020 among 168 mobile network operators present in 48 European, American, Asia Pacific and African countries.

The state of 4G&5G broadband pricing – 2H2020
2020
dfmonitor
broadband
pricing
4G
5G
Brazil
China
Colombia
India
Russia
Taiwan
South Africa
mobile
wireless

October 2020
The share of smartphone, mobile and wireless broadband plans with unlimited data volume continued to grow, gigabyte allowances of finite data volume plans continued to grow – but overall monthly and gigabyte prices continued to fall. Monthly prices of smartphone and wireless broadband plans with unlimited data volume fell in EU in 2H2020!


Unlimited mobile data – Why Finland is different
2020
Finland
Elisa
DNA
TeliaCompany
pricing
5G
mobile
wireless

February 2020
... and why operators in other markets can’t easily replicate the Finnish model.

Rolling out 5G fibre-through-the-air under the exceptionally strict Swiss EMF radiation limits
2019
Switzerland
Sunrise
spectrum
massiveMIMO
5G
mobile-first

December 2019
In December 2019 Sunrise invited Rewheel to try its 5G based home broadband solution in Switzerland. Rewheel had previously provided consulting support for Sunrise in preparation for the 5G spectrum auction that was held in early 2019. After the modelling work and conceptual sessions, we were eager to go back to Switzerland to see how Sunrise’s engineers managed to turn theory into practice.

3.6 GHz 5G spectrum valuation in Poland
2019
Poland
Polkomtel
Orange
DeutscheTelekom
Play
5G
merger
spectrum

December 2019
The value of 3400-3800 MHz 5G band is substantially higher in Poland than in other large EU markets. The spectrum valuations of the four Polish operators are highly asymmetrical.

2018 capacity utilization and 5G capacity potential of mobile operator existing macro cell site grids
2018
spectrum
mobile-first
massiveMIMO
UK
Canada
Hutchison
Finland
Elisa
5G
networkeconomics
Verizon
Poland

October 2019
When will EU28 & OECD operators run out of 4G capacity and how many more gigabytes per subscriber per month can they carry with 5G? A Rewheel research PRO-study of 143 European, US, Canadian, Japanese, Korean and Australian operators

German 5G spectrum auction – back to 4 MNOs?
Live tracker and Rewheel analysis
2019
spectrum
5G
Germany
DeutscheTelekom
Vodafone
Telefonica
Drillisch

April 2019
Free to download Rewheel spreadsheet analysis of the bids, updated continously.

Site density is key to LTE network performance – and critical for 5G
2019
spectrum
networkeconomics
Finland
Switzerland
Germany
Elisa
Play
Telenor
Vodafone
5G

February 2019
Rewheel-Tutela research study. Analysis of 99 mobile networks across EU28, Norway and Switzerland, key network performance drivers and implications on 5G infrastructure and spectrum investment strategies.

Iliad’s 4th MNO venture into Italy – Will it pay off?
2019
Iliad
Hutchison
WindTre
Italy
spectrum
5G
networkeconomics
pricing

January 2019
Can Iliad make money by charging only €7.99 per subscriber? What is the minimum ARPU level that Iliad will need in order to break even in a reasonable period?


Capacity utilization and fixed-to-mobile broadband substitution potential with existing macro site grids – 2017
2018
spectrum
mobile-first
massiveMIMO
Finland
Elisa
5G
networkeconomics
Verizon
UnitedStates
Play
Poland

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.

First impressions from the world’s first commercial 5G network
2018
spectrum
massiveMIMO
Finland
Elisa
5G

August 2018
In June 2018 Elisa became the first operator in the world to launch commercial service over its 5G (3.5 GHz) network in Tampere Finland and Tallinn Estonia. Elisa invited Rewheel to try its 5G network.

Unlimited mobile data and near zero marginal cost – a paradigm shift in telco business models
2017
networkeconomics
mobile-first
pricing
spectrum
5G
massiveMIMO
Telefonica
DeutscheTelekom
Vodafone
Orange
Hutchison
TelecomItalia
Elisa
DNA
Sunrise
Salt
Play
Tele2
Telenor
Swisscom
TelekomAustria

September 2017
European winners and losers in 4.5G and 5G – study of 30 operators. Will mobile network CAPEX stay flat in the long run? Spectrum valuation implications.

O2 – Ready to disrupt the German tight oligopoly market
2017
networkeconomics
mobile-first
pricing
merger
spectrum
5G
massiveMIMO
Germany
Telefonica
DeutscheTelekom
Vodafone

April 2017
In March 2017 Telefonica O2 Germany announced 3.5 GHz (they have 83 MHz) Massive MIMO (= very high capacity LTE macro sectors) field trials with Huawei for wireless home broadband and 4K video. Our models predict that O2's macro site grid and spectrum resources (FDD+TDD) could allow it to drive fixed-to-mobile broadband substitution in Germany by connecting millions of households with HD TV service on its high capacity LTE network.

Capacity utilization and fixed-to-mobile broadband substitution potential – A study of 64 European operators
2017
networkeconomics
mobile-first
spectrum
5G
massiveMIMO
Finland
United Kingdom
Poland
Austria
Germany
Hutchison
Telefonica
Play
Elisa

March 2017
When LTE base stations are upgraded to 'Gigabit' speed the gigabyte volume capacity of the networks also greatly expands. We modelled LTE network capacity based on existing FDD and TDD spectrum holdings (and potential acquisitions in 2.3 and 3.4-3.8 GHz bands) and sizes of the macro site grids. Without and with Massive MIMO in the TDD bands. Topical for operators contemplating fixed-to-mobile broadband substitution ahead of upcoming 700, 1500 (SDL), 2300, 3400-3600 MHz spectrum auctions.

Is spectrum usage harmonised across the EU28 national mobile markets?
2016
5G
spectrum
mobile-first
networkeconomics
Vodafone
Telefonica
DeutscheTelekom
Orange
KPN
DNA
Elisa
Tele2
Finland
Greece

November 2016
Spectrum harmonisation: the key to 5G? Rewheel's material presented on the ECTA Regulatory Conference 2016

EU’s 5G competition challenge
2016
5G
mobile-first
networkeconomics

July 2016
A handful of big telco groups – with vested interests in fixed-line broadband – impose very restrictive mobile internet usage caps. This raises serious concerns that these telco groups – that tightly control most EU national markets – will not be incentivised to sell competitively priced 5G internet access.

Rewheel in the international media
Why are Canadians' cellphone bills higher than other countries?
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Reducing Wireless Competition in Europe
The New York Times (editorial)


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