4G&5G prices, competitiveness rankings, competition & mobile merger analysis, network economics and 4th MNO BC research studies, 2010–2024
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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 in Germany, Italy, France, Spain and UK – June 2020
2020
dfmonitor
data-caps
pricing
mobile-first
Germany
Italy
France
Spain
UnitedKingdom
DeutscheTelekom
Vodafone
Telefonica
Orange
Altice
BouyguesTelecom
Iliad
Hutchison
Masmovil
mobile
wireless

July 2020
Monthly prices of plans with unlimited data volume and as well gigabyte prices of plans with data caps continue to be significantly higher in the 3-MNO German versus the 4-MNO Italian, French, Spanish and UK markets.

The state of 4G & 5G pricing, 1H2020
2020
dfmonitor
data-caps
pricing
mobile-first
Japan
Germany
Greece
Netherlands
UnitedStates
Australia
Canada
mobile
wireless

April 2020
The share of smartphone and mobile/wireless broadband plans with unlimited data volume continues to grow, gigabyte allowances of finite data volume plans continue to grow – but overall monthly prices continue to fall.

4G era – Who got the most out of it?
2019
Elisa
DNA
Play
Iliad
Tele2
DeutscheTelekom
Vodafone
Telefonica
Drillisch
Swisscom
Sunrise
Germany
UK
Netherlands
Ireland
Austria
France
Italy
Finland
Sweden
Denmark

May 2019
5-year mobile service revenue trends for 143 operators present in EU28 & OECD markets. Finnish operators that executed ‘unlimited everything’ strategies were the undisputed champions of the 4G era.

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.

4G prices in Germany versus the UK, France and Italy – a universe apart!
2019
pricing
United Kingdom
Italy
France
Germany
DeutscheTelekom
Vodafone
Telefonica
Iliad
TelecomItalia
WindTre

February 2019
In-depth comparison of 4G prices and gigabytes in the 3-MNO consolidated German versus the 4-MNO UK, French and Italian markets – implications for the German 5G market.


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.

Four year comparative study of unit prices in 4-MNO and in the 4 to 3 consolidated German & Austrian markets
2017
pricing
merger
Germany
Austria
Italy
Denmark
United Kingdom
France
Poland
Sweden
Netherlands
Hutchison
Telefonica
Iliad
Play
Tele2
Vimpelcom

January 2017
The gap between gigabyte prices in the 4 to 3 consolidated Austrian & German markets and prices in 4-MNO markets where no consolidation has taken place had substantially increased by September 2016

Tight oligopoly mobile markets in EU28 in 2016
2016
spectrum
networkeconomics
pricing
merger
mobile-first
zero-rating
Germany
DeutscheTelekom
Vodafone
Telefonica
Orange

December 2016
Fixed-line broadband interest, zero-rating video and big telco ownership impedes competition in mobile markets

The Commission proposed wholesale data roaming cap of €8.5/GB is anomalous and will distort competition in North-Eastern mobile markets where retail gigabyte prices are competitive
2016
roaming
networkeconomics
Finland
Poland
Denmark
France
United Kingdom
Italy
Germany
Spain

October 2016
UPDATED with DG Competition's response to Rewheel's concerns. How low should the wholesale data roaming cap be in 2017 to avoid the distortion of competition in North-Eastern domestic mobile markets where retail gigabyte prices are competitive?

Mobile data usage (gigabyte volume) in Finland is set to overtake fixed-line broadband usage in Germany in 2016
2016
Finland
Germany
mobile-first
Elisa
Dna
TeliaCompany
networkeconomics

May 2016
In 2016 mobile data volume consumption per person in Finland is set to exceed fixed-line broadband volume consumption per person in Germany. Anecdotal evidence reported by WDR (German public media) indicated that younger users are frustrated by very restrictive smartphone plan volume caps.

The approval of the 4 to 3 Telefonica E-Plus merger with ineffective MVNO remedies made Germany the least competitive market in EU28
2016
Germany
KPN
Telefonica

February 2016
Denmark vs Germany. Decoupling of mobile internet access prices and gigabyte consumption.

Tight oligopoly mobile markets in EU28 in 2015
2016
spectrum
pricing
merger
mobile-first
zero-rating
Germany
DeutscheTelekom
Vodafone
Telefonica
Orange

January 2016
Comprehensive analysis of factors that give rise to unilateral anti-competitive effects leading to non-competitive outcomes and consumer harm in tight mobile oligopolies.


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.

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.


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%.

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.

German telecom regulator: Zero-rating (volume discrimination) violates net neutrality
2014
Germany
zero-rating

September 2014
Zero-rated content or apps are applications or services that allow the end-user to consume unlimited Gigabyte volume of selected content without depleting their inclusive open mobile internet volume allowance (source: Wikipedia)

Reducing Wireless Competition in Europe
2014
Germany
Telefonica
KPN
merger

[External article, The New York Times]
July 2014
A recent decision by European regulators to approve the merger of two cellphone companies in Germany will significantly reduce competition and encourage further consolidation in the industry. Citing Digital Fuel Monitor research.


Telefonica’s Mickey Mouse commitments are irrelevant and ineffective
2014
Germany
Telefonica
KPN
merger

May 2014
Will Almunia succumb to Merkel’s pressure and clear Telefonica/E-Plus merger with toothless Austrian like remedies (leased 2600MHz spectrum, WiFi, MVNOs) or stand firm, enforce the law and prohibit the merger?

Spectrum use in Finland and the UK versus Germany
2014
Finland
United Kingdom
Germany
spectrum
networkeconomics

March 2014
According to data reported by the national regulatory authorities and presented in the first release (1H2014) of the Digital Fuel Monitor the average monthly mobile data consumption per capita varies greatly across EU28. In 2012 the Finnish consumed on average 1.49 Gigabyte every month while the British 0.38 Gigabyte. The Germans on the other hand consumed a dismal 0.15 Gigabyte every month. Why do consumers in competitive markets (where a challenger operator is present) consume up to 10 times more mobile data than consumers in protected markets such as Germany? Are Germans less eager users of the internet?

Competition in France & UK versus Germany
2013
France
United Kingdom
Germany
Iliad
BouyguesTelecom
Orange
SFR
KPN
Telefonica
Vodafone
DeutscheTelekom

December 2013
Inefficient operators that cannot make a healthy return on €20 mass market 10 GByte all-you-can-eat minute & SMS smartphone tariffs will soon become telco road kills in Europe’s competitive markets.

Mobile network operator consolidation in Germany
2013
Germany
Telefonica
KPN
merger
spectrum

November 2013
Telefonica’s acquisition of E-Plus, if approved, will turn Germany into a fiercely competitive market.

EU27 mobile data cost competitiveness report - May 2013 (Rewheel's second extensive EU-wide mobile data cap and pricing analysis)
2013
dfmonitor
pricing
spectrum
Germany

May 2013
EU’s single telecom market is threatened by the lack of mobile network infrastructure based competition within the national borders of half of EU’s member states and from the noticeable absence of pan-European retail operators offering borderless European tariffs.

E-Plus Germany mobile data impact analysis — showing way forward for challenger operators?
2010
Germany
KPN
spectrum
mobile-first
networkeconomics

November 2010
Up until late 2009 E-Plus had been following a low cost challenger strategy primarily targeting customers with no or very light mobile data needs. But late 2009, when it became apparent that fast mobile data is not a niche offering any longer but is becoming an essential need of the mass consumer base in Germany and in other developed telecoms markets, they swiftly declared a new, “voice+data” strategy.

2010
Germany
Finland
spectrum
networkeconomics

August 2010
There is a common opinion in the industry that 3G/HSPA mobile data networks are congested because operators are running out of their spectrum resources. Considering the traffic demand, likely traffic geo-distribution, daily profile and the constrains of HSPA and LTE technology our models show that in typical mature mobile telecommunications markets spectrum scarcity alone does not cause a capacity crunch yet.

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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