4G&5G prices, competitiveness rankings, competition & mobile merger analysis, network economics and 4th MNO BC research studies, 2010–2024
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The 4 to 3 Vodafone / Three mobile merger in the UK will lead to substantial 26% to 51% monthly price increases
2024
4 to 3
mobile
merger
Vodafone
Three UK
CK Hutchison
consolidation

February 2024
if the merger is approved without the upfront creation of a new 4th mobile network operator. Consumers in the UK could see their monthly bills rise by 26% to 51% in average. Those that subscribe to mobile plans with large or unlimited data could see their monthly cost double after the expiration of their current contracts.

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.

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

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?

The massive MIMO effect: has the 3.4-3.8 GHz TDD spectrum become more valuable than 800 MHz (and 700 MHz) FDD?
2018
spectrum
massiveMIMO
United Kingdom
Vodafone
Telefonica
Hutchison
BritishTelecom

April 2018
Paradigm change in mobile technology leads to paradigm change in spectrum valuations (observations after the UK auction).


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.

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

Hutchison Austria quadrupled data allowances after national regulatory authority’s intervention on zero-rating video
2016
Austria
Hutchison
zero-rating
data-caps

December 2016
The regulator intervened along the EU net neutrality rules and BEREC guidelines that prohibit differential throttling when the internet-access data cap is exhausted.

Effective structural remedies for Hutchison-WIND 4 to 3 Italian mobile merger
2016
Iliad
Italy
Hutchison
Wind
Vimpelcom

September 2016
This research report was submitted to Commissioner Vestager and DG Competition on 30th May 2016, three months prior to the European Commission's announcment (link) of approving the merger subject to remedies.

Three years after the 4 to 3 merger €25 buys Austrians only half the gigabyte allowance than it did before the merger approval
2016
Hutchison
Austria

March 2016
Before the merger Austria was ranked as the 3rd most competitive mobile market among EU28. Three years after the merger Austria has fallen to the 10th place.

Hutchison has increased prices in Austria by up to 92% after the 4 to 3 merger was approved with Mickey Mouse MVNO remedies
2016
Austria
Hutchison

February 2016
Unit prices (retail price / GB volume allowance) ≠ Unit revenues (revenues / actual GB consumption)

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.

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.

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.

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%.

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.

UPC Austria finally launches as an MVNO on Hutchison’s network
2014
Austria
Hutchison
Orange
merger
Libertyglobal

December 2014
Two years after the merger of Hutchison and Orange the European Commission’s presumed “effective” MVNO remedy is finally implemented – and as we predicted it is proven toothless

The consolidated Austrian mobile market in Q3 2014
2014
Austria
Hutchison
TelekomAustria
DeutscheTelekom

September 2014
The price of mobile internet in Austria, following the 2013 hike, surged again in Q3 2014. A profound structural change is in the making in the Austrian mobile data access market.

Hutchison Three – No longer a challenger?
2014
Austria
Hutchison
TelekomAustria
DeutscheTelekom

September 2014
The price of mobile internet went up notably in the UK during the 2H of 2014. The price of mobile internet also went up notably in Austria after the 4 to 3 mobile operator merger. The Austrian competition authority has already opened an investigation.


Post-consolidation price hike in Austria
2013
Austria
Hutchison
Orange
merger

September 2013
In this flash report we follow up on our EU27 mobile data cost competitiveness report May 2013 by reflecting on three recent market developments: consolidation in Austria (prices went up by over 60% on average), the planned acquisition of KPN E-Plus in Germany and EU's single telecom market regulation.

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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