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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

O2 nearly triples GB volume allowances (for the same price) after the Commission blocked the 4 to 3 merger in the UK
2016
United Kingdom
Telefonica
O2
Hutchsion

July 2016
Before the blocked merger £25 bought O2 customers 8 gigabytes. Now O2 customers get three times more gigabytes i.e. 25GB by spending £25

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.

Hutchison defies Vestager and increases prices, ahead of its planned acquisition of o2 in the UK, for the fourth time
2016
United Kingdom
Three
Hucthison
Telefonica

January 2016
Hutchison appears to be confident that price increases will not deter the European Commission from approving the 4 to 3 merger

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.

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.

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.


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 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.


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.

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?

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.

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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