4G&5G prices, competitiveness rankings, competition & mobile merger analysis, network economics and 4th MNO BC research studies, 2010–2023
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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.

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.

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.

Competitiveness of Czech mobile data prices – April versus September 2019
2019
dfmonitor
pricing
Czechia
Vodafone
DeutscheTelekom
PPF
spectrum
unlimited

October 2019
The Czech government commissioned Rewheel to review the state of competitiveness of Czech smartphone mobile data tariffs, ahead of the upcoming 5G-centric spectrum auction where a frequency package is to be reserved for a new, 4th entrant mobile operator.

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

Root cause of weak competition in the Canadian wireless market
2019
Canada
Telus
Bell
Rogers
Shaw
spectrum
pricing

September 2019
The Canadian wireless market is ruled by provincial mobile network duopolies and monopolies. While in some provinces regional operators increasingly challenge the incumbents, at the national level, Canada is a de-facto network duopoly.

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.

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.

Digital Fuel Monitor 7th release, 1H2017
2017
dfmonitor
spectrum
data-caps
pricing
mobile-first
zero-rating
roaming
networkeconomics

May 2017 (updated 22.05.2017)
The state of 4G pricing, mobile data usage, spectrum usage, network capacity utilization and fixed-to-mobile broadband substitution. After its comeback in 2016, in 2017 unlimited mobile data goes viral and spreads to 22 countries. And while in competitive markets such as France and Denmark consumers can buy 100 or unlimited gigabytes for less than €30, in tight mobile oligopoly markets such as Portugal, Greece and Hungary €30 hardly buys any gigabytes.

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.

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


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.


Telcos are killing net-neutrality with overly restrictive Gigabyte quotas, anyway
2014
zero-rating
spectrum

March 2014
How much of its 4G and 5G radio spectrum capacities Europe should keep for open mobile internet access? How much for telcos' and their business partners' 'walled garden' video, cloud and m-health services (i.e. 'specialised services')

In those EU markets where competition between telecom operators can be best described as friendly net-neutrality is already on protracted coma – and the planned no-blocking & throttling rules of Neelie Kroes’s Connected Continent package will be no panacea. In protected telecom oligopolies (where no challenger mobile operator is present) all parallel fixed-line and mobile infrastructures and radio spectrum have already been or soon are to be consolidated in the hands of few friendly voice-era incumbent telecom groups with vested interests in protecting valuation of their fixed-line assets. In these markets telcos have already started to collectively restrict the maximum volume of open-internet on affordable smartphone tariff plans to just few Gigabytes. In contrast, in genuinely competitive markets, such as the UK, Finland and Austria, consumers could choose affordable (€15-€30) smartphone tariff plans that include very large (>10GB) or unlimited Gigabyte volume allowance.

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?

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's input to public consultation of the European Parliament
2013
zero-rating
spectrum
networkeconomics

November 2013
On the 4th of November 2013 Rewheel has submitted its contributions to the public stakeholder consultation launched by the ITRE Committee of the European Parliament on the European Commission's proposal on a telecoms regulation titled 'Connected Continent'.

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
spectrum
mobile-first
networkeconomics

September 2010
Market saturation, eroding voice ARPU and climbing data capacity upgrade costs are threatening the sustainability of mobile operators’ historically high profitability. We show that by taking timely actions on both the retail and network cost fronts smart operators can sustain their profitability while redefining their business to serve the increasingly data centric life style of their customers.

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.

2010
spectrum
networkeconomics

February 2010
The budget of operators’ LTE investments is being squeezed by the challenging mobile data business case. In order to make economic sense, the cost of rolling out an LTE network cannot be more than a fraction of the money that has been spent on 3G rollouts. Moreover, the price of incremental capacity upgrades needs to be at least ten times lower than the typical price of adding comparable capacity to HSPA networks.

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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