1 TELECOMS, MEDIA & ENTERTAINMENT OUTLOOK 2015
3 Welcome Over the last year, while the technology and digital content and services businesses have continued to globalize, the telecoms operator business has become more local. Rather than building out regional and global footprints, operators have refocused their M&A strategies as they bid to become dominant players in fewer markets. It turns out that there are more synergies to be gained by integrating fixed and mobile operator businesses within a single country than by running mobile operator businesses in different ones, even within the same region. As we look ahead to the trends and strategies that will shape 2015, it is interesting to do so through a local versus global lens. Telecoms networks are evolving into video distribution platforms, and global Internet (content) service providers are coming to view telecoms operators as local partners that can help bring their services to market by offering billing, distribution (retail), and network support. We are already seeing this through the partnership programs of music streaming service providers Spotify, Deezer, and Rhapsody; OTT communications service providers including Facebook, WhatsApp, and Line; and OTT video provider Netflix. When it comes to local content, telecoms operators are already emerging as strong contenders for the right to broadcast national sporting events such as soccer. In doing so they are coming into direct competition with national broadcasters and pay-tv companies. Over a period of time we can expect the process of in-market consolidation to extend to TV providers. In 2014 we have seen Telefonica acquire a majority stake in the owner of pay-tv company Canal+, and AT&T successfully bid for DirectTV. In time we can expect to see other local digital content businesses such as newspapers sucked into this in-country consolidation. The ability to integrate fixed and mobile services has as much resonance in the business sector as in the consumer market. And the telco partnership model is equally as relevant to enterprise applications as to consumer ones. However, to serve multinational enterprise customers, telecoms operators have always had to offer regional and global capabilities. As operators further their machine-to-machine (M2M) ambitions, the ability to offer global connectivity and pricing is going to be a key differentiator. We are already seeing the emergence of global and regional operator M2M alliances that could provide this capability. In this year s Telecoms, Media & Entertainment Outlook 2015, Ovum thought leaders give their views about how the evolving telecoms and media landscape will play out in This report comprises 12 interviews with Ovum analysts looking across the telecoms, consumer services, and technology and media sectors. After each interview we include recent research republished from Ovum s Knowledge Center on the relevant topic area. I very much hope you enjoy reading the report, and do please get in touch if you have any follow-up questions for our analysts. Mark Newman Chief Research Officer, Ovum For all enquiries please contact us at: +44 (0) OVUM.COM 2014 OVUM. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. 03
4 Ovum Telecoms and Media Ovum is the leading analyst house across converging telecoms, media and IT markets. We offer a greater breadth and depth of coverage, with more metrics and insight across more markets, than any other provider. Ovum understands that: Industry value is shifting This means that you need expert insight, context, and understanding that can help you recognise, assess, and respond quickly to the challenges, opportunities, and threats of the new value chains. All research should be relevant and actionable This means you must have research and advice that directly supports commercial outcomes across your business and that is delivered by accessible market experts. WHAT SETS US APART? WE UNDERSTAND CONVERGING MARKETS The ongoing convergence of the telecoms, media, and IT markets means companies can no longer take for granted who the customer and competitors are. Advances in technology and new business models mean that value is shifting, with markets reshaping as players respond. For example: network managed services are converging with IT managed services telco network infrastructure is converging with software infrastructure hardware devices are converging with hardware platforms enterprise IT is converging with communications financial services is converging with online payments We are uniquely positioned to help you understand this landscape and to address its commercial implications, because of our: Longstanding expertise We have been advising: leaders in the telecoms industry for over 25 years enterprise CIOs and IT vendors for 20 years TV players for more than 15 years Multi-disciplinary teams With teams comprising researchers and analysts with expertise in each of the converging industries, we can quickly assemble new research streams and deliverables, and rapidly provide an informed view on where new opportunities and challenges lie. IT Telco IT Enterprise IT for Telcos TELECOMS Telco Media MEDIA Media Technology OVUM. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. OVUM.COM
5 WE ARE CONNECTED To develop strategy and formulate action you need a deep understanding of local markets. You also need the support of experts who are available to add context and commercial insight to your thinking. Our analysts can fill these two vital roles: Helping you to understand local trends and market drivers We have analysts in 23 global research offices, and engage with the industry at a senior level via more than 150 of our own annual events. This means we are embedded in the markets you need to understand in order to grow your business. Being accessible to support your decisionmaking Our senior analysts are always available to answer questions quickly and reliably for you. Whether you need a set of findings put into context for an immediate task or to interpret a crucial forecast metric, you can rely on them to provide you with critical expertise and advice. WE SUPPORT YOUR COMMERCIAL DECISIONS We focus exclusively on enhancing the results you achieve from critical business tasks. Our ability to deliver value is built on our thorough understanding of the markets we track, and our unique approach to providing intelligence in ways that immediately impact the tasks you need to undertake: Strategic planning All our research processes have robust market data and five-year forecasts at their core. This means you can depend on the reliability of our intelligence when planning future direction and prioritizing opportunities. YOUR PRIORITIES Market sizing, forecasting and market entry planning Competitor and customer tracking and insights Business Strategy OUR DELIVERABLES KPIs and forecasts for 220 countries 50+ market tracking products Product strategy Because of the depth of our expertise in each market in which we operate, you can rely on our intelligence to steer, validate, and inform product and portfolio strategies. Business case modelling Product benchmarking and best practice Product Strategy Product portfolio and pricing comparisons Segmentation and messaging support deliverables Go-to-market activity Our deep engagement with companies who are, in many cases, your prospects means you can depend on our intelligence to inform and empower your sales and go-to-market teams. Message construction and utilization Account-level targeting and contact generation Go-to-market Activity Marcomms sound-boarding capability Deep account intelligence and prospecting tools OVUM.COM 2014 OVUM. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
6 Our research by sector OVUM RESEARCH CHANNELS Telecoms Service Providers and Markets Telecoms Operations and IT Consumer Services Wholesale Enterprise Services Enterprise Technology Intelligent Networks Components Consumer Technology Regulation Internet of Things Payments Media and Entertainment TV Digital Media Music Technology TV FTTx KPIs Vendor Datacenter KPIs financial Vendor Datacom software Network optical Packet WAN services Network OSS/BSS Transceivers data Big components access Mobile components Network CONSUMER TECHNOLOGY REGULATION Optical access Fixed Operational transformation customer Telco experience analytics data Big services Vendor IT COMPONENTS Service provider financial KPIs Broadband, voice & messaging Service provider innovation Pricing strategies MVNOs NETWORKS & IT Service provider strategies OPERATIONS Technology SERVICE PROVIDER Wholesale regulation Country regulation Broadcasting, media and content Industry Sectors Wholesale Wholesale market Wholesale technologies Wholesale services SERVICES Consumer Services Services Digital services Smart living Commerce Mobile advertising Consumer cloud Enterprise Services Multinational & corporate SME & SoHo Vertical industries Unified communications & collab- Components Networks oration Managed mobility Cloud & data center M2M & IoT Connectivity Enterprise customer experience Enterprise Technology Internet & applications Apps & ecosystems Music Broadband access Consumer technology Regulating OTT services Internet of Things Payments Operating systems & application platforms Consumer electronics Multi-screen Smartphones & mobile phones Wearables and connectivity User experience Tablets INTERNET TELEVISION DIGITAL MEDIA MUSIC Music Free to air TV Media innovation Digital music Multiscreen Media rights & regulation Digital advertising OTT video OTT video Publishing Live music Pay TV Video games Music innovation Music rights & regulation TV advertising Innovation Physical music Devices TV rights & regulation Music rights & regulation Ovum s expertise spans the breadth of the telecoms and media sector Service providers sit at the centre of our coverage. We look at the business of being a communications service provider, their core business and commercial strategies. When it comes to technology, our expertise spans CSP fixed and mobile networks and the IT systems that support their operations and products. On the services side Ovum has analyst teams covering consumer, enterprise and wholesale markets. But our expertise goes beyond the traditional telecoms sector. We have built deep knowledge of IP communications, digital media and other adjacent sectors. We understand the TV and music industries and the growth potential that they offer OVUM. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. OVUM.COM OVUM.COM 2014 OVUM. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. 07 3
7 01 MOBILE OPERATORS & SERVICES
8 Q+A STEVEN 2014 HAS BEEN A TOUGH YEAR FOR MOBILE OPERATORS IN EUROPE. IS 2015 GOING TO BE ANY EASIER? Not really. Ovum forecasts that operators mobile revenues in Europe will decline by 1.7% year-on-year in In particular, pressure in Western Europe will continue, with revenues declining by 2.7% year-on-year compared to a rise of 1% for Eastern Europe. However, this is an improvement on 2013 to Western European retail connectivity revenues saw a 3.1% decline, with Eastern European growth of 0.4%. The appetite for mobile data is encouraging data revenue growth; 2015 will see data revenues in Western Europe breach 50% of the total for the first time, while Eastern Europe grows to 37%. ARE THERE ANY SIGNS (YET) THAT OPERATOR CONSOLIDATION IS LEADING TO PRICE STABILISATION? It s a mixed picture. For example, in the US, pricing is most affected by the rapid migration of customers to equipment financing plans, in which customers pay separately for the device and the monthly service plan. AT&T and Verizon are also rapidly migrating customers onto data sharing plans, which reduces revenue per connection. In Europe, Austria saw aggressive consolidation to three players, but the impact in terms of pricing and ARPU varies from operator to operator. T-Mobile and Telekom Austria have seen improvements in ARPU in 2014, but 3 is still seeing a decline. In the Netherlands, Vodafone and T-Mobile s post-consolidation situation is improving, while KPN s remains weak. WHAT IS GOING TO BE THE MOST DYNAMIC SEGMENT OF THE MVNO MARKET IN 2015? Geographically it will be new MVNO markets such as China, where China Unicom reported more than 200,000 MVNO subscribers within one month of launch. China s potential is phenomenal; we forecast that it will account for 35% of global MVNO subscribers in For services we believe that the mobile virtual network enabler (MVNE) space will continue to grow. Network operators and platform providers will look to both enhance their offerings to MVNOs and optimise their profitability from hosting retailers. Furthermore, we expect to see new MVNOs and MVNEs serving the growth in wearables, M2M, and IOT. WHAT SORT OF PRICING INNOVATION DO YOU EXPECT TO GAIN MOMENTUM OVER THE NEXT 12 MONTHS? Over the next two years, we believe packages incorporating content will become increasingly common. However, the manner in which content is incorporated into a package can vary greatly. Today, it can be zero-rated, so the telco covers the cost of the traffic generated, or the operator can cover the cost of the subscription to a service (with traffic consumed deducted from the user s plan). Moving forward we expect more sponsored data examples, with a third party paying for the data consumed. Asian markets in particular are seeing a surge in mobile plans where data for specific applications is not charged. Today these have primarily focussed on social networking applications, especially in emerging markets. HARTLEY PRACTICE LEADER Bundled content subscriptions are more common in Europe and North America, with the likes of Spotify and Deezer leading the way. Such deals offer promotional benefits for both the mobile operator and content provider. Sponsored data has been much hyped but we have seen very few examples of it being adopted yet in Europe or North America. There seems to be more interest in Asia, specifically in China. CAN MOBILE OPERATORS INNOVATE IN TERMS OF NEW SERVICES? Most mobile operators face an uphill struggle to innovate in terms of services. Development budgets at the likes of Google dwarf the R&D available to operators, which must also fund new networks. There s also the fact that mobile operators can be limited to just one market, whereas the Internet giants have global customer bases. Consequently, we encourage operators to partner with those best positioned to develop new services. The emphasis should be on developing the network platforms capable of delivering new services quickly, cost-effectively, and to a high quality. In the Internet world more services than ever are being deployed and the services landscape is evolving constantly. Trying to keep pace with such change without agile and flexible networks risks destroying the service provider s commercial viability. But there will be exceptions. Large domestic or international operators will have the greatest opportunities to achieve economies of scale. However, the challenge for these players remains in harnessing the skills and corporate focus to develop IP services. Subsequently, funding may be a more efficient use of capital than developing services in-house. Several telcos now have venture-capital arms, and we expect these to become more important innovation channels. WE HAVE SEEN A NUMBER OF MOBILE OPERATORS BUY FIXED AND ENTERPRISE SERVICE PROVIDERS OVER THE LAST 12 MONTHS. DO YOU EXPECT THIS TREND TO CONTINUE IN 2015? Absolutely. We are finally seeing fixed mobile convergence happening. Users demanding broadband everywhere and the pressure to deliver rapidly growing volumes of data efficiently are pushing operators into action. There is also commercial pressure; as triple-play bundles become ubiquitous, quad-play becomes the new battlefield. Moves into the business segment are driven by the hunt for new revenues, along with the increased blurring of consumer and business services through trends such as bring your own device. It s unlikely that the surge of interest in this space will enable either revenue or margin growth to be maintained at current levels, but we expect telcos to continue focusing on this area.
9 Global Mobile Market Outlook: GLOBAL MOBILE SUBSCRIPTIONS WILL GROW TO 8.5B BY 2019 Global mobile subscriptions are forecast to rise by 1.8 billion between end-2013 and end-2019, from 6.7 billion to 8.5 billion, equating to a CAGR of 4.2% over the period and 28% in absolute terms. Asia-Pacific will be the biggest contributor to growth in subscription numbers, and will account for 53% of total global subscriptions at end-2019, and 55% of global net additions during the forecast period. Africa will see the most rapid increase in subscription count, with a CAGR over the forecast period of 7.4%. FIG 1 MOBILE SUBSCRIPTIONS BY REGION 9 8 FASTEST SUBSCRIPTION GROWTH WILL COME FROM EMERGING MARKETS The top 20 fastest-growing markets in subscription terms over the forecast period will be emerging markets, largely because of their stronger population growth and pent-up demand in low-penetrated market segments. No developed market made the top 20 list. Developed markets will see growth continue to slow over the forecast period and are much more likely to see changes to their customer bases from shifts in subscription share rather than overall market growth. Therefore, customer retention will become more important, and customer initiatives will target churning customers rather than new ones. Operators will continue to use subsidies on hero devices as well as device exclusivity to acquire customers from rivals. But they will also need to respond to the lower service pricing associated with operators equipment-financing programs and SIM-only/BYOD offers. 7 FIG 2 MOBILE SUBSCRIPTION CAGR BY REGION 6 Subscriptions (billions) 5 4 World Western Europe Eastern Europe 0.9% 1.9% 4.2% 3 North America 3.0% 2 Latin America & the Caribbean 3.1% 1 OESEA 3.9% Middle East Central & Southern Asia 4.3% 5.1% Africa Central & Southern Asia Western Europe Latin America & the Caribbean Middle East North America Oceania, Eastern & Southeastern Asia Eastern Europe Africa 7.4% 0% 1% 2% 3% 4% 5% 6% 7% 8% CAGR << SOURCE: INSERT OVUM FIG 1 >> SOURCE: OVUM OVUM. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. OVUM.COM
10 MOBILE SERVICE REVENUES WILL REACH $1.1TN BY 2019 Ovum s latest forecast covers both mobile service revenues and Retail Connectivity and VAS (RC&V) revenues (a subset of total service revenues, consisting of revenues generated specifically from the provision of voice and data services to consumer and enterprise end-users). Global mobile service revenues are forecast to grow at a CAGR of 2.3%, from $957bn in 2013 to $1.1tn in Retail connectivity and VAS revenues will reach $1.1tn in 2019, up from $938.5bn in The bulk of the difference between total service revenues and RC&V revenues is a combination of wholesale, enterpriserelated, machine-to-machine (M2M), and Internet of things (IoT) services. These will become more important revenue sources for service providers (especially Western Europe) where RC&V revenues are declining or flat. FIG 4 RETAIL CONNECTIVITY AND VAS REVENUES BY REGION Revenue ($bn) FIG 3 TOTAL SERVICE AND RETAIL CONNECTIVITY REVENUE 1, ,100 Africa Central & Southern Asia Western Europe Latin America & the Caribbean Middle East North America Oceania, Eastern & Southeastern Asia Eastern Europe 1,050 SOURCE: OVUM Revenue ($bn) 1, DEVELOPED MARKETS WILL CONTINUE TO FEEL REVENUE PRESSURE Many developed markets, and remarkably all markets in Western Europe, will begin to see year-on-year declines in revenues by In fact, more than one-third of the 67 countries tracked in Ovum s forecast will experience some decline by 2019, and one-third (25 markets) will see year-onyear revenue declines in Total service revenue SOURCE: OVUM Retail connectivity & VAS Western Europe is the only region expected to see revenue decline over the forecast period, but growth in most other regions will be modest, with CAGRs below 3% over the forecast period. Globally, revenues will grow at a CAGR of just 2%. Central and Southern Asia, Africa, and OESEA will grow faster than average, at CAGRs of 5.1%, 4.5%, and 3.6%, respectively, through A decline in retail connectivity revenues in many developed markets in Europe, North America, and Asia-Pacific is imminent. Western Europe will see a CAGR of -1.7% between 2013 and 2019, which in absolute-value terms equates to a drop of $15.3bn. All 17 Western European markets covered by the forecast are set to experience revenue decline over the next five years. The biggest declines in the region will occur in Denmark, Italy, Greece, and Belgium. To improve flat or declining retail connectivity revenues in these markets, operators are heavily promoting pricing innovations such as SIM-only tariffs, hybrid price plans, and free on-net calls or secondary SIM cards given as loyalty rewards. Despite these efforts, prices in many markets will continue to fall, leading to declines in ARPU and ultimately in retail connectivity revenue. OVUM.COM 2014 OVUM. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. 11
11 In Central and Southern Asia, India will drive growth in retail connectivity revenue. Revenues in India (which accounted for 69% of revenues in the region in 2013) will grow at more than twice the rate of all other markets in the region. With relatively low mobile data costs in India, the growing availability of low-end smartphones and 3G data services put the market in a good position to capitalize on mobile data services. But regulatory and economic barriers will probably make LTE deployments sluggish over the next several years. PRICE COMPETITION AND A MORE DIVERSE MIX OF CONNECTIONS WILL CAUSE ARPU DECLINE In nearly all markets, ARPU will fall over the forecast period as a result of increased competition and a rise in take-up of non-phone connections, which will constitute a growing proportion of net additions over the forecast period. This is particularly the case in developed markets, where smartphone penetration is already high and where most operators net additions will be driven by customers moving from one operator to another, rather than from market growth. North America continues to report the highest ARPU of any region and will continue to see figures twice that of Western Europe, the region with the next-highest ARPU, through 2019 (see Figure 5). North America s high ARPU is largely due to the high cost of data, whose proportion of total revenue is rising. Central & Southern Asia is set to have the lowest ARPU through the forecast period, at just $2.47 in 2013 and falling to $2.41 in FIG 5 MONTHLY ARPU BY REGION $60 $40 Monthly ARPU $20 $ Africa Western Europe Middle East Oceania, Eastern & Southeastern Asia Central & Southern Asia Latin America & the Caribbean North America Eastern Europe SOURCE: OVUM OVUM. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. OVUM.COM
12 The slowdown in new-customer acquisition will drive pricing competition among operators, which will in turn push down ARPU. A fall in flat-rate monthly tariffs and the introduction of shared data plans will encourage prepaid-to-postpaid migration and churn within the existing customer base. Tablets and other connected devices along with VAS services that aim to capitalize on these new types of connections will increase the mix of nonphone connections in the short term. Because these attachment subscriptions tend to carry lower ARPU than phone subscriptions, they will drive down overall ARPU. They will also probably boost churn somewhat among existing customers. Increasing availability of Wi-Fi might encourage some customers to use their cellularcapable portable devices exclusively over Wi-Fi. And a general lack of consequences (such as early-termination fees) for downgrading service might also encourage such behavior. WORLD S MOST ARPU-RESILIENT COUNTRIES Just 10 of the 67 countries covered in Ovum s mobile revenues forecast will experience ARPU growth over the forecast period, all of them emerging markets. ARPU growth for all but two of these markets will be somewhat short-lived, occurring in the near term, with decline predicted in all but two markets by Vietnam and Romania are the two exceptions. Figure 6 shows the 10 global markets that will experience net ARPU growth over the forecast period. MOBILE DATA SERVICES WILL ACCOUNT FOR NEARLY HALF OF GLOBAL REVENUES IN 2015 Although voice still makes up the majority of mobile service revenues in 2014, in 2015 mobile data (including mobile broadband access, mobile messaging, and mobile VAS) will overtake mobile voice in terms of revenue mix, with voice in sharp decline in most markets. Yet operators are set to see healthy growth in data-capable connections and usage, the revenue generated will be insufficient to offset the decline in voice over the next five years. As a result, the decline in voice revenues will be the biggest factor in ARPU decline. MOBILE DATA ACCESS WILL BECOME THE PREDOMINANT SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE With growth in mobile messaging plateauing and VAS accounting for just a small proportion of mobile data revenues, mobile broadband will drive mobile data revenues over the forecast period. Operators must seize this opportunity, particularly in markets where mobile broadband penetration is low. In developing markets, they are aiming to increase the penetration of mobile data services and smartphones. In some cases, this means lowering costs to expand the audience served. In others, more creative and flexible options for customers to consume and pay for data usage are needed. In developed markets operators should focus attention on pricing innovation to take advantage of this opportunity. They must also encourage new service innovation, including strategic partnerships and service bundling with nontraditional, nontelco, over-the-top (OTT) players and services. A surge of LTE deployment will increase the number of data subscriptions associated with new LTE connections, contributing to revenue growth from mobile data services. In addition, we will see tremendous activity around new services and new types of connections, such as MVNO subscriptions, M2M, and portable connected devices. The continuing rise in the number of VAS offerings will increase customer stickiness. FIG 6 MARKETS FORECAST TO SEE ARPU GROWTH OVER Rest of OESEA 2.5% Romania 1.3% South Korea 0.9% India 0.9% Kenya 0.8% Vietnam 0.7% China 0.5% Turkey 0.5% Saudi Arabia 0.3% 0% 1% CAGR 2% 3% SOURCE: OVUM OVUM.COM 2014 OVUM. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. 13
13 02 FIXED OPERATORS & SERVICES
14 Q+A KAMALINI WE HAVE SEEN A NUMBER OF FIXED/BROADBAND OPERATORS INVEST IN CONTENT MORE SPECIFICALLY SPORTS TV RIGHTS IN ARE WE GOING TO SEE MORE OF THE SAME IN 2015? Definitely. In the triple-play world, content and more specifically exclusive content has become the key means of differentiation. Unfortunately for telecoms operators and existing TV providers premium content is a scarce commodity, so increased competition will push up prices. Nonetheless operators must be aggressive if they wish to gain a foothold in this space The increased costs will put pressure on margins, potentially making telco returns lower than originally anticipated. The rising content acquisition costs are already being felt by existing pay-tv providers, such as the US cable operators, and affecting their financial performance. We therefore expect content acquisition to become increasingly important in the longer term. Indeed, escalating costs may even drive operators into content production. WHICH FIXED BROADBAND TECHNOLOGIES HAVE MOST POTENTIAL FOR GROWTH IN 2015? We forecast that fiber to the home or building (FTTH/B) will be the fastestgrowing wireline broadband technology in FTTH/B subscriptions will grow at 19.6% globally year-on-year to million in 2015, versus total broadband subscription growth of 6%. This outstrips cable growth of 3.6% year-on-year. In contrast DSL subscriptions will fall 0.1%, driven by migration to high-speed fiber, cable services, and, to a lesser extent, mobile broadband. Yet this masks evolution within DSL. VDSL subscriptions will grow 18.8% year-on-year in 2015 compared to ADSL s decline of-1.4%. This migration also highlights the debate surrounding the FTTH business case: should operators invest in FTTH or sweat existing copper assets, albeit achieving lower performance? Although greenfield deployments are almost universally accepted to be fiber, legacy copper networks are more complex. Civil engineering costs to deploy to the home are high, even before considering equipment capex. Then there are the commercial discussions around how to migrate users that are reluctant to pay premiums for fiber services. New technologies such as vectoring and G.fast promise ever-increasing performance over copper, though requiring that fiber be brought closer to the premise. We expect vectoring in particular to become more commercially available in 2015, especially in Europe where legacy copper networks and straitened investment capabilities mean its benefits outweigh any performance lag. GANGULY SENIOR RESEARCH ANALYST Yet directly monetizing Wi-Fi from end users will remain difficult. In the short term, customers and carriers will continue to see Wi-Fi as an extension of wireline or wireless broadband access services. For example, US cable players report that bundling Wi-Fi into the wireline package helps them to reduce churn, attract new customers, and upsell to higher tier packages. Consequently, the scale and quantity of available hotspots are critical. So although it is clear that Wi-Fi will grow in terms of traffic over time, there is less clarity that it will grow in terms of revenues. Carriers will charge some customers for access at premium locations, such as stadia or airports, but will have to share those revenues with venue owners, or charge the venue directly. Paid-for, sessionbased, or subscription-based Wi-Fi access will continue to exist, but these access services will yield diminishing returns as the wider availability of Wi-Fi access points drives down prices and perceived value. WHAT SORT OF PRICING INNOVATION ARE WE SEEING IN FIXED BROADBAND? Wireline broadband pricing innovation is moving much more slowly than mobile. Most broadband plans today are simply tiered by speed. However, in mature markets triple-play dominates and here content becomes the key differentiator at both the operator and plan level. The operator s content acquisition strategy mentioned above will become vital, as will the packaging of that content into appropriate bundles that offer upsell opportunities. We also expect online subscription services to come bundled with broadband offers, regardless of whether they are delivered to the TV. For example, Spotify Premium subscriptions are bundled into many wireline and mobile subscriptions. We are now seeing the likes of Netflix incorporated into TV packages, and delivered via the TV and also the ISP s home and mobile broadband packages. Finally, the move to multiscreen, online content delivery is prompting a growing number of integrated operators to launch quad-play offers that combine wireline and mobile broadband connectivity along with TV and home phone. We forecast that quad-play bundles will grow globally at a staggering 39% year-on-year in 2015 more than double the rate for triple-play. As a proportion of total broadband subscriptions quad-play will remain low at 3% globally, but 10% in mature regions such as Western Europe. However, this only emphasizes its future potential. HOW IMPORTANT IS WI-FI BECOMING AS A VALUE-ADDED SERVICE FOR FIXED OPERATORS? For wireline-only players, Wi-Fi offers mobility, a crucial element of today s convergent broadband services. For integrated players, Wi-Fi enables the customer experience to be managed across cellular, wireline, and Wi-Fi in a ubiquitous broadband offering. Both players also have the opportunity to wholesale access to mobile-only players looking for Wi-Fi offload.
15 Global Fixed Voice and Broadband Outlook: FIXED TELECOM INDUSTRY STILL IN FLUX Ovum tracks total service provider fixed revenues (including voice, broadband, wholesale, enterprise, services, etc.) and capex based upon operator guidance separately from the fixed voice and broadband forecasts. Global service provider fixed revenues and capex have generally declined over the past few years. Much of the revenue trend is due to fixed voice lines and revenues continuing to decline due to OTT VoIP, fixed-mobile substitution, and the growth of other types of communication, such as messaging. Also, due to numerous 3G/4G upgrades, mobile capex has grown as a share of total capex, at the expense of fixed capex. Figure 1 shows the global fixed voice revenues forecast versus the forecast for global fixed broadband revenues. Global fixed broadband revenues will grow from $234bn in 2013 at a CAGR of 3%, surpassing that of voice revenues after Fixed voice revenues will decline from $322bn in 2013 at a CAGR of -5% to $231bn by The combined fixed voice and broadband market was $555.9 billion in Growth in fixed broadband revenues will not be sufficient, especially in the latter years, to compensate for the decline in fixed voice revenues. As a result, combined fixed services revenues will drop to $506.7bn by 2019, a CAGR decline of 2%. SIGNS OF A FIGHT-BACK EMERGING But signs are emerging that service providers are fighting back with OTT-like fixed voice and video products; OTT partnerships and deals; higher broadband speed tiers; new IP-based products like multi-screen access, M2M, connected home, and security; better customer service; and M&A. These counter-strategies have gained a lot of strength and momentum over the past year. The success of double-play and triple-play bundling is also helping telcos and cable companies to minimize fixed voice churn, while increasing revenues. In 2016, cable will dominate the TV landscape but the share of IPTV households will also grow. The growing share of IPTV/ FIG 1 GLOBAL FIXED VOICE REVENUES VS GLOBAL FIXED BROADBAND REVENUES $400 $350 $300 $250 US$ (billions) $200 $150 $100 $50 $ Global fixed voice revenues Global fixed broadband revenues SOURCE: OVUM OVUM. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. OVUM.COM
16 telcos among TV subscribers is relevant because IPTV has long been the reason for telcos to upgrade their networks with next-generation access technologies like VDSL2, FTTN, and FTTH, which have also enabled service providers to offer higher-speed tiers reaching 100Mbps and beyond. Bundling remains an important way for service providers to differentiate themselves from competitors and reduce churn. Globally, more than 44% of consumer (not total) fixed broadband subscriptions in 2013 were already part of such a bundle and Ovum forecasts a steady increase until While penetration of double- and triple-play continue to increase (though double-play will eventually decrease due to triple-play substitution), the penetration of quad-play remains small due to the difficulties of trying to tie a household-based service like fixed broadband to an individual-based mobile service. As markets approach saturation in all three elements of the triple-play, and fixed market substitution plays an important role, service providers will look to quad-play to stem declines. FIXED BROADBAND BEST HOPE TO FUEL THE TELCO COMEBACK Fortunately for most service providers, fixed broadband subscriptions continue to grow strongly, compensating to a large extent (but not completely) for the decline in the fixed voice market. Fixed voice lines will remain above 1 billion, even at the end of 2015, but will decline at a CAGR of 2% to reach million lines by The principal drivers behind the decline continue to be fixed-to-mobile substitution and OTT VoIP. In contrast, there were 699 million fixed broadband subscriptions at the end of 2013 and these will continue to grow at a CAGR of 5% until 2019, reaching million subscriptions. All major regions will continue to see growth throughout the forecast period. However, there are exceptions to this positive outlook in mature European markets (where telcos are losing subscribers to cable companies) or in the US (where service providers are deliberately migrating rural customers to their more profitable mobile business. There are also exceptions in developing countries like India, where the rate of growth in subscriptions has slowed due to lack of investment and a growing mobile culture, rather than fixed. But in general, the demand among consumers for fixed broadband access remains strong. So the fixed broadband pipe is still the best hope for service providers to capitalize on all of their comeback IP-based products and strategies. SHIFTING TECHNOLOGY MIX AS DSL MIGRATED TO FTTH/B AND CABLE DSL SUBSCRIBER DECLINES IN MULTIPLE COUNTRIES Among the major fixed broadband access technology segments that Ovum forecasts, DSL is the largest technology segment today and will remain so even in However, Ovum is now tracking declines in DSL subscribers in multiple countries across multiple regions of the world and expects that number to rise to 30 by At an aggregate global level, DSL subscriptions actually fell from 388 million in 2012 to 386 million in We forecast that there will be little growth and most likely a continuation of the decline until FIG 2 GLOBAL FIXED VOICE SUBSCRIPTIONS VS GLOBAL FIXED BROADBAND SUBSCRIPTIONS 1,200 1, Millions Global fixed voice revenues Global fixed broadband revenues SOURCE: OVUM OVUM.COM 2014 OVUM. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. 17
17 FIG 3 GLOBAL FIXED BROADBAND SUBSCRIPTIONS BY TECHNOLOGY 1, Subscriptions (millions) DSL Cable modem FTTH/B Fixed other SOURCE: OVUM Some of these subscribers are on low-speed DSL networks and are migrating to mobile subscriptions. Some are being migrated deliberately by service providers to FTTH, or as part of a nationwide government broadband plan. Others are being enticed by the higher DOCSIS 3.0 speeds advertised by cable companies. Also, within the broader DSL category, subscribers on FTTN and FTTC networks with VDSL2 are growing and contributing to a DSL revival in some markets. FTTH/B AN OPPORTUNITY FOR DIFFERENTIATION AND HIGHER ARPU BEFORE COMMODITIZATION Ovum forecasts that FTTH/B subscribers will be the fastest growing fixed broadband market segment with 17% CAGR, more than doubling from 118 million in 2013 to 298 million in Much of this growth will come from Oceania, Eastern and South-Eastern Asia (almost 200 million of the 298 million subscriptions in 2019), particularly China, and other Asian countries where either service providers have been deploying for years, such as Korea, Japan, and Taiwan, or where the government has encouraged national-broadband-type deployments such as in Singapore and Malaysia. But in every region, the CAGRs will be very high. In absolute numbers, after OESEA, Eastern Europe will have the largest number of FTTH/B subscriptions in 2019 (40 million), followed by Western Europe (24 million) and North America (20 million). But the higher ARPU opportunity is not likely to last for long, again especially in developed countries heading for saturation. The same is true for FTTN/C. In those countries, the attention is already turning to customer retention and OVUM. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. OVUM.COM
18 satisfaction, with upgrades to FTTx being given for free or at minimal increments, as customer expectations rise. FTTH/B ARPU will equal that of DSL or be lower as an incentive to migrate from cost-inefficient copper networks. There will be exceptions in developing countries where FTTH/B will be aimed at an elite market that is able to afford such services or businesses, and is unlikely to reach mass-market demand. CABLE COMPANIES WILL CONTINUE TO GAIN STRENGTH AND BE MORE RELEVANT We forecast that cable broadband subscribers will increase from 137 million in 2013 to 165 million by Cable companies are a major source of competition for telcos. In many markets, they continue to gain share of fixed broadband subscribers from telcos, leading with broadband as the anchor product, and deploying Wi-Fi in large numbers, especially in Asia, where they are threatened by the spread of quad-play. New revenue streams from business, cloud services, and mobile backhaul will help increase revenues and possibly subsidize FTTH for adjacent residential areas. However, cable companies too will find it increasingly hard to translate market dominance and network upgrades into sustainable tariff premiums based on higher-speed tiers, as many of their markets approach broadband saturation. NEW TECHNOLOGIES AND TOOLS WILL HELP WITH SPEED BOOSTS AND COST REDUCTIONS VDSL2 vectoring, TWDM-PON and 10G-EPON/GPON and DOCSIS-over-EPON and GPON are all next-generation technologies, in addition to the ongoing deployments of VDSL2, DOCSIS 3.0, and GPON/EPON FTTH, which will enable service providers to offer higher-speed tiers, some cost-effectively. DOCSIS 3.1 and G.Fast, another copper-based technology, will debut in The CCAP platform, intelligent ODNs, and OSS/BSS tools are all platforms and tools that will help with cost reductions. New tools to model bandwidth capacity required for OTT partners will help with monetization. Service providers have more tools in their arsenal than ever. DON T WAIT FOR G.FAST Many European service providers are expressing great interest in G.Fast, which is a technology expected to provide FTTH-like speeds up to 1Gbps in brownfields that remain difficult and expensive otherwise, as existing infrastructure has to be removed and existing roads have to be dug up. The higher vectoring speeds would provide a much more foolproof competitive advantage over cable companies, which routinely market Mbps services (e.g. Virgin Media, UPC). Trials are ongoing and at least one European incumbent will start pre-standard commercial deployments in But G.Fast would still involve bringing fiber within 100m of most customers, which takes time and money, the use of vectoring in many areas, reverse power which may be unpopular with customers, and a CPE upgrade, and the standard is not yet ratified (so interoperability will be an issue). In some cases, it may be appropriate to evaluate the FTTH business case again versus G.Fast. WI-FI, QUAD-PLAY BUNDLING, AND CONVERGED SERVICES TO BRIDGE THE GAP BETWEEN FIXED AND MOBILE Fixed services have been a stodgy competitor to mobile due to the lack of exciting devices to harness changing consumer experience demands and very little innovation in pricing and plans. The devices situation is changing due to the evolution of set-top boxes and the booming growth of TV Everywhere services. But more importantly, the understanding that most mobile device traffic in fact flows over Wi-Fi connections in homes and offices via fixed-line backhaul is changing the perception and value of the fixed network and fixed broadband connections. As a result, cable and fixed-only telcos are building Wi-Fi hotspots in venues and homes. Others are launching quad-play bundles and fixed-mobile converged services with multi-screen content as a key driver. IMPLEMENT VDSL2 AND VECTORING-RELATED UPGRADES WHERE EFFECTIVE A very large number of subscribers in Europe and elsewhere remain on ADSL2/2+ networks with lower-speed tiers. Even where there is VDSL2 coverage, the number of subscribers lags behind considerably (e.g. 1 million in 2013 out of 12 million covered by Deutsche Telekom). If telcos are serious about stretching their copper networks to the maximum and retaining their DSL subscribers, there is urgency in speeding up deployments of FTTN, VDSL2, vectoring, or a combination thereof to provide higher, more consistent speed tiers. Competition will only intensify and will spur additional value, such as higher speeds (e.g. Google offering 1Gbps FTTH, albeit only in the US so far; the spread of LTE with higher speeds and mobile access). It may soon be too late to cost-effectively win back lost DSL subscribers. OVUM.COM 2014 OVUM. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. 19
19 03 TV
20 Q+A ED BARTON PRACTICE LEADER WHAT DO YOU THINK OF ALL THE ONLINE SERVICES LIKE IPLAYER, YOUTUBE AND NETFLIX? IS ANYONE EVEN WATCHING TRADITIONAL TV ANYMORE? Linear TV is still the dominant media format in terms of audience size, reach, spending (both consumer and advertising), and consumption across all media. Even in countries where the adoption of online viewing is at its highest, the share of viewing time achieved by OTT and non-linear TV (VOD, DVR) is barely 20%. The disparity between TV and online viewing formats is even more pronounced when we compare advertising spend. It will be many, many years (if ever) before linear TV loses its position as the mass-market entertainment format of choice for every single country on Earth even in Bhutan, which banned TV until IF THE ONLINE SERVICES AREN T ACTUALLY IMPACTING TV MUCH, WHY IS THERE SO MUCH FUSS ABOUT THEM? They are having an impact just not as large as some coverage suggests. Our research demonstrates that rather than substantially cannibalizing traditional TV, OTT services are actually augmenting them. For example, the vast majority of Netflix subscribers in the US and UK subscribe to some form of pay TV, which indicates that there is significant overlap between TV fans and Netflix fans. So OTT services are not currently considered substitutable for TV but actually augment it, in much the same way HBO or Showtime does. The impact of free, ad-supported video on demand (AVOD) services exemplified by YouTube or China s Youku skew sharply towards younger demographics for whom on-demand, non-main screen consumption of short-form content is becoming increasingly prevalent. YouTube streamers such as Michelle Phan and TotalBiscuit have forged successful careers completely outside the usual pathways to fame. Collectively Youtube streamers have spawned the multichannel network model whereby multiple streamers are represented by an organization that assists with everything ad sales, production, promotion, community management, merchandising, and sponsorship deals. Short-form viewing over online platforms is prevalent amongst younger demographics and we may well be living with two or three younger generations who will grow up with a lower propensity to pay for TV. SO, FOR THE TIME BEING, IT LOOKS LIKE WE RE IN A SITUATION WHERE TRADITIONAL TV AND THE ONLINE UPSTARTS CO-EXIST? For years people have talked about how the Internet will do to TV what it has done to newspapers, music, and (to an extent) video games; that is, lower the cost of access and democratize content production and distribution. And Youtube does exemplify these values that the Internet holds dear. However, outside of AVOD, what is actually happening is arguably more interesting. The first major incursion of TV content onto the Internet was itunes. It relies on transactional retail and rental charging models and is heavily curated not values forged in the furnace of online business models. The next, Netflix, has thrived using a model totally alien to the giants of digital media: no advertising, premium subscriptions supporting a high paywall, tightly curated content, and expensive original productions that only the likes of major broadcasters or Hollywood studios can compete with. We are now seeing traditional TV distributors and channels assert their existing dominance in the value chain by leveraging online distribution for their own ends. Multiscreen or TV everywhere services distributed over the top to devices acquired by consumers such as PCs and tablets (as opposed to the leased set-top box) are now a common part of the pay-tv value proposition. But they, along with broadcasters such as CBS and HBO, are going further with the launch of OTT subscription TV: streaming services that deliver linear TV streams. OTT subscription TV streaming and Netflix operate on commercial models based entirely on what they learned from traditional TV and home entertainment distribution respectively. The Internet has not come close to disrupting TV and does not need saving by Google, Apple, or anyone else. The greater likelihood, as observed by Michael Wolff in The Hollywood Reporter, is that TV is disrupting the Internet. WHAT ABOUT A SILICON VALLEY TECHNOLOGY GIANT ACQUIRING ULTRA-PREMIUM SPORTS RIGHTS? Buying exclusive rights to the most popular sports in the biggest TV markets costs billions of dollars a year. Pay TV can make these investments because it has metronomic monthly billing relationships with tens of millions of households, giving it the predictable cash flows to pay the huge costs that acquiring such rights entails. If a technology giant used its cash pile to acquire these rights, it is more than likely that shareholders would consider this a poor use of capital, to put it mildly. WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF TV, THEN? New ways of distributing visual entertainment will augment traditional TV, and cannibalization (such that it exists) will be slow. Subscription-based VOD (SVOD) services will take spending from home-entertainment disc sales, not TV. TV advertising will continue to be the dominant advertising format: no other media commands the reach or share of voice that TV does night after night in every country in the world. Traditional TV players will continue their march onto the Internet and increasingly onto the mobile Internet. Soon no one except analysts will worry about DTH, DTT, OTT, or mobile broadband; they are all just conduits to the audience and will converge or hand off content distribution seamlessly from one to the other in realtime as required by the viewer. Premium TV will continue to be the cornerstone of the multiplay bundle but the bundle will evolve. OTT services will increasingly be bundled with fixed and mobile access. Zero rating data usage of bundled services against monthly data caps will become increasingly common. The growth in services, distribution technologies, consumer endpoints, and the emergence of addressable TV advertising will enable companies to segment the audience to a much finer degree than ever before. Hence being successful in this environment will require addressing individuals rather than households.