Internet Service Providers & Broadband UK January 2014

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1 Internet Service Providers & Broadband UK January 2014

2 1. Market overview

3 Industry at a glance In the five years through , the industry is forecast to grow at a stronger compound annual rate of 2.2% to be worth 6.7 billion. Despite the saturation of the UK broadband market, customers switching to higher value, highspeed fibre-optic broadband are likely to support revenue growth. However, revenue growth will be increasingly inhibited by competition from wireless services. Greater coverage and reliability of 4G services is likely to pose the most significant threat to the expansion of industry services. On the other hand, industry profitability will be supported by the growing subscriber base. However, continued investment in network infrastructure and fierce competition between operators are expected to limit average margins to under 20.0% of revenue. Source: IBISWorld, Internet Service Providers

4 Broadband growth continues In October, Ofcom outlined the UK broadband market, which again showed huge growth in the take up of high-speed superfast internet (defined as over 30 mbps). Superfast take up is now up to 22% of all connections (up from 10% last year) and is now available to three quarters of homes in the UK, reflecting the innovation and investment ISPA members have made in their networks, enabling customers to enjoy better services like HD quality on-demand video and cloud applications. The report also shows increasing demand for data, with UK customers currently using 650m gigabytes of data a month, with an increased use of public Wi-Fi and mobile internet. ISPA Secretary General Nicholas Lansman adds further: The UK has long been seen as the world s most competitive telecoms market and broadband is the only utility which has seen prices drop, so it s excellent connectivity and speeds are increasing with prices going down for consumers. Particularly pleasing is the fact more people are taking up superfast connections and 4G, showing there is clearly appetite for the newest technology. Source: Ofcom Infrastructure Report October

5 as does the number of ISPs Source: Point Topic, UK Plus

6 Telecoms and broadband internet connections by volume (in millions) The increased uptake of fixed broadband services within the UK, which has increased by 33.3% over the past 5 years, has been driven by the Government s commitment to invest in the rollout of superfast broadband across the country between 2010 and 2015, which aims to cover at least 90% of premises. Source: Keynote, Digital Communications

7 Broadening horizons There are various trends that are forecast to affect revenue growth over the five years through Broadband penetration is already high and will inevitably reach a plateau in the next few years. There is therefore limited growth potential here. The last few markets will be tapped as falling prices and added value draw in subscribers that have not already been signed. Continued migration to mobile connections also presents a challenge for ISPs. Strong demand for higher data volumes and faster connection speeds are likely to help counteract this trend. User applications are chewing up greater amounts of data and upload speeds are becoming more important for social networking, gaming and video. With broadband now the dominant access technology, total ARPU for entry-level broadband is expected to trend lower. This will be offset by consumers moving to the next stage of the cycle, to true broadband using ADSL2+ or VDSL, methods of connection to the internet that allow higher speeds. The move towards higher speed broadband connectivity will facilitate the acceptance of voice over internet protocol (VoIP) in the business market. Previously, the business market had failed to adopt VoIP services en masse, as businesses prioritise quality service over price. As broadband speeds increase, and hence the quality of service, the business market will adopt VoIP services and enjoy the associated cost savings. The Internet Service Providers industry is showing the first signs of the fixed-to-mobile convergence that dominated the telecommunications sector in the past five years. Falling laptop prices and increased consumer mobility will heighten the competitive threat of wireless broadband access in the near term. However, the arrival of 100 megabit-persecond plus wired connectivity will lessen the effect until 4G mobile services arrive. IBISWorld forecasts that 4G mobile broadband technology will not take off in the United Kingdom until late at the earliest. Source: IBISWorld, Internet Service Providers

8 ISPs: market segmentation ISPs generally market to businesses and households separately. Businesses typically require more value-added services as well as greater reliability and faster upload speeds, however the traditional division between household and business services is starting to disappear as consumers demand increasingly fast internet speeds. Source: IBISWorld, Internet Service Providers

9 Fibre points the way forward Source: IBISWorld, Internet Service Providers The fibre-optic network roll-out is forecast to provide an opportunity for ISPs, with the benefit of higher internet usage and the delivery of margin enhancing, value-added services. This will be critical because the standardisation of fibre access, and eventually all base telecommunications services, will create a hyper-competitive environment. It will banish the telecommunications-only business model to the commodity route of a lowmargin bit-pipe access business model. Given that the future of all forms of communication is data, the distinction between ISP and telecommunications carriers will eventually disappear as the services become one and the same.

10 Telecoms and broadband internet: forecast Overall, the telecommunications market is forecast to decline by 8.1% over the forecast period, reducing from 27.2bn in 2012 to 25bn in However, revenues generated by mobile messaging and data packages are likely to continue to rise, with Key Note estimating the market sector to increase by 6.3% between 2012 and 2016 to reach 5.1bn. Slow growth is also expected among broadband and narrowband services, with retail revenue within this sector predicted to increase by 5.7% overall, reaching a value of 3.7bn in 2016, up from 3.5bn in While revenue generated by mobile messaging and data packages and broadband and narrowband services are expected to observe increases over the next 5 years, helped by the introduction of fourth-generation (4G) services within the UK, along with the UK Government s commitment to rollout superfast broadband across the country between 2010 and 2015, these trends will do little to offset the ongoing declines within the fixed and voice calls sectors over the next few years. As a result, it is likely that telecommunications operators will begin to seek out new areas of growth, such as digital services (e.g. Voice over Internet Protocol Services [VoIP]), which have already proved popular following, with success stories including Skype. Source: Keynote, Digital Communications

11 2. Major companies

12 BT Group Market share: 35.9% Brand names: Plusnet, Brightview BT operates in the Internet Service Providers industry predominantly through its BT retail division, which includes consumer brands BT Total Broadband, BT Infinity and Plusnet, and BT Business. BT Business provides broadband services to small and medium-size businesses. BT Total Broadband is BT's standard internet service that operates through standard infrastructure. BT Infinity, launched in January 2010, is BT's superfast fibre-optic product. Plusnet is an ISP owned by BT since January 2007 but operated as a separate business, specialising in low-cost broadband packages. BT also offers a number of business services, mainly for large corporations and government departments, which are included in the BT global services division. Source: IBISWorld, Internet Service Providers

13 Virgin Media Market share: 19.4% Virgin Media also operates a wired telecommunications service with a network of hybrid fibre-coaxial phone lines, which is the largest network not owned by BT. The company became the first to offer quadruple-play services in the United Kingdom when it merged with Virgin Mobile's UK arm in Virgin delivers services to the residential and the business segments, offering mainly bundled services including broadband. Virgin offers services to business clients through its Virgin Media Business arm, which constitutes about 16.0% revenue. By the end of the third quarter of it had 4.3 million broadband subscribers, over half of which were taking superfast broadband, defined as speeds above 30 megabits per second. Virgin became one of the leading providers of high-speed broadband in the United Kingdom after becoming one of the first broadband providers to expand its superfast network. Source: IBISWorld, Internet Service Providers

14 Talk Talk Telecom Group Market share: 13.6% Brand names: AOL, Opal, Tiscali The strategic acquisitions have been the primary drivers behind TalkTalk's revenue growth. The acquisitions and expansion of TalkTalk's customer base have flowed through to increased revenue. TalkTalk showed considerable growth in broadband subscriber numbers in the past few years, from 2.3 million in 2007 to a high of 4.2 million customers in 2011, falling to just under 4.1 million in mid-. TalkTalk's internet service has been plagued by high levels of customer complaints in recent years, with Ofcom's most recent report suggesting that TalkTalk's complaint levels are twice the industry average. Company performance suffered particularly in 2009 as the company merged with Tiscali. In the company launched Simply Broadband, an entrylevel unlimited broadband package with no bundled calling package. Source: IBISWorld, Internet Service Providers

15 BSkyB Market share: 12.4% British Sky Broadcasting Group offers internet services through a network that covers about 88.0% of UK households. The company has two separate internet provision options: Sky Broadband Everyday Lite and Sky Broadband Unlimited. The difference is that the Lite package limits the user's download limit to 2 gigabytes per month, as opposed to having no limit on the unlimited package. From April 2012, Sky launched a fibre-optic offering called Sky Fibre Unlimited, which is wholesaled from BT so relies on the coverage of the BT Infinity Network. Latest figures indicate Sky has about 5.0 million broadband customers, up from just 760,000 in In March Sky announced that it would be purchasing the consumer broadband arms of O2 and BE from Telefonica UK for a reported million. The acquisition added about half a million broadband subscribers to Sky, making it the second largest ISP by subscriber numbers. O2/BE was previously the fifth-largest ISP. Source: IBISWorld, Internet Service Providers

16 3. Future trends

17 Mobile VoIP In recent years, a number of businesses have sought to save costs by installing an Internet Protocol (IP) telephony system, which allows employees to make calls and communicate via other channels over the Internet. According to a study undertaken by VoIP telephone solutions firm, Telappliant, in April 2012, forecasts suggest that as many as seven out of ten firms in the UK could be using VoIP services by, with current market figures suggesting that 41% of businesses are already using IP telephony and a further 25% are thought to have plans to implement VoIP over the next year. VoIP has also begun to become a more popular method among consumers, with around 9% of adults using it to communicate with friends and family on a daily basis, while 17% used it at least once a week, according to figures compiled by Ofcom in its 2012 publication The Communications Market Report. A growing number of smartphones have also begun to incorporate VoIP calls within their applications. For example, in September 2012, T-Mobile (UK) announced that it was developing its own VoIP application in an effort to attract customers away from third-party over-the-top (OTT) voice messaging services, such as Skype and WhatsApp. The new application, called Clever Connect, which offers voice calls over Wi-Fi and 3G networks, began trialling among T-Mobile customers in the UK, by invitation only. Source: Keynote, Digital Communications

18 Superfast broadband access growth The Government s 2010 pledge to invest 530m into developing a network of superfast broadband across the UK has continued to remain on track, with the aim of creating the highest performing superfast broadband network in Europe and to provide superfast broadband to at least 90% of UK households by According to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), by May 2012, around threequarters of councils had completed their broadband plans, with 36 out of 47 local broadband schedules having been approved. According to The Communications Market Report, by Ofcom in 2012, the availability of superfast broadband services increased during 2012, with BT and Virgin Media s superfast broadband offering now thought to be available to around 60% of UK homes (as of March 2012), up by 7 percentage points from the previous year. However, currently, superfast broadband accounts for only 6.6% of total Internet connections, equating to around 1.4 million connections; although this number is likely to continue to increase in the future. The provision of superfast broadband to UK households, along with ongoing improvements to mobile coverage which the Government has pledged to invest up to 150m in over the next 3 to 4 years is likely to boost communication via Internet-based, non-voice channels, including VoIP services, and social networking. It is also likely to drive mobile connectivity and thus mobile communications, a trend that has been ongoing for some time now. Source: Keynote, Digital Communications

19 Demand for web bypass services The growing demand for data downloaded via mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablet computers, is expected to have doubled year-on-year between 2011 and The increased uptake of Internet-connect devices, including smartphones and tablets, as well as media devices, such as Smart TVs and Wi-Fi radios, has continued to drive the amount of data being sent over the Web, with growth in fixed network traffic also rising. This has meant that many consumers have been migrated to a capped service. As a result, a greater number of people could begin to use shortrange wireless connectivity solutions, which can be used to exchange data directly between devices, thus cutting out the need to be routed via the Web entirely. The increasing number of people who now own Internet-connected devices, as well as the rise in Web-related services, such as streaming and downloading content, is likely to drive Internet data traffic in the near future, thus necessitating the demand for other channels of data transmittance. Source: Keynote, Digital Communications

20 About Goodman We trust you found this market analysis of interest Our services all share a common foundation based on as full an understanding as we can have of our client s or potential client s business Any media planning or design briefs are considered in relation to realistic market potential and trackable spends We want to make recommendations based on facts not feelings As well as our own experience, we now have direct access to a plethora of premium insight and planning tools including YouGov SixthSense, Key Note, IBISWorld, Trajectory Partnership and Iconoculture in addition to a powerful global news database, Nexis, so as we are tracking your markets we can update this as soon as new information is released Goodman is a fully accredited media and advertising agency based in central London. Established in 1997 we pride ourselves in always working hard to buy better and more effectively for all our clients regardless of budget or business type Please give us a call

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