UK Mobile Telecommunications Market Insight
The United Kingdom mobile telecommunications market represents one of the most attractive telecommunications markets in the world, with the mobile telecommunications services (MTS) market sector generating approximately £21 billion of revenue per year. Annual growth in the mobile telecommunications services market is expected to total £900 million per annum.
The five leading mobile telecommunications services providers in the UK include: Vodafone, O2, Orange (Orange and T-Mobile merged) and 3. The two leading mobile virtual network operators include Virgin Mobile and Tesco Mobile.
The widespread adoption of HSPA upgrades to 3G networks has resulted in rapid growth in the mobile Internet market sector. The United Kingdom now has 21% 3G penetration and mobile broadband is used as frequently as Wi-Fi hotspots for Internet usage.
In Q1 2008, over 26% of UK 25 to 34 year olds and 25% of 45 to 54 year olds were reported as using mobile broadband more than once each day. From February 2008 the use of dongles and 3G cards through laptops and PC connections increased by 500,000 over a 5-month period. Despite the growth in mobile broadband usage, the most used communication method is SMS texting, with 44% of adults in the United Kingdom texting each day.
The UK mobile content market is worth approximately £1 billion with around 50% of all revenue being sourced from 25 to 34 year olds. Mobile content expenditure is mixed although the majority of revenues were generated through sales in ringtone, realtones and screensavers, with games revenues increasing in importance. In addition, full-track music downloads are also increasing their share of mobile content expenditure in the UK. UK consumers spent approximately £200 million on mobile music in 2010 and the popularity of this is only expected to increase. Video downloading is also expected to increase rapidly with approximately 11% of all content spend sourced from video downloading by the end of 2013.
Ofcom track the key facts of the telecommunications market and on average, during the third quarter of 2011, each mobile user on a subscription account sent 154 text messages each month. By the end of the third quarter of 2011, 91% of adults in the UK owned a mobile phone.
Interestingly, Twitter reported in May 2012 that out of their 10 million active users, 8 million UK users logged into their Twitter account over a period of a month using their service through a mobile phone. The global average for Twitter's worldwide customers is only 55% mobile phone access compared to the UK benchmark of 80%.