Category Archives: Benchmarks

Data-only drives traffic. The same can’t be said for 5G.

Tefficient’s 39th public analysis of mobile data development and drivers compares 39 countries worldwide, where M2M/IoT can be excluded from the total bases. Mobile data usage grew in 38 of them – with Bahrain as the only exception.

If you’d rather see the analysis including M2M, go here.

When usage grows, the growth rates are slowing. Portugal leads with a growth rate of 47%, contrasting with Taiwan‘s modest 8% growth. Bahrain experienced a decline of 6% in data usage.

Data-only subscriptions continue to dominate average mobile data usage, although their market share remains limited. Latvia‘s average data-only subscription consumed 138 GB per month in 2022 while Austria recorded 115 GB in the first half of 2023. In the FWA-only category, Australia had a remarkable 334 GB per month in 1H 2023.

While data-only drives traffic, the same can’t be said for 5G

Reporting is imperfect, but there are only three countries with disproportionately high 5G traffic in relation to their 5G bases: South Korea, Austria and Saudi Arabia. We explain what these countries do and what other countries are missing.

Continue reading Data-only drives traffic. The same can’t be said for 5G.

Seven signs that competition in Nordic telco is cooling down

The Q3 results just reported by Telia Company, Telenor, Tele2, 3 Scandinavia and Elisa show that it’s quite difficult not to be successful as a Nordic telco today.

Revenue and ARPU is growing. OPEX grows too, but slower than the revenue, so the EBITDA margins are increasing. Churn is decreasing. CAPEX is in decline. More cash is being generated.

We have identified seven signs that competition in cooling down in Nordic telco.

Sign 1. Mobile ARPU grows

Let’s start with Norway. The reported blended mobile ARPU has quite steadily increased for the two MNOs that still report it. For Telenor it grew 4% year-on-year to Q3 2023. For Telia it grew 3%.

Figure 1. Mobile ARPU, Norway (source data: operator reports)

In Sweden, the ARPU development has been a bit more dramatic than in Norway. Three players, first 3, then Telenor and the B2B side of Tele2, witnessed their ARPUs going down from 2018 to the first half of 2021. A corona effect, you might say. Not really; it started before corona started (Q1 2020) and compare with Telia who could keep their ARPU steady or even increase it when 3, Telenor and Tele2 B2B seemingly fought a battle on price.

Continue reading Seven signs that competition in Nordic telco is cooling down

Who has the best mobile network in the Nordics – 2023?

Opensignal’s Global Mobile Network Experience Awards 2023 again showed that the mobile networks of Sweden, Finland – and especially Norway and Denmark – provide some of the best experiences in the world. Some Nordic operators are even top ranked in Opensignal’s 5G Global Mobile Network Experience Awards.

But there are several companies – some with global, some with local ambitions – that offer their take on who has the best mobile network. To differentiate, providers define different metrics and use different methodologies. Rather than boring you with those, we have compiled a cross-case table naming the winner per each metric across three global network experience specialists: Opensignal (now having merged with Tutela), Ookla Speedtest and umlaut.

We have included the latest overall or 5G-specific tests made public in Q4 2022 or 2023.

The named winner per metric in the latest mobile network performance tests performed in Q4 2022 or 2023 by Opensignal, Ookla Speedtest and umlaut. All source links are available at the end of this blog.
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Benchmarking fibre pricing in Denmark with eight other European countries, 2023

Fiberalliancen is a trade association for companies that own, operate and use fibre networks in Denmark. It is a part of Green Power Denmark.

For the third time (previously done in 2021 and in 2022), Tefficient has performed a comprehensive fibre broadband pricing benchmark covering nine European markets: Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, the UK and France.

In a press release, Fiberalliancen introduces Tefficient’s analysis and makes it publicly available. Download it from the right ‘Dokumenter’ column. It’s in English.

The release concludes that:

  • Denmark has some of the lowest consumer prices for both new and existing fibre connections.
  • Danish consumer prices – both for new and existing connections – have overall fallen from 2022 to 2023. This is only seen in Denmark and the Netherlands.

Tefficient’s approach has been thorough and the results are presented in a set of graphs like below.

Example graph from the analysis showing the total 2-year fee for the new build fibre case. The red trend line highlights Denmark’s position.

Commissioned by Fiberalliancen.

Assessment of Norwegian mobile and fixed broadband pricing in a Nordic context – 2023

Reference: Analysis, 2023

Norway’s Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development last week published two analyses commissioned from Tefficient.

The conclusion is summarised (in Norwegian) in a press release from the Ministry.

Both analyses are quite comprehensive and compare Norway to the three fellow Nordic countries Denmark, Sweden and Finland. It means that they are highly interesting not just for the industry and policy makers in Norway, but in all four countries.

An example graph from the fixed analysis:

Since the Ministry has made both analyses available for public download, you can access them directly and for free from here:

Continue reading Assessment of Norwegian mobile and fixed broadband pricing in a Nordic context – 2023

Nordic operator benchmark 2023: A decade of excellence

Reference: Benchmarks, 2023

In its tenth year, our comprehensive business benchmark raised the standard with an extensive range of 964 key performance indicators (KPIs). Covering crucial areas such as revenue, OPEX, CAPEX, headcount productivity, subscriptions & channels, performance, load, quality, and innovation & growth, this benchmark caters to 53 functions across mobile, fixed, and integrated operators.

Exclusively sourced from leading Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian, and Danish operators, the peer group data is of the highest quality. To honor pre-agreed confidentiality requirements, participating operators remain anonymous, safeguarding the privacy of their data.

Tefficient’s benchmark has earned the reputation of being the industry’s best-kept secret. However, its outstanding value has enticed a couple of new participants this year, joining the returning operators who actively rely on the benchmark to drive continuous improvement.

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Nordic operator benchmark 2022

Reference: Benchmarks, 2022

For the ninth year: Comprehensive business benchmark with 895 KPIs covering revenue, OPEX, CAPEX, headcount productivity, subscriptions & channels, performance, load, quality and innovation & growth – for 53 functions of mobile, fixed and integrated operators.

Peer group data exclusively from Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian and Danish operators. Due to pre-agreed confidentiality requirements, participating operators are anonymous (and of course their data).

The results demonstrate the value of a region-specific benchmark approach: Nordic operators have global leadership in a wide array of business aspects and a global benchmark would therefore leave them without guidance on how to improve further. In contrast, participating operators now have a great tool to improve their local competitiveness even further.


As every year, the Nordic operator benchmark will be enhanced further based on input from participants. It will run again in January 2023. Read more about the benchmark here.

Benchmarking fibre pricing in Denmark with eight other European countries

Fiberalliancen is a trade association for companies that own, operate and use fibre networks in Denmark. It is a part of Green Power Denmark.

For the second time (the first analysis was done in 2021), Tefficient has performed a comprehensive fibre broadband pricing benchmark covering nine European markets: Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland (new since 2021), Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, the UK and France.

As part of a press release, Fiberalliancen makes Tefficient’s analysis publicly available. Download it from the right ‘Links’ column. It’s in English.

The release concludes that:

  • Denmark has some of the lowest consumer prices for both new and existing fibre connections. Only French consumers generally get a better deal than Danish consumers.
  • Danish consumer prices – both for new and existing connections – have overall fallen from 2021 to 2022. This is only seen in Denmark and the UK.
  • According to Ookla, Denmark has the fastest median broadband download speeds among the countries included in the comparison.

Tefficient’s approach has been thorough and the results are presented in a set of graphs like below.

Example graph from the analysis showing the total 2-year fee for the new build fibre case. The red trend line highlights Denmark’s position.
Continue reading Benchmarking fibre pricing in Denmark with eight other European countries

Usage growth decelerates after COVID – but monetisation improves

Tefficient’s 33rd public analysis of the development and drivers of mobile data compares 46 countries from all regions of the world.

In our previous reports for 2020 and 1H 2021 we could see that the pandemic drove mobile data usage – contrary to the belief that all that time we spent at home would offload mobile data traffic to Wi-Fi and fixed broadband.

But the usage backlash is here: During the second half of 2021 the demand for more mobile data slowed. If comparing countries where usage is available for both the first and the second half of the year, most experienced decelerating growth. There were even five countries with a decline in absolute usage: Australia, Iceland, Qatar, Austria and Bahrain.

Continue reading Usage growth decelerates after COVID – but monetisation improves

Comparing Scandinavia’s FMC propositions

During the last decade, fixed-mobile convergence – FMC for short – has come to dominate how connectivity and entertainment are sold to households in European markets like Spain, France, Portugal, Belgium and the Netherlands.

In Spain, around three quarters of the households currently subscribe to an FMC plan covering at least fixed broadband and one or multiple mobile subscriptions. Often TV or other entertainment services are included too.

Initially FMC was sold with massive discounts and the base grew quickly as it was a no-brainer not to buy everything from the same operator. Churn levels were improved dramatically too when a churn decision no longer just affected one service for one household member, but many different services consumed by many different people. [Some find it easier to negotiate with an operator than with members of the family].

In later years, FMC ARPU increased much, driven by more content (and more expensive content such as football) in the mix. Eventually, the operator thirst for higher and higher ARPU might have been the start of a negative base trend for FMC. In the graph below, we show the FMC net adds for Movistar (Telefónica Spain) since the launch of its Fusión FMC product.

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