The Danish mobile market – with 4 operators in a country with less than 6 million inhabitants – has always been very competitive and price-centric. So far, only the market leading incumbent TDC has fared relatively well – but the question is if that is about to change.
Unlike its competitors, TDC has been very restrictive with data allowances. TDC is still even restricting voice use on most of its plans.
At tefficient, we like regulators who publish not only the total usage volumes of their country, but break it down on the individual operators – like Erhvervsstyrelsen does for Denmark. The graph above compares the SIM market share with the data traffic market share: TDC has 41% of the Danish SIMs but just 14% of the data traffic. ‘3’ is TDC’s antipode: 12% of the SIMs but 38% of Denmark’s mobile data traffic.
A comparison of what a mobile smartphone customer gets for 199 DKK [27 EUR] demonstrates the allowance difference well. What the table doesn’t show is that TDC gives significant multi-user discounts on more expensive plans – and that TDC allows every smartphone user to attach up to 3 data-SIMs under the same allowance without any additional fee. [Telenor has lately partly matched some of this].
Still, the mobile users with an interest for mobile data – undoubtedly the future – seem to prefer TDC’s competitors: The average TDC phone SIM used 250 Mbytes of data per month during 2H 2013. Telenor had 530, Telia 680 and ‘3’ 1170 Mbytes. The average TDC data-only SIM used 650 Mbytes. Telenor had 2600, Telia 4200 and ‘3’ 5100 Mbytes per month.
The competitive context has sharpened further as Telenor and Telia have launched their new, shared, network. A network test – ordered by Telenor – showed that the new Telenor/Telia network is best in Denmark. Marketing has had its point towards TDC.
In what appears to be a reaction, TDC has recently increased some of their data allowances – especially in the multi-user plans.
The case should serve as learning for operators in general: Whereas we’ve spoken much about the risk of being too generous with data allowance it’s perhaps time to address the risk of being too ungenerous?
For two years in a row, leading operators in Sweden, Finland and Norway have been benchmarked against a local operator peer group through a practice led by tefficient. The results reinforce the rationale behind local benchmarking: In order to improve, operators need focused, fact-based and local input.
It’s time to give a similar tool to mobile operators in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
“We strongly feel something needs to be done”, says Allan Greve at tefficient. “Very little analysis focuses on the specifics of these three markets and we intend to change this.”
Analysis & Consulting, 2014
Presented to the members of the Ambassadors of Telecom organisation in the Netherlands 13 March 2014. The title was “Benchmarking – and the tale of a wing clipped Dutch opportunity”. In addition to tefficient’s approach to benchmarking, we discussed if there is a mobile data dilemma in the Netherlands (comparing to the rest of the world).
The presented slides can be viewed here.
Remember Blyk? The high-profiled venture that targeted the young UK population with free calls and texts – if they agreed to received targeted advert texts on their mobiles. After launch in 2007, the UK service was shut down 2009. [The Blyk name still exists in e.g. the Netherlands where Vodafone uses the concept.]
The question is if Swedish ad-funded MVNO Wifog – launched yesterday – can make a similar concept fly. Wifog has realised that in 2013, people spend most of their device-interaction time connected to the Internet. Their proposition is therefore data-centric: Watch 2-5 minutes of video adverts a day (you can schedule these) and in return get unlimited data (on 3’s 3G network), 120 minutes of voice and 200 SMSs per month.
Wifog tells advertisers that they can reach the right audience – through targeting and analytics. It’s likely that Wifog’s users will be profiled based on what they use the Internet for – much more powerful than the orginal Blyk concept which was based on end-users selecting their “areas of interest”. The question is just how interesting this is for advertisers in a world where Google – without asking for our opt-in consent – already targets us with device-specific, location-specific and usage-based adverts.
Denmark has had it for more than 10 years, Belgium got it a year ago and now EU proposes it for all of EU: Maximum effective binding period of 6 months for consumer mobile contracts.
What happens to a mobile market when such a change is introduced and why is this change actually so significant?
This analysis shows that when Belgian consumers no longer are locked into long contracts, it has a major impact. The question is also if the transition is over in Belgium: Danish figures suggest it might get worse.
Since the EU commission – as part of the 11 September 2013 “Connected Continent: Building a Telecoms Single Market” plan – is proposing that EU consumers should have a similar right to cancel contracts after six months, the question is obviously: Is this also your future?
Download analysis: tefficient public industry analysis 12 2013 Six months contracts
Comprehensive business benchmark including a total of 129 KPIs covering revenue, OPEX, CAPEX, productivity, traffic load and network quality – with a peer group solely consisting of network sharing joint ventures.
Due to pre-agreed confidentiality requirements, the identities of participating JVs are fully anonymous.
The results demonstrate the value of the JV-specfic benchmark approach: Network sharing JVs have established cost and productivity levels that are elevated far beyond the obvious sharing effects. Also network quality levels are very high even though traffic load is higher. To improve further, JVs need to compare with their likes – other JVs – and not to regular mobile operators.
Peer group consisting exclusively of primary data from Swedish, Finnish and Norwegian operators. Due to pre-agreed confidentiality requirements, the identities of the participating operators are fully anonymous.Comprehensive business benchmark including a total of 444 KPIs covering revenue, OPEX, CAPEX, productivity, customer distribution, performance, load, quality and innovation & growth – for 33 functions within a mobile operator.
The results demonstrate the value of a region-specific benchmark approach: Swedish, Finnish and Norwegian 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, the participating operators have got a great tool to improve their local competitiveness even further.
Mobile operator revenue is under pressure. Increased competition leads to decreased prices. Smartphones have transformed the business of operators: Data services are now more used than both voice and messaging. In parts of the world, these challenges are however coped with.
“Swedish, Finnish and Norwegian operators play in a league of their own”, says Fredrik Jungermann at tefficient. “Nowhere else you’ll find as high mobile data traffic, as many smartphones, as many dedicated mobile broadband subscriptions and as high network quality. In addition, the mobile operators in Sweden, Finland and Norway are among the most productive operators in the world.”
To improve further, the Swedish, Finnish and Norwegian mobile operators can’t continue with global benchmarking – it is simply not challenging enough. Consequently, the international efficiency expert tefficient brings a benchmark specific to Sweden, Finland and Norway only.
The benchmark covers all business aspects: revenue, OPEX, investments, productivity, customer distribution, quality, load & complexity and innovation & growth. In total, there are 435 KPIs in the benchmark.
Swedish, Finnish and Norwegian mobile operators can – by using the benchmark and the analysis that comes with it – improve its local competitiveness.
Deadline for participation is 31 January 2013. Input data is for the full year 2012 and need to be finalized by 25 March. The results are ready latest 26 April 2013.
Working with a DNA, Ncell and anonymous mobile operators to calulate their individual Efficiency Index according to the methodology developed by tefficient.
For some operators, some of the results are public and published on www.efficiency-index.com.