Category Archives: Benchmarks

Finland: The land of three thousand megabytes

In our public industry analysis “Peak data” in sight? we use regulator data to identify Finland as the number 1 country in the world when it comes to mobile data usage, beating all the countries which typically are followed closely – USA, South Korea, Japan.

It’s with great pleasure we note that Finland’s third operator, DNA, has followed in its larger competitor Elisa’s footsteps and reported total mobile data traffic. And it is a blast. Too. Continue reading Finland: The land of three thousand megabytes

Niel buys Orange Switzerland: So will Swiss headcount follow French?

Orange Switzerland (which since 2012 isn’t owned by Orange Group) is just about to be sold to Xavier Niel’s private holding company. What makes it interesting is that Niel is the person behind Iliad, the company who operates under the Free brand in France. Continue reading Niel buys Orange Switzerland: So will Swiss headcount follow French?

Network sharing JV benchmark 2015

Network sharing benchmarkPrevious years’ benchmarks showed that network sharing JVs – through focus and new operation models – have established cost and productivity levels which few mobile operators can match within their own network departments. JVs’ network quality is also higher – in spite of higher network load. Continue reading Network sharing JV benchmark 2015

The Alps operator benchmark

In 2013, tefficient introduced the Nordic operator benchmark to telcos in Sweden, Finland and Norway. The feedback has been strong, leading to repetitions in 2014 and 2015. Denmark was added in 2015.

Unlike other benchmarks, it has a local view since the peer group only contains operators from the covered countries – which have been selected based on high comparability. Unlike other benchmarks, it is therefore 100% fact based since no numbers need to be “adjusted” in an attempt to mask that they weren’t comparable in the first place. Continue reading The Alps operator benchmark

You do have blind spots. Spot them.

The last day to confirm participation in the Nordic operator benchmark 2015 is 23 January.

A few operators have confirmed their participation already, but since we 2015 expand the scope of the benchmark from mobile to mobile, fixed/cable and integrated operators (respectively) and add Denmark, there are a few operators who have been asked for the first time.2015 Nordic benchmark potential participants

The operators who are asked are displayed.


You of course ask “why should I“?

To become aware of your blind spots. To measure and compare is to know. If you don’t participate, you blind spots will remain blind spots. You might even think you don’t have any.

If you don’t participate, you don’t know where competition is – and you don’t know what is local best practice.

If you do participate, you will get your business measured and compared to a relevant, local, unadjusted peer group.

33 functions are covered within these six domains:

  • Marketing & sales
  • Customer service
  • Networks
  • IT
  • Support functions
  • Product development

KPIThere are around 600 KPIs per each benchmark (mobile, fixed/cable, integrated):

  • 80 revenue,
  • 130 OPEX,
  • 15 CAPEX,
  • 130 productivity,
  • 90 subscribers & channel,
  • 70 performance,
  • 50 load,
  • 10 quality and,
  • 10 innovation & growth KPIs

The KPIs are carefully selected for each function – and have been improved in cooperation with the operators having participated in 2013 and 2014.

Your position is only showed to yourself. The identities of the actual participants are anonymous. The data is not used for any other purposes than this benchmark. That’s our confidentiality promise.

We also promise a 100% fact based benchmark where no numbers have been “adjusted”.

Think again. You do have blind spots. Spot them.

More information: Nordic operator benchmark 2015

Nordic operator benchmark 2015

2015 Nordic benchmark potential participantsPress release

There are two major changes to this benchmark compared to 2013 and 2014:

  • The scope has been expanded from mobile operators to mobile, fixed/cable and integrated operators
  • The peer group country cluster has also been expanded: We now welcome Denmark as a complement to Sweden, Finland and Norway

In total, 16 operators (see above) will be invited to participate. As previous years, the identities of the actual participants will be confidential.

An operator can, depending on business scope, focus or budget, participate in one, two or three of the benchmarks: Mobile, fixed/cable and/or the integrated benchmark.

Integrated operators: Since the mobile-fixed mix is different from one integrated operator to another, integrated operators aren’t just compared “as is”. With tefficient‘s methodology, an operator’s actual mobile-fixed mix will be taken into account on a per-KPI basis making the integrated peer group totally relevant for this specific operator’s mobile-fixed mix.

Other modifications to the benchmark are: Improved comparability for equipment sales via subsidy and instalment models; M2M split-out; Improved comparability between telesales in incoming and outgoing calls; Improved comparability between “make or buy” in Networks OPEX & CAPEX; More detailed network quality KPIs.

Mobile benchmark: 603 KPIs derived from a maximum of 376 input data points

Fixed/cable benchmark: 549 KPIs derived from a maximum of 471 input data points

Integrated benchmark: 555 KPIs derived from a maximum of 594 input data points (stand-alone) or just 99 additional input data points (if mobile and fixed benchmarks done)

All three benchmarks cover revenue, OPEX, CAPEX, headcount productivity, performance, traffic & load, quality and innovation & growth for 33 functions.

Deadline to participate is 23 January 2015. Input data (FY 2014) frozen 20 March 2015. Results available 24 April 2015. If you’re among the 16 operators, please contact tefficient for an introduction.

Network sharing JV benchmark 2014

Network sharing benchmarkBenchmarks, 2014

For the second consecutive year: Comprehensive business benchmark including a total of 159 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.

Once again, the results demonstrate the value of the JV-specfic benchmark approach: Network sharing JVs have throughfocus on core activities, higher freedom in selecting operation methods and attention to detail established cost and productivity levels that are elevated beyond the obvious sharing effect. Also network quality is very high even though traffic load increases when sharing. To improve further, JVs need to compare with their likes – other JVs – and not to regular mobile operators. The benchmark will run again in March 2015.

Telenor and ‘3’ sell more equipment than Telia and Tele2 – or?

TeliaSonera started to separate out equipment revenue in their new reporting format. Lovely!

Sweden equipment revenue of mobile revenue ratio 2012 2014

We can now compare the equipment revenue vs. mobile revenue ratio for all Swedish operators (see graph). According to reporting notes, Telenor and ‘3’ realise the full equipment price as equipment revenue and let the equipment subsidy dilute service revenue instead. Telia and Tele2 realise the actual equipment sales price after subsidy as equipment revenue.

Active in the same market, there is likely no material difference between the equipment sales of the operators; the differences between Telenor/’3′ on one side and Telia/Tele2 on the other are rather a consequence of the revenue recognition used.

If so, we can by comparing these two approaches estimate that Swedish operators averagely subsidise around one third of the nominal equipment price. That is how much Telia and Tele2’s lines would have to be raised to match the lines of Telenor and ‘3’.

Sweden-Finland-Norway-specific mobile operator benchmark 2014

Sweden Finland NorwayFor the second consecutive year: Comprehensive business benchmark including a total of 577 KPIs covering revenue, OPEX, CAPEX, headcount productivity, subscriptions & channels, performance, load, quality and innovation & growth – for 33 functions within a mobile operator.

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.

The results again 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, participating operators now have a great tool to improve their local competitiveness even further. The benchmark will run again in January 2015 and then cover also Danish operators. Operators can participate either as a mobile entity or as an integrated (fixed and mobile) entity.

The risk of being too ungenerous with data allowance

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.

Denmark data usage vs SIM 2H 2013

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.

Denmark 199 DKK plan contents

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?