The MCA has today published the Data Report Sheet (DRS) with the latest figures for the sectors of electronic communications and post, covering the period Q1 2014 to Q1 2018.
All electronic communication segments registered an increase in subscriptions through the 12-month period to March 2018. The number of subscriptions in the pay-TV segment was up 3.7% year-on-year, closely followed by a 3.6% rise in fixed broadband subscriptions and a 2.6% increase in fixed line telephony subscriptions. Year-on-year growth in the mobile telephony segment stood at 0.9%.
Significantly, the period under review saw a persistent rise in fixed broadband, fixed telephony and pay-TV subscriptions being purchased in a bundle. As at the end on March 2018, 85.5% of all fixed broadband subscriptions were purchased in a bundle, followed by 72.8% for fixed telephony and 67.6% for pay-TV. Just 9.3% of all mobile telephony subscriptions were purchased in a bundle at the end of the current reporting period.
Rising demand for fast and ultra-fast download speeds is driving subscriber growth in this segment, with the proportion of subscriptions getting these ‘headline’ speeds increasing from 63.7% at the end of March 2017 to 80.8% at the end of March 2018. The continued rise in fast and ultra-fast fixed broadband subscriptions contributed to a rise in ARPU.
Notwithstanding the increase in fixed telephony subscriptions, traffic volumes were down by 6.2% year-on-year as a result of fixed-to-mobile substitution. The rise in subscriptions combined with drops in traffic volumes translated into lower ARPU, from €34.50 in Q1 2017 to €32.30 in Q1 2018.
Voice traffic minutes for mobile telephony were up by 7% in Q1 2018 compared to volumes recorded in the same period a year earlier. On the other hand, SMS volumes were down by 14% during the same period.
The number of pay-TV subscriptions was up by 5.8% year-on-year, with IPTV subscriptions and cable digital subscriptions contributing to this change. Subscriptions on GO’s IPTV platform were up by almost 42% whilst subscriptions on Melita’s cable digital platform were up by almost 18.7%. The rising take-up of pay-TV in bundle subscriptions has contributed to a 5.5% drop in ARPU for this segment, from in €44.92 in Q1 2017 to €42.46 in Q1 2018. Bundle plans typically allow for discounted access fees.
Postal mail volumes were up by 4.8% year-on-year, from 9.2 million postal items in Q1 2017 to 9.7 million postal items in Q1 2018. This was mainly a result of more buoyant inbound cross border mail volumes. In fact, inbound mail volumes was up by 30.8% during this period.
In line with the MCA's efforts to add value to our publications, the DRS publication will from now onwards include information about the take-up of leased lines at retail level.
Data cut-off date: 15th June 2018; (ii) Data is preliminary and subject to change