Luxembourg has one of the smallest telecom markets in Europe, greatly supported by an influx of workers and migrants from larger neighbouring countries. Luxembourg City is also one of the political centres of the European Union, and so attracts affluent migrant employees.
Overall revenue from electronic communications services bucked the downward trend seen in many other European markets, growing slightly in 2012 with similar growth anticipated into 2014. Much of this growth is due to the strong mobile services sector while revenue from fixed-line telephony continued to fall. Steady growth is expected during the next few years at least as the Duchy’s upgraded network infrastructure attracts international interest from companies seeking high-end connectivity.
Total investment in fixed-line infrastructure has also risen steadily, and is expected to continue to do so for the next five year as operators migrate from copper to FttH and FttC. Equally, there is considerable investment in mobile networks to provide mobile broadband connectivity to subscribers based on HSPA and LTE technologies, though the amount invested in 2012 fell year-on-year.
Investment has been maintained in spite of the impact of the financial crisis and by the effects of Luxembourg’s general economic slump, which saw GDP fall in 2009, largely due to the knock-on effects of the poor economic performances of the Duchy’s neighbouring trading partners. Nevertheless, GDP per capita, at about US$105,000, provides one of the highest disposable incomes in Europe to maintain consumer spend on telecom services.
The incumbent POST Telecom (formerly P&T Luxembourg) remains the dominant player in all market sectors, despite the telecoms market having been liberalised in 1998. Regulatory measures during the last few years have encouraged broadband competition through local loop unbundling, yet the proportion of unbundled lines remains relatively low. As yet, there are few broadband subscribers on fibre networks but this is set to change as the country migrates to FttH architecture. POST Telecom has set aside €500 million to build its NGN, an open access platform which should allow for effective competition though high wholesale access prices may need to be addressed by the regulator.
In common with most other markets, revenue from the fixed line sector has been falling steadily. Indeed since 2005 income generated by mobile telecoms has far exceeded that from of fixed lines, while revenue from the broadband sector has propped up total revenue.
High mobile penetration has slowed subscriber growth in the mobile market since 2005. Partly as a result of fixed-mobile substitution, Luxembourg has one of the lowest fixed-line densities in Europe, at about 50%. As a consequence, revenue from the fixed line sector has been falling steadily as consumers migrate to mobile-only solutions. In 2005 income generated by mobile telecommunications exceeded those of fixed lines for the first time.
Luxembourg – key telecom parameters – 2010; 2013
|Penetration rate by service:||
- P&T Luxembourg in mid-2013 rebranded as POST Telecom to reflect the diversity of services it offers.
- POST Telecom has launched two m-payment services via the operator’s post offices. Customers can make purchases via smartphones and similar devices from selected bank accounts
- The government’s ‘National Strategy for very high-speed networks’ aims to encourage telcos to implement FttH nationally, providing at least 100Mb/s connectivity by 2015 and 1Gb/s by 2020. The progressive roll-out calls for some 80% of the population to have access to 100Mb/s by the end of 2013 and 50% to have access to 1Gb/s downlink by the end of 2015.
- A number of geographic zones reserved for economic activity have been prioritized for the FttH service: since the beginning of 2011 buildings have been equipped with passive in-house ducts and equipment required for FttH. A national infrastructure inventory (similar to one developed in Germany) as well as more efficient use of civil engineering works have helped reduce roll out costs: a registry of civil engineering works is intended to identify work permits usable for fibre deployment. In addition, the regulator has worked on a framework to release appropriate spectrum bands for use in mobile broadband.
- Luxembourg’s mobile SIM penetration continues to be the highest in Europe, largely due to the high number of transient workers and to the popularity of multiple SIM use.
- POST Telecom in early 2013 began trialling DSL vectoring to provide higher broadband data rates.
For detailed information, table of contents and pricing see:
We invite your comments: Comments Off on Migration to NGN raises overall telecom investment in Luxembourg