The UK regulator, Ofcom, has very recently released the 2011 version of its International Communications Market Report, which compares the availability, take-up and use of services in the UK and a number of comparator countries.
The report covers a number of areas, including:
- an analysis of the UK market in context
- comparative international pricing, comparing the typical prices people for a range of different 'baskets' of communications services
- a review of both the television and audio visual market and the radio and audio market
- an assessment of internet use, in terms of platforms and devices, as well as content and consumption
- comparative international data on the communications sector, comparing the UK to a range of comparator countries in order to assess how the UK is performing in an international context.
The comparative international pricing element of the report, which is based on data supplied by the Teligen division of Strategy Analytics, compares five 'baskets' of services - fixed voice, mobile voice, fixed broadband, mobile broadband and pay TV - representative of the communications use of five typical households. The analysis shows that the UK is generally very price competitive, offering the lowest price for all five baskets when a weighted average of single service pricing was taken into account and for three of the five baskets when looking at 'best-offer' pricing. Much of this difference is as a result of mobile prices in the UK being lower than in other countries, however, other services are generally also reasonably competitive. For example, the UK offers the lowest prices for standalone fixed voice services, in terms of the weighted average price. Similarly it is the cheapest for standalone broadband, along with France. And mobile broadband prices in the UK were the second lowest after Italy.
The analysis also reveals that Consumers in all countries can make savings by purchasing multi-service 'bundles', and the greatest savings, compared to purchasing standalone services, are available in France, where a 'quad-play' bundle including voice, broadband, TV and phone offered the lowest prices for a basket of services typical of a family of four with multiple communications needs. The UK offers the second lowest price for this basket.
The full study results, along with detailed information on the methodology used, are available for download on Ofcom's website.