Broadband in the UK
There were 26.8 million fixed broadband connections in the UK during 2019, reaching 80 percent of homes in the UK. Fiber-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) is the most common fixed-broadband technology in use, with 13.46 million connections made using this technology in 2019.
BT, Sky, and Virgin Media sit atop the UK’s fixed broadband market, together accounting for 77 percent of the market.
Mobile broadband is also important in keeping people connected across the UK, with approximately 4.41 million mobile broadband subscribers in the UK as of the first quarter of 2020. Overall revenue from mobile data services reached 1.73 billion British Pounds in 2019, down from a high of 2.65 billion British pounds in 2013. Given that mobile data traffic has increased ten-fold in this time, lower revenue in this sector indicates mobile telecommunications is becoming cheaper for consumers.
Makeup of the market
The UK broadband market consists mostly of large corporations – including BT, Telefónica, Sky, and Virgin Media, and TalkTalk Group – and some smaller providers. BT hold the largest share of the fixed broadband market with a 34 percent share. The company also has more mobile subscribers than any other provider with a 28 percent share of the subscriber base as of 2018.
Looking ahead: connections to increase
As more day-to-day functions move online, the importance of having a fast and reliable internet connection grows. The number of connections is expected to rise in the coming years, across mobile and fixed connections.
The overall internet penetration rate in the UK is expected to climb from 93.67 percent in 2020, to 95.7 percent by 2025. The number of mobile broadband connections per 100 inhabitants in the United Kingdom exceeded 100 for the first time in 2019, and by 2025 is expected to reach 122.47 connections for every 100 inhabitants.