UK’S COMMUNICATION INDUSTRY by New and improving technologies in the communication industry has forced most of the companies dealing in this sector to either improve to cope up with the fast growing trend or suffer the agony of being forced out of the industry (Huurdeman 2003). There have been consistent changes in this industry which ensures that determines what the users prefer in the communication sector. A company has to adhere to these demands and changes at all costs to retain their customers. Regulatory measures also implemented in the UK communication industry ensured extra effort by a company to retain its market.
Privatization, issuing of licenses to new investors in the industry and allowing competition in television and internet services upgraded the competition level in this industry. This document analyses the trends in the UK market in an attempt by investors to retain their competitiveness in the quick changing environment (Roger 2009). Fixed line telephone Fixed line telephone was a government project but privatized later. Its market was in a constant decline with more and more companies joined in and the constant improvement in technology.
For instance, in 2003 they had 34.9 million lines in use but by 2009 they had declined to 33 million as reported by Office of Communication (Ofcom). Call minutes also reduced by 15% during the period from 167 billion to 138 billion this being only 55% of the total UK voices. The privatization to British Telecom (BT) was meant to foster competition in the industry. Introduction of Openreach by BT allowed them to provide services to other operators and Ofcom introducing local loop unbundling (LLU) which could ensure other operators could install their equipments in the BT local exchange ensured that the operators could offer services without having to put up their networks.
This reduced the costs as well as encouraging other operators to join the industry and gain from the cheap costs, improving the competition. The service charges drastically dropped, allowing cheap provision of bundles of fixed lines and broadband, encouraging provision of broadband services. 35% of BT exchanges had been unbundled by 2008 with most consumers opting for fixed voice provider. By 2009, BT’s market share had fallen below 50% due to stiff competition from other service providers. Mobile Telephone There was drastic improvement in the mobile usage in the UK market as compared to the fixed line telephone.
As reported by Ofcom, they had 76.8 million subscribers in the year 2008 up from 24 million in 2003. The revenue obtained by operators has been dropping though; this is caused by the price competition from multiple company operators in the industry (Roger 2009). International service providers like Orange also pose a great competition on the local operators due to their developed base; this allows them to charge low prices gaining the interest of the users.
Mobile handsets have enjoyed the highest market due to this service with Nokia leading with the number of handsets sold. Their reduction in selling prices due to competition encouraged more subscription. Other handsets moved to introduce use of their own simcards with their phones, for example Orange. This improved the competition as each provider lowered their charges to lure both handset and sim purchase. Number portability introduced in 2007 also encouraged more subscription into the mobile telephone usage.
Introduction of post-paid plans to the customers also improved the attraction to the mobile usage (Gordon 2006) Television UK television industry is a broad sector mainly dominated by five public service broadcasters although there were 475 channels in 2008 which had improved from 470 channels in 2007. The industry though is already being saturated and only 77 applications for licenses were reported in the year 2008. Sports has been the main interests of most television users and most providers had to ensure that they included these in their attraction motives, English Premier League being the most requested category.
Provision of these sports and their increase in demand necessitated abolishment of free-to-air services. This meant that users had to pay to access, forcing the introduction of digital terrestrial TV (DTT) (Butler 2006). This allowed usage of digital channels, leading to HD (High Definition) TV introduction in the year 2008 and by 2009, 2.3 million households had already installed the HD equipments (Roger 2009). Broadband Provision of broadband services had improved by 12% in a span of a year from 2008 to 2009 being available in 65% of total UK households.
DSL technology has been used by most homes and small businesses. Technology has also affected the competitiveness in this sector expected to increase the number of users, wiMAX and fiber being channeled to homes. Wireless mobile broadband is also a major competition with 3G cards being provided for laptops has increased ease of access by customers (Ferguson 2006). Wi-Fi hotspots have also attracted most customers due to its availability increasing the general broadband service demand. Generally, the communication sector has never been static in its operations to attract and keep customers.
As the technology drastically evolve to suit the current world trends, communication also keeps up the pace to ensure that the globe is connected into a one small village. Usage standards set by authorities are also major determinants of communication industry improvement and should be exercised to ensure proper industrial growth with accepted ethics. Ignoring this, the industry can fall into a free fall state unmanageable due to the high competition and fast evolving technology, the risk of managing security of information will soon be out of hand for most governments. Reference list Butler, Jeremy G 2006, Television: Critical Methods and Applications, Psychology Press.
Ferguson, A 2006, Broadband for all - not! The Guardian: London. Gordon A. Gow, Richard, 2006, K Smith Mobile and Wireless Communications: An Introduction, McGraw-Hill International Huurdeman, Anton A 2003, the Worldwide History of Telecommunications, Hoboken: New Jersey. Roger, a 2009, Vodafone: Developing a Total Communications Strategy in the UK Market, University of Oxford.