What you need to know

The bundled communications market was estimated to be worth £20.2 billion in 2019, marking a slight decrease on last year. The main reason for the drop was the decreasing use and installation of landline services, although the rising popularity of superfast broadband is helping soften the decline.

The increasing need for fibre internet comes as part of consumers’ growing data usage, with people using almost double the amount of data compared to 2016. Now, over half of consumers with a TV bundle have a subscription to either Netflix and/or Amazon Prime Video.

Sky continues as the leading bundled communications provider, ahead of BT and Virgin Media. The major bundled providers have been developing their broadband offering, making fibre broadband as accessible as possible throughout the country, while Virgin Media has also launched its 1,104Mbps-capable broadband, Gig1.

Of those consumers who have a TV subscription with BT, Sky or Virgin Media, 34% watch Ultra HD content from that provider. Additionally, 39% of TV subscribers use their provider’s mobile app to watch live and on-demand content.

Quadplay bundles are also niche at the moment, but there is clear potential for growth due to the number of consumers who are open to the idea. Some 40% of people who do not have quadplay currently would consider signing up to it in the future. Also, one of the criticisms of quadplay is the fact that the customer is locked into one provider. However, Mintel’s consumer research found this ranked as the least significant problem for the people who had decided against quadplay in the past.

Products covered in this Report

This Report looks at the sale and provision of telecommunication products to consumers.

Telecommunication products include fixed-line telephony, mobile telephony, internet and television. Individually these are known as ‘services’.

When two or more services are sold to a consumer by the same provider at the same time, they are referred to as a ‘bundle’. Specifically, two services sold at the same time are a dual-play bundle, three services sold at the same time are a triple-play bundle, and four services sold at the same time are a quad-play bundle.

The ‘Big Four’ when referenced as such, refers to BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media.

Services like Netflix are referred to as over-the-top media: video or audio content delivered over the internet by a third party carried down to the consumer’s home by a provider, but free of control from it.

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