Telecommunication services (until 2010) (isoc_tc_hist)

Reference Metadata in Euro SDMX Metadata Structure (ESMS)

Compiling agency: Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union

Eurostat metadata
Reference metadata
1. Contact
2. Metadata update
3. Statistical presentation
4. Unit of measure
5. Reference Period
6. Institutional Mandate
7. Confidentiality
8. Release policy
9. Frequency of dissemination
10. Accessibility and clarity
11. Quality management
12. Relevance
13. Accuracy
14. Timeliness and punctuality
15. Coherence and comparability
16. Cost and Burden
17. Data revision
18. Statistical processing
19. Comment
Related Metadata
Annexes (including footnotes)

For any question on data and metadata, please contact: EUROPEAN STATISTICAL DATA SUPPORT


1. Contact Top
1.1. Contact organisation Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union
1.2. Contact organisation unit G4: Innovation and information society
1.5. Contact mail address 2920 Luxembourg LUXEMBOURG

2. Metadata update Top
2.1. Metadata last certified 16/11/2012
2.2. Metadata last posted 16/11/2012
2.3. Metadata last update 16/11/2012

3. Statistical presentation Top
3.1. Data description

The collection of 'Telecommunication Services' statistics covers the following indicators:

  • (1) Employment in telecommunication

The indicator gives the total number of people employed in telecommunication services and the number of people employed in fixed and mobile telecommunication and Internet service provision. Employment is converted into full time equivalent units, average of the year.

  • (2) Investment

The indicator gives the total gross investment (in Mio euro) in tangible goods i.e. investment for acquiring property (land and buildings) and plant (e.g. switching equipment, transmission equipment, office machinery, and motor vehicles), and investment in fixed telecommunication networks (excluding cable TV services), mobile telecommunications: GSM and GPRS, mobile telecommunications: UMTS (excluding licenses), and in other telecommunication networks (Internet, satellite and cable telecommunication equipment and infrastructure other than for broadcasting).

  • (3) Turnover

The indicator gives the total turnover (in Mio euro) from all telecommunication services and turnover from leased lines, fixed network services, cellular mobile telecommunication services, interconnection services and Internet service provision.

  • (4) International receipts and payments

The indicator gives the total revenue (receipts, payments) from international incoming and outgoing telecommunication traffic, in Mio euro.

Incoming telecommunication traffic: income received from foreign telephone operators for completing calls originating in foreign country.

Outgoing telecommunication traffic: charges received from subscribers for placing outgoing calls after deduction of the share of this income to be paid to other organisation for outgoing telecommunication traffic (operators of the incoming and possibly transit countries).

  • (5) International calls

The indicator gives the amount (in 1000 minutes) of international incoming (originating outside the country with a destination inside the country) and outgoing (originating inside the country to destinations outside the country) calls in fixed and cellular networks.

  • (6) Traffic

The indicator gives the total amount of national calls and the amount of local calls, national long distance calls, cellular mobile calls, minutes of internet connection, calls from fixed to mobile and mobile to fixed networks, calls within mobile networks and calls from mobile to mobile networks (in 1000 minutes).

  • (7) SMS (short message service)

The indicator gives the total number of SMS (text messages) sent (in thousands).

  • (8) Access to networks (in thousands)

The indicator gives the number of main telephone lines and subscriptions to the services of the operators offering mobile telecommunication services and the number of leased lines, ISDN subscriptions, DSL subscriptions, Internet subscriptions and subscriptions to cable networks enabling internet use, number of connections to telecommunication networks through electricity networks (Power Line Communication - PLC), subscriptions to mobile telecommunication systems enabling use of UMTS and the number of users of Voice over Internet Protocol telephony, in thousands.

  • (9) Access to networks (per 100 inhabitants)

The indicator gives the number of main telephone lines and subscriptions to the services of the operators offering mobile telecommunication services per 100 inhabitants.

  • (10) Household share of main telephone lines

The indicator gives the share of main telephone lines for residential use (i.e. lines which are not used for business, government or other professional purposes or as public telephone stations) as a percentage of total main telephone lines.

  • (11) Operators and service providers

The indicator gives the number of fixed network operators offering local and long distance national telecommunications (facilities based or resale) and international telecommunications, and the number of cellular mobile operators (digital or analogous, facilities based or resale), cable and satellite service providers (excluding pure programme distribution) and internet service providers (access and backbone services).

  • (12) Broadband penetration rate

 This indicator shows how widely broadband access to the internet has spread in the countries on the general level, not specifying by user group.

  • (13) Prices of telecommunication

The indicator gives the price in Euro of a 10 minute call at 11 am on a weekday (including VAT) for a local call (3km), national long distance call (200km) and an international call (to USA). The prices refer to the month of August for the period 1998-2005, and to the month of September from 2006 onwards. Tariffs without special rates are used.

  • (14) Market shares in telecommunication

This covers two structural indicators: market share of the incumbent in fixed telecommunications by type of call (local, long distance and international calls) and market share of the leading operator in mobile telecommunications.

  • (15) Information technology expenditure in millions of euro and as a percentage of GDP

Data refer to the expenditure for information and communication technology in millions of euro and as a percentage of GDP, with breakdown by expenditure for telecommunications and IT expenditure. Data in millions of euro are coming from the annual report of the European Information Technology Observatory (EITO).

3.2. Classification system

Not applicable

3.3. Coverage - sector

Not applicable

3.4. Statistical concepts and definitions

Main telephone lines are lines that connect the subscriber's terminal equipment to the public switched network and which have a dedicated port in the telephone exchange equipment. This term is synonymous with the term 'main station' or 'Direct Exchange Line' (DEL).

Subscriptions to public cellular mobile telecommunication systems include also the number of active pre-paid cards.

Leased lines (also known as private circuits) provide fixed un-switched communications link between two points.

Number of subscriptions to the Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) not specifying whether basic or primary rate interface service: not number of channels.

The fixed national (trunk) traffic consists of effective (completed) national traffic exchanged with a station outside the local charging area of the calling station.

For a detailed list of the definitions of the Telecommunication indicators used in the EUROSTAT telecommunications inquiry please see the Annex at the end of the page.

The broadband penetration rate describes the number of dedicated, high-speed connections per 100 inhabitants. Broadband lines are defined as those with a capacity equal to or higher than 144 Kbits/s. Various technologies are covered; ADSL, cable modem as well as other types of access lines.

The data on price level and evolution in the telecommunications market come from studies made annually by Teligen ltd. on behalf of DG INFSO (European Commission), with the principal aim of monitoring the effects of the regulatory package concerning telecommunications on the prices in the EU Member States. For the follow-up of the price developments in the network industries, three services have been specified to represent local, national long-distance and international telecommunication. Data is based on the tariff information collected by Teligen ltd. Only the incumbent operator is usually covered, which makes the indicator less accurate, even though the incumbent covers a high market share and is assumed to reflect the general developments in a competitive market. The incumbent is defined as the enterprise active on the market just before liberalisation.

Market structure data on telecommunications are collected by the European Commission, DG INFSO from the National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) of the Member States in order to evaluate progress of the liberalisation process. This indicator shows the market share in each market segment of the incumbent / leading telecommunication operator, in each country. The incumbent is defined as the enterprise active on the market just before liberalisation. The market share of the leading operator is calculated on the basis of the estimates of the number of mobile subscribers. The share of the leading operator of all subscriptions in mobile telecommunication is given. A local call is defined as a call within local networks, while a long distance call refers to a call from one local network to another.

Data on ICT expenditure are coming from the annual report of the EITO (European Information Technology Observatory). The EITO publication is released each year in spring. The indicator gives the annual data on expenditure for ICT equipment, software and services in millions of euro and as a percentage of GDP (ICT = Information and Communication Technology; GDP = Gross Domestic Product). A breakdown is given by expenditure for telecommunication (telecommunication equipment and carrier services) and IT expenditure (IT equipment, software and IT services).

3.5. Statistical unit

The operators in the telecommunications sector.

3.6. Statistical population

Not applicable

3.7. Reference area

EU-Member States, EU-27, EU-25, EU-15, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, Candidate countries: Croatia, Turkey.

3.8. Coverage - Time

The availability of data varies among the indicators:

Time series for "Employment (full time equivalent units)","Investment", "Turnover",  "International, receipts and payments", "International calls", "Traffic", "Access to networks", and "Household share of main telephone lines" are available from 1995 onwards.

Time series for "Operators and service providers" are available from 1997 onwards.

Time series for "SMS" are available from 1998 onwards.

Time series for "Employment (number)" are available from 2003 onwards.

Data on "Broadband" are available from 2002 onwards. Annual data refer to situation in July of the reference year.

Data on "Prices" are available from 1998 onwards.

Data on "Market shares" are available for most of the countries from 2001 onwards. In fixed telephony, the breakdown by local calls and national long distance calls is not available from 2006 onwards. Therefore, data on market shares for national fixed calls is presented.

Data on "Information technology expenditure" are available from 2006 onwards.

3.9. Base period

Not applicable

4. Unit of measure Top
  • Data for "Employment" is expressed in full time equivalent units and in number.
  • Data for "Access to networks" is expressed in thousands and per 100 inhabitants. 
  • Data for "Traffic" and "International calls" is expressed in 1000 minutes. 
  • Data for "Investment", "Turnover" and "International receipts and payments" is expressed in Million of euro. 
  • The number of SMS is given in thousands.
  • "Household share" data is given in percentages.
  • Data for "Operators and service providers" is expressed in absolute value.
  • Data for "Number of broadband access lines" is expressed in absolute value (number). Broadband penetration rate is expressed in percentages and it is calculated as the number of broadband access lines divided to population, multiplied by 100.

  • Data on "Prices" is expressed in euro.

  • Data on "Market shares" is expressed in percentage.

  • Data on "Information technology expenditure" is expressed in millions of euro and as a percentage of GDP.

5. Reference Period Top

Most of the telecommunication data refer to the end of the year (31.12.) before the annual inquiry.

Broadband data: 2002 data were collected in July and October; 2003 and 2004 data were collected in January, July and October. Since 2005 data are collected in January and July.

The prices refer to the month of August for the period 1998-2005, and to the month of September from 2006 onwards.

Data on "Information technology expenditure" refer to the calendar year.

6. Institutional Mandate Top
6.1. Institutional Mandate - legal acts and other agreements

Not applicable

6.2. Institutional Mandate - data sharing

Not applicable

7. Confidentiality Top
7.1. Confidentiality - policy

Regulation (EC) No 223/2009 on European statistics (recital 24 and Article 20(4)) of 11 March 2009 (OJ L 87, p. 164), stipulates the need to establish common principles and guidelines ensuring the confidentiality of data used for the production of European statistics and the access to those confidential data with due account for technical developments and the requirements of users in a democratic society.

7.2. Confidentiality - data treatment

not applicable

8. Release policy Top
8.1. Release calendar


8.2. Release calendar access

Not applicable

8.3. Release policy - user access

In line with the Community legal framework and the European Statistics Code of Practice Eurostat disseminates European statistics on Eurostat's website (see item 10 - 'Dissemination format') respecting professional independence and in an objective, professional and transparent manner in which all users are treated equitably. The detailed arrangements are governed by the Eurostat protocol on impartial access to Eurostat data for users.

9. Frequency of dissemination Top


10. Accessibility and clarity Top
10.1. Dissemination format - News release

Not applicable

10.2. Dissemination format - Publications

Statistics Explained - Telecommunications (publication on historical data, up to 2010)

10.3. Dissemination format - online database

Please consult free data on-line ( or refer to contact details.

10.4. Dissemination format - microdata access


10.5. Dissemination format - other


10.6. Documentation on methodology

TELECOM questionnaire with related instructions and the definitions of the variables are available on request.

10.7. Quality management - documentation

The document with the definitions of the variables provides guidelines for the data collection. Countries are providing Eurostat with information on the deviations from these definitions, if any.

11. Quality management Top
11.1. Quality assurance

TELECOM questionnaire with related instructions and the definitions of the variables are available on request.

11.2. Quality management - assessment

Information on the deviation from the quality standards is delivered by the Member States.

12. Relevance Top
12.1. Relevance - User Needs

Not available.

12.2. Relevance - User Satisfaction

Not available.

12.3. Completeness

The data availability has gradually improved in recent data collections.

13. Accuracy Top
13.1. Accuracy - overall

Not available.

13.2. Sampling error

Not applicable

13.3. Non-sampling error

Not applicable

14. Timeliness and punctuality Top
14.1. Timeliness

End of the year following the reference year.

14.2. Punctuality

Not available.

15. Coherence and comparability Top
15.1. Comparability - geographical

Comparability across countries depends on the national methodologies applied. Countries are providing Eurostat with information on the deviations from the standard definitions, if any.

15.2. Comparability - over time

Comparability over depends on the national methodologies applied. Countries are providing Eurostat with information on the deviations from the standard definitions, if any.

15.3. Coherence - cross domain

Data are not directly comparable with statistics on NACE Rev. 1.1, group 64.2.

15.4. Coherence - internal

Not applicable

16. Cost and Burden Top

No information available.

17. Data revision Top
17.1. Data revision - policy

Ad-hoc revisions of the Member States outside the inquiries are rare, but can happen. Such data are immediately updated after their validation.

17.2. Data revision - practice

Not applicable

18. Statistical processing Top
18.1. Source data

The main data sources are national regulatory authorities or national ministries responsible for telecommunications. Broadband coverage indicators originate from the study Broadband Coverage in Europe, prepared for the European Commission by IDATE (2005-2010) and by Point Topic (2011-2012).

The source for Fixed telephony data is the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

18.2. Frequency of data collection


18.3. Data collection

The broadband data (except for broadband coverage), mobile telephony data and financial indicators have been collected by the European Commission (DG CNECT) from responsible national authorities (national regulatory authorities or ministries). The definitions have been agreed in the Communications Committee (COCOM). Fixed telephony data are collected by International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

Questionnaires are sent annually or bi-annually (broadband data) to responsible national authorities of all participating countries (please see above section 3.7 Reference area). National authorities collect data from national telecommunication operators and send the filled questionnaires to DG CNECT.

In some countries certain figures are estimates if the national authorities had not received data from all operators. In some cases information may refer only to major broadband access providers and broadband access lines provided by small operators are not included.

18.4. Data validation

Primary data validation is done by responsible national authorities (national regulatory authorities or ministries) and then by European Commission, DG CNECT. In case of inconsistent data, data are sent back to Member States for checks.

Eurostat is doing a secondary validation in the form of plausibility checks after receiving data from DG CNECT.

18.5. Data compilation

The calculation of EU aggregates is done by Eurostat for some indicators. The aggregates are calculated when country coverage is full or considered sufficient for estimation (at least 55% countries representing at least 60% of inhabitants for indicators in the form of ratios and 100% of countries for indicators in the form of simple sum).

18.6. Adjustment

Not applicable

19. Comment Top

Please see the annex at the end of the page.

Related metadata Top

Annexes Top
Telecommunication Services Definitions
Information technology expenditure in millions of euro and as a percentage of GDP