Slovenian regulator preps for additional spectrum release in 2017

December 5th, 2016, by

Slovenia’s fixed-line telecom market is dominated by Telekom Slovenije. The company has suffered from declining revenue since 2009, and so in a bid to diversify business interests and lessen the reliance pure telecom services the company is looking to expand into the electricity and insurance sectors, capitalising o its extensive customer base. In response to competition the telco has also followed the path of many European incumbents and developed an international presence, focused predominantly on the Balkans region where it is becoming a regional provider of IT and multimedia services.

In the overall telecom market, regulatory intervention has improved market conditions for competitors. LLU fees, based on regulated pricing models, continue to trend downwards but despite this there has been a steady reduction in the number of unbundled local loop connections.

Slovenia’s competitive mobile market has four mobile network operators and a small number of mobile virtual network operators, operating in a country with a potential market of only two million people. With high mobile penetration, telcos have branched into offering both mobile and fixed-line services so as to offer bundled products This strategy saw the cableco Telemach acquire Tušmobil and Si.mobil merge with Amis Telekom.

The regulator has addressed the need of mobile operators for more spectrum, providing additional concessions in 2013 and holding a significant multi-spectrum auction in 2014. An auction for left-over spectrum in the 1800MHz and 2100MHz bands was held in late 2016, with Telemach securing all three blocks on offer. Another auction for fixed-wireless broadband services using spectrum in the 3.5GHz, 10GHz and 12GHz bands is expected to be held in 2017.

Slovenia’s broadband market continues to be dominated by a small number of players, including the incumbent telco Telekom Slovenije, Telemach and T-2. Some market changes may develop in 2017 as a result of T-2 being forced to return to bankruptcy. Despite the launch of competing platforms, DSL remains the most popular access method though its market share is being eroded by the steady development of fibre-based networks, as well as by upgraded cable networks which offer data rates of up to 220Mb/s. The deployment of DOCSIS3.1 technology expected by cablcos from about 2018 will provide data rates of at least 1Gb/s, and so enable the operators to improve the delivery of bundled services.

This report offers a variety of insightful statistics and a concise overview of Slovenia’s fixed-line telecoms market, covering the major players, regulatory measures and developments in fixed-line infrastructure. The report also covers the fixed-line broadband market, including subscription forecasts to 2021, as well as an overview of the digital media sector, highlighting major players and industry developments. In addition the report offers insights and statistics on the mobile market, including updates on operators, regulatory measures relating to roaming, tariffs and spectrum, and developments in LTE and other technologies.

For detailed information, table of contents and pricing see: Slovenia – Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media – Statistics and Analyses

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Finland’s telcos prepare for 700MHz spectrum auction

December 3rd, 2016, by

Finland’s telecom market is among the more progressive in Europe, with considerable emphasis by both the regulator and operators to test-bed technologies, particularly in the mobile sector. The regulator has been quick to provide additional spectrum for telecom services, with spectrum in the 800MHz already available for LTE use and with a multi-band auction planned to be held by the end of 2016. Supported by these spectrum allocations the country enjoys among the highest broadband and mobile penetration rates in the region. Digital media developments have also progressed well since broadcasting services became entirely digital in early 2008, ahead of most other European countries.

Finland’s high broadband penetration has also resulted from astute regulatory measures which have encouraged market competition, as well as a population keen to adopt internet services and their delivery through fixed-line and mobile technologies. The government has set an ambitious target to deliver 100Mb/s to all premises and by mid-2016 more than half of all households were able to access a 100Mb/s service. The incumbent, Telia, remains the dominant player in the declining DSL sector, while there is also a vibrant cable network presence in urban areas, as well as a strengthening fibre sector.

Finland retains one of most advanced mobile markets in Europe. The country was the first to deploy 3G using 900MHz spectrum. The Finnish vendor Nokia Networks is involved in developing 5G technologies, which are expected to be trialled in 2017. Growth in the number of mobile subscribers has stalled, in line with the high penetration, while the market has shifted to mobile data and mobile broadband. Market competition has helped keep mobile call charges among the lowest among EU member states. Regulated tariffs and termination rates have also put revenue pressure on MNOs.

This report assesses a number of key aspects of the Finnish telecom market, providing data on the fixed network services sector together with an overview of important regulatory issues including interconnection, local loop unbundling, number portability and carrier preselection. The major operators are profiled, while the telecoms infrastructure and fixed telephony services are also assesses. The report also provides statistics and analyses on the mobile market, including a snapshot of the consumer market, the growth of mobile data services and the development of emerging technologies and networks such as HSPA, LTE and 5G. In addition the report profiles Finland’s fixed and wireless broadband markets, together with developments in related technologies such as FttP, powerline broadband, wireless broadband, Wi-Fi and internet via satellite. It also provides broadband forecasts to 2021.

For detailed information, table of contents and pricing see: Finland – Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media – Statistics and Analyses

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Malta’s main telcos GO and Melita sold to outside interests

December 2nd, 2016, by

Despite its small size, Malta’s telecom sector is among the most advanced in Europe. Mobile and broadband penetration are both relatively high, while ongoing investments in networks are providing customers with a range of bundled services. The sector is also stimulated by regulatory measures designed to increase competition and to reduce consumer prices, as also to pave the way towards a national FttP telecom network. The regulator has keenly promoted this infrastructure to develop the eCommerce sector, conscious that the country’s geographic location and economy dominated by micro-businesses restricts the potential for companies to make effective use of online sales.

The broadband market remains largely controlled by two operators, with Melita retaining a monopoly on cable services and GO commanding a near complete dominance in the DSL market. Alternative broadband players have only a small share of the DSL market. An island-wide WiMAX service is provided by Vodafone, while Melita also operates an extensive Wi-Fi mesh network. GO is currently investing in an extensive FttP network, while an all-fibre backhaul network also supports its LTE infrastructure.

The telecom market generated €182.3 million in revenue in 2015, accounting for 2.4% of GDP. Investment in telecoms networks has been maintained, though in recent years this was mainly made up of investment in mobile infrastructure which compensated for lower investment by other operators providing fixed-line services. However, since 2015 GO has embarked on a program to develop a wide-spread FttP network, and so provide a platform to develop services in future.

In the mobile market Vodafone Malta, GO Mobile and Melita Mobile have been joined by a few MVNOs though these have only a small market share. The sector remains dominated by GO Mobile and Vodafone, which together control about 85% of the market by subscribers. These operators offer quad-play services including mobile combinations of voice, cable TV, videostreaming and telephony, which as bundles make it hard for other operators to gain a foothold other than within narrow markets. Nevertheless, a sympathetic regulatory regime is having a marked effect on operator behaviour as they struggle to retain existing customers in an increasingly competitive market.

The key issue for coming years will be the continuing effort by the regulator to encourage a national broadband network through developing regulations attractive to investors, and so maintain momentum in one of Europe’s smallest markets.

For detailed information, table of contents and pricing see: Malta – Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media – Statistics and Analyses

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Kosovo’s regulator issues spectrum to boost mobile broadband

December 1st, 2016, by

Kosovo has benefited from financial and regulatory assistance as part of the EU pre-accession process. The EU remains Kosovo’s main trading partner and its main source of foreign direct investment. The economy is significantly driven by trade with Germany and Switzerland, where most expatriates live and work. Remittances from such workers form an important part of household incomes.

The country’s telecom sector has been liberalised, with legislation introduced in late 2012 to align with the EU’s revised regulatory framework. It also adopted measures relating to competition and to facilitating the market entry of new players. Nevertheless, poor telecom infrastructure has meant that fixed-line penetration remains low by European standards. Unlike most markets, the fixed-line broadband sector is dominated by new players, in particular the cable operator Ipko, a subsidiary of Telekom Slovenia.

Broadband penetration in Kosovo is developing, though slowly. There is effective competition between the main cable and DSL operators, though as yet there is little progress with the expansion of fibre networks: investment by the incumbent PTK in building out an upgraded fibre-based NGN has been insufficient thus far. Although there are a number of smaller ISPs the sector is dominated by only three players: PTK, Ipko and Kujtesa. Cable accounts for the majority of broadband connections.

The mobile sector accounts for most telecom lines for voice services, as well as the greater part of telecom revenue. Two MNOs compete with two MVNOs, though the latter have a very small market presence. The prepaid sector accounts for the vast majority of subscribers, but it is gradually losing ground as more contract subscribers sign up for services. 3G services were launched as late as December 2013, while LTE infrastructure remains limited. However, on the back of expanding LTE networks developing mobile data services will become increasingly important in coming years as a source of new revenue growth for operators.

For detailed information, table of contents and pricing see: Kosovo – Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media – Statistics and Analyses

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Israel mobile penetration amongst highest in the world

November 30th, 2016, by

Israel is home to one of the highest mobile penetrations in the world with almost 130% penetration per 100 inhabitants. This is partly due to a strong rate of fixed-mobile substitution in recent years. The increased competition created by the newer mobile infrastructure operators, Golan and Hot Mobile has also led to a decline in mobile prices, which is also driving uptake. Israel mobile customers have also begun moving towards 4G services.

In 2016 Israel also boasts a high broadband penetration. Services are accessible via ADSL, cable, and fibre optic platforms, as well as mobile broadband. Increasing availability of fibre due to capital expenditure has resulted in increased average speeds. There are two other competing infrastructures – the DSL network of fixed-line incumbent Bezeq and the digital cable network of HOT. ADSL is the leading infrastructure. Both Bezeq and HOT are subject to broadband universal service obligations. This has resulted in broadband being available to 99% of all households.

Israel has developed worldwide recognition has a premier location for start-up incubation and a number of innovations have emerged from the country over the past few years. Interest in tech start-ups is still a key growth area for Israel with the US and China in particular setting up and investing in various research labs and solutions. The start-up sector is fuelling digital economy and digital media developments in Israel.

For detailed information, table of contents and pricing see: Israel – Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media – Statistics and Analysis

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