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This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Romania’s telecommunications market. The report analyses the mobile, Internet, broadband, digital TV and converging media sectors. Subjects include:
- Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
- Facts, figures and statistics;
- Industry and regulatory issues;
- Major players, revenues, subscribers, ARPU, MoU;
- Internet, VoIP, IPTV;
- Mobile voice and data markets;
- Broadband (FttH, DSL, cable TV, wireless);
- Convergence and digital media;
- 3G subscriber and mobile ARPU forecasts to 2015;
- Broadband market forecasts for selective years to 2020.
Romania DTTV on track for completion in 2015
BuddeComm’s biannual publication, Romania - Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts, provides a comprehensive overview of the trends and developments in the telecommunications and digital media markets in one of Eastern Europe’s more prominent emerging markets. It includes the regulator’s 2010 annual report market data and operator data to the first quarter of 2011.
One of the newest members of the European Union (EU), Romania experienced rapid economic growth in the years leading to and immediately after EU ascension. This growth was halted by the global financial crisis: real GDP contracted by 7.1% during 2009, with EU estimates of 0.8% real GDP growth in 2010, rising to 1.5% for 2011.
EU accession led to Romania’s fixed-line market being liberalised and legislation introduced to foster competition, resulting in a number of alternative fixed-line operators investing in infrastructure and launching competing services. Growth opportunities abound due to the lack of infrastructure in rural areas, relatively low PC penetration and overall long-term economic growth potential regardless of recent difficulties.
Fixed broadband services are widely available although rural access remains relatively poor: service providers have focused on increasing broadband uptake, with hopes of generating additional revenue through the sale of bundled services including IPTV and VoD.
Romania’s competitive mobile market is served by MNOs utilising a mixture of 2G and 3G technologies, while investment is continuing to upgrade networks with LTE and HSPA+. Mobile penetration stands at about 115%, and with a saturated voice market operators are focussing on developing mobile data and mobile broadband offerings.
The value of the Romanian telecom market was expected to have fallen 1.9% in 2010 before showing recovery from 2011: the EC estimated that if current economic policies remain unchanged the Romanian GDP would grow 3.8% in 2012. Lower revenue in 2010 is partly due to regulated MTRs, growing competition and falling prices for telecom services. Five companies – Orange, Vodafone, Romtelecom, Cosmote and RCS&RDS – between them account for 90% of revenue derived from telecom and TV services in Romania, with Orange and Vodafone between them accounting for almost half of the total.
The fixed-line telephony market has been affected by the shift among consumers to mobile telephony services: in 2011, the share of revenues from fixed-line providers to total revenue may fall to 17%, compared to 26% in 2006 and over 54% in 2000.
- The underdeveloped mobile content and applications market holds significant growth potential in coming years: mobile content and application usage is low, while increasing mobile broadband affordability and improving handset and network capabilities will encourage development and uptake.
- RCS&RDS has upgraded its mobile broadband network to 14.4Mb/s in numerous cities, and is expected to expand its network to rural areas during the next few years.
- The regulator’s proposals for awarding licences in the 2500-2690MHz and 790-862MHz bands should lead to rights to use spectrum in 2012, with operators able to deploy services from early 2013. The move will greatly improve rural broadband availability given the poor fixed-line infrastructure in these areas.
- Romtelecom’s steady fall in revenue since has placed further pressure on the company to reduce its workforce, improve operations and increase efficiency. The company successfully reduced operating expenses since 2010 though competition from RCS&RDS and UPC Romania will continue to threaten its market share in most sectors.
- CATV remains the most popular broadcasting platform in Romania, with some 6.7 million households able to access services. Although programming is offered by over 500 providers, the market is dominated by UPC Romania and RCS&RDS, which represent over 60% of total CATV subscribers. The number of subscribers has fallen steadily since 2008, threatening future revenue.
- In the DTTV sector, ASO was set back to 2015 but during 2011 the Audiovisual Council has progressed with issuing digital TV licenses: the first multiplex will be granted by the end of 2012, the next three in 2013 and the last in late 2015 once analogue broadcasting has stopped.
Weakened currency contributing to decline in telecom market revenue; OTE declines to buy government’s share in Romtelecom; regulator proposes 2012 auction for national and regional BWA licences; government secures €84 million EU funding to extend broadband to unconnected areas of the country; UPC Romania extends 120Mb/s Business Fiber Power to 13 cities; low rural PC use poses brake for broadband take-up; new EU roaming tariffs come into effect; RCS&RDS upgrades its mobile broadband speeds to 14.4Mb/s in 20 cities; regulator consults on developing an MVNO market; regulator’s end-2010 market data; operator data to Q1 2011.
Companies covered in this report include:
Vodafone Romania, Orange Romania, Cosmote Romania, DigiMobil, Telemobil, UPC Romania, RCS&RDS, DigiTV, Boom TV, Dolce; GTS Telecom, Romtelecom, SN Radiocomunicatii.
This report is essential reading for those needing high level strategic information and objective analysis on the telecom sector in Romania. It provides further information on:
- Market liberalisation and regulatory issues;
- The impact of the global economic crisis;
- Telecoms operators – privatisation, acquisitions, new licences;
- Mobile data market developments in coming years in light of spectrum auctions and new license awards;
- 3G developments, regulatory issues and technologies including HSPA and LTE;
- Broadband migration to an FttH architecture;
- Historical and current subscriber statistics and forecasts;
- ARPU statistics and forecasts.
Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.