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BMI View: We maintain a positive outlook for the Croatian telecommunications market, in view of the additional competitive momentum provided by the launch of Tele2's 4G network in February 2016. Tele2 has traditionally competed heavily on pricing and we expect rivals will respond quickly to its aggressive roll out programme. Mobile subscription numbers will likely rise sharply in 2016 as a result, but as most of these new customers will be churning away from existing players, we believe large numbers of inactive accounts will need to be eliminated in 2017/18, making for volatile growth through to 2020.
Latest Updates & Industry Developments
The mobile market experienced a net loss of 261,000 new subscribers in Q415 and a further 53,000 in Q116 to bring the total number of subscribers to 4.698mn, but the market did recover slightly to 4.786mn at the end of June 2016.
In Q316 we upgraded our Croatian forecasts for the 3G/4G mobile market and we now anticipate a total of 3.17mn subscribers by the end of 2016, and 4.33mn subscribers in 2020.
Tele2 aggressively invested in network upgrades through expanding 3G coverage to 97% of the population, expanding voice service to 99% of the country and rolling out 4G in Q116. Meanwhile, Vipnet is gearing up for 4G competition as the operator spent EUR18.6mn in Q415 to strengthen its 4G capabilities by acquiring two blocks of 4G spectrum.
|3G & 4G Service Uptake to Bring Increased Value to the Mobile Sector|
|f = BMI forecast. Source: National sources, BMI|