Moldovan mobile data growth on back of commercial LTE launch
These Moldovan telecoms market has shown some remarkable growth in recent years despite the poor economic environment. This is partly because many areas of the market remain relatively under-developed and so there is considerable room for growth. This has encouraged operators to continue to invest in all sectors except fixed-line telephony, where customer interest has been diverted to the mobile sector. In addition, Moldova’s aspirations to join the European Union (EU) have encouraged the government and regulator to adopt a range of measures to bring the country’s telecoms sector into line with EU principles and standards.
Moldova’s internet market continues to develop rapidly, and with broadband penetration approaching 13% (well below the average for many Western European countries) there remain considerable opportunities for further development in coming years. Broadband subscriber growth has been particularly strong since 2009, with the sector dominated by two service providers – Moldtelecom and StarNet – which account for 88% of all connections despite the presence of about 50 ISPs nationally.
The mobile market has also grown rapidly and now accounts for the majority of total telecoms revenue. A triopoly of operators is dominated by Orange, while the launch of 3G/HSDP networks has opened up a new revenue growth opportunity centred on mobile broadband, with the mobile operators well positioned due to the lack of effective fixed-line broadband competition beyond the main cities. The near comprehensive geographical reach of their mobile networks, market brand recognition and existing customer relationships will make for steady subscriber growth. In late 2012 Moldcell launched 4G services. Competition from Orange Moldova, which also won spectrum suitable for LTE, will help reduce prices for consumers while coverage obligations will ensure than most areas are served by 2015.
Moldova – Penetration of key telecom services – 2013
|Penetration of services|
|SIM penetration (population)|
(Source: BuddeComm based on industry data)
- The uncompetitive fixed telephony market will receive a boost by mid-2013 with the introduction of number portability, enabling customers to retain their phone numbers while switching to another provider within five days. MNP, expected from May 2013, will also have an effect on churn and so encourage operators to provide improved services.
- Broadband penetration, approaching 13% by the end of 2012, is largely focussed on emerging FttX networks driven by consumer demand for new services such as IPTV. With the number of subscribers continuing to grow strongly, the relatively underdeveloped market promises to sustain considerable growth in coming years, particularly from the fibre and mobile broadband sectors.
- The fixed telephony sector is among the few in Europe showing an increase in numbers, largely due to the existing low base of subscribers. However, revenue fell 10% in the first half of 2011, a trend continuing from 2009, as customers take to alternative VoIP and mobile services. Moldtelecom remains the main player, but the 57% growth in the number of subscribers to alternative operators points to a marked shift in the incumbent’s dominance.
- Fixed number portability was launched in August 2013, following MNP earlier in the year.
- The regulator failed to secure bidders for the auction of frequencies in the 1900MHz and 2100MHz bands for 3G services.
Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.
This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Moldova’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 data;
- Broadband market forecasts for selective years to 2020.
Mobile and fixed-number portability scheduled for May and July 2013; Moldcell launches first commercial LTE network following spectrum auction; regulator prepares for new 3G licence auction; includes telcos’ operating and financial data to June 2013; regulator’s market data to June 2013; market developments to September 2013.
Companies covered in this report include:
Moldtelecom, Orange Moldova; Moldcell
This report is essential reading for those needing high level strategic information and objective analysis on the telecom sector in Moldova. 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.