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2007 Europe - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband in Baltic countries

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Last updated: 27 Nov 2007 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 99

Analyst: Stephen McNamara

Publication Overview

This report covers the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, a small yet progressive regional telecom market. It details trends and developments in telecommunications, mobile, Internet, Internet economy, broadband, digital TV and converging media including broadband, triple play and IPTV. Subjects include:

  • Market and industry analyses, trends and developments
  • Facts, figures, statistics and broadband forecasts to 2017
  • Industry and regulatory issues
  • Research, Marketing, Benchmarking
  • Major Players, Revenues, Subscribers, Network deployments
  • Convergence & Broadband (VoIP, NGN, ADSL, ADSL2+, FttH, WiFi, WiMAX, IPTV, VoD, triple play, digital TV, DTTV)
  • Mobile voice, content & data (GSM, CDMA, GPRS, EDGE, 3G/UMTS/WCDMA, HSDPA/HSUPA/HSPA)

Executive Summary

BuddeComm’s Annual Publication 2007 Europe - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband in the Baltic States profiles the three countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, which are characterised by relatively high broadband and mobile penetration. All three incumbents have managed to maintain or grow revenue despite losing market share to competing operators in traditional fixed-line voice markets. Growing ADSL and IPTV uptake has contributed to their success although they face increasing competition from the region’s widely accessible cable TV network operators. Advanced HSDPA services are available in all three countries, with competition leading to the introduction of affordable mobile broadband access for the mass market.

This report presents a concise overview of the telecom markets in a small but sophisticated corner of Eastern Europe, including an assessment of sector liberalisation and privatisation, together with the key regulatory measures which affect competition and investment. Emerging players in liberalised markets are introduced and new infrastructure deployments covered. The important broadband market is assessed, together with forecasts for broadband growth to 2017 for all three countries based on factors such as network investment, the regulatory environment and consumer demand. The report provides essential statistics covering the broadband, mobile and digital TV sectors, highlighting technological developments and the emergence of media convergence and triple play offerings.

Key Highlights

  • Broadband accounts for nearly all Internet connections in each country, with dial-up almost completely disappearing. Future broadband subscriber growth will be driven predominantly by first time subscribers rather than migrations from dial-up.
  • Healthy infrastructure-based competition in the broadband market is evident as ADSL accounts for less than 50% of total broadband connections in all three countries. Cable is the leading competing broadband platform in all three countries while FttH/FttB accounts for approximately 15% of total broadband connections in Estonia and Lithuania.
  • Despite widespread availability of ADSL and introduction of ADSL2+, Lithuania’s incumbent has embarked on a FttX rollout drive which entails deploying infrastructure in the country’s five largest cities. For the country overview, see chapter 3, page 52.
  • Large scale or nationwide WiMAX deployments are underway or have been completed in Estonia and Lithuania, providing alternative last-mile access in urban areas or extending access networks into rural areas.
  • Lithuania’s incumbent has also aggressively rolled out WiFi hotspots as part of its target of 20,000 WiFi hotspots by 2010. For more information, see chapter 3.7.6.1, page 65.
  • Estonia dominates Eastern Europe in broadband penetration and Internet economy development. It is the only Eastern European country with broadband penetration above the EU average. Internet banking is undertaken by half of the population while the entire voting population is able to vote online, the first such country in the world. For the country overview, see chapter 1, page 1.
  • IPTV has been launched by incumbents in all three countries. Take up has been the most successful in Latvia, which launched MPEG-4 based services in April 2007. For the country overview, see chapter 2, page 29.
  • 3G-based mobile broadband access services with affordable pricing and generous data bundles (varying from 1Gb a month to unlimited) are available in all three countries. One Latvian mobile operator estimates that 30% of all laptops in Latvia will be connected to mobile broadband services during 2008.
  • Mobile Internet access via WAP is very high in Lithuania, accounting for 73% of all Internet subscribers. For more information, see chapter 3.9.6.3, page 75.

Mobile subscribers and penetration in the Baltic countries - March 2007

Country Mobile Subscribers Penetration
Estonia 1,558,000 118%
Latvia 2,303,000 102%
Lithuania 4,795,000 134%
(Source: BuddeComm)

Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.

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