2010 Estonia - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts

Report Cover Image

Last updated: 11 May 2010 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 52

Publication Overview

Estonia is a country leading in technology use. The report covers trends and developments in telecommunications, mobile, Internet, broadband, digital TV and converging media including VoIP and IPTV developments. Subjects include:

  • Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
  • Facts, figures and statistics;
  • Industry and regulatory issues;
  • Infrastructure;
  • Major players, revenues, subscribers, ARPU;
  • Internet, VoIP, IPTV;
  • Mobile voice and data markets;
  • Broadband (FttH, DSL, cable TV, wireless);
  • Convergence and digital media.

Researcher:- Paul Kwon
Current publication date:- May 2010 (9th Edition)
Next publication date:- February 2011

Executive Summary

Since independence Estonia embraced market reform and joined the European Union, overseeing rapid economic growth characterised by large real wage increases driven by declining unemployment and emigration, EU sourced development funds and extremely rapid credit growth. Like its Baltic neighbours the global financial turmoil brought an end to Estonia’s economic boom, with real GDP contracting by 3.6% during 2008 followed by 14.1% during 2009.

Recovery has been assisted by Estonia’s low public debt and swift adjustment measures, with EU estimates of a 0.1% contraction in real GDP in 2010 followed by 4.2% expansion in 2011. Medium-term growth prospects is dependent on addressing private sector debt, regaining international competitiveness and a focus on exports which is largely contingent on the health of its main trading partners; Finland, Sweden and Russia.

Estonia’s telecom market benefited from the recent economic growth in terms of demand for new products and funding sources for investment. Increased demand was also the result of regulatory changes such as market liberalisation and implementation of an EU-mandated regulatory framework designed to stimulate competition. Telecom services’ spending was largely protected during the economic downturn due to the utility nature of most telecom services.

Internet usage is high, with the proportion of the population who are Internet users exceeding 70%. The market has moved almost completely from dial-up access to broadband, with DSL subscriptions the most popular, and boasts the highest fixed-broadband penetration level of all Eastern European countries, approaching 30%.

Widespread Internet usage has underpinned the country’s emerging Internet economy. A variety of e-commerce, e-government, e-education and e-health services are widely available. Usage rates, among the highest in the world, indicate the success of well-thought out applications and a willingness by Estonians to embrace technological innovation.

A well-developed cable TV sector has provided a strong base for infrastructure-based competition with the network of the largest cable TV operator accessible by over 50% of households. Competition in the digital pay TV market is healthy as take up of broadband TV (IPTV) and satellite pay TV is growing annually. Analogue switch-off has been brought forward from the original date of 2012 to July 2010, with a phased transition to complete switch-off currently underway.

A highly developed mobile market is evident, with seven competing GSM or WCDMA networks pushing SIM card penetration levels beyond 100%. To grow revenue service providers are focusing on increasing usage and hence revenue per subscriber, mainly in the form of minutes of use and marketing of mobile broadband services. The latter holds much promise given the current low mobile broadband penetration levels and hence strong growth potential.

Market highlights:

  • Estonia continues to lead Eastern Europe in fixed-broadband penetration. Competition is expected to improve after a state proposal for a nationwide FTTx network was approved in late 2009. The proposal aims to provide 90% of the population with 100Mb/s by 2012.
  • Broadband TV (IPTV) penetration is equal to approximately 20% of total households. Take up is likely to increase following an agreement to share programming between the incumbent IPTV provider and the region’s largest satellite pay TV operator.
  • Usage of online services is growing; one in six people has purchased an item online while almost one in three has used the Internet for training and education. Usage figures for e-government services is higher, with three quarters of the population obtaining public administration-related information online and over half of the population submitting completed forms online.
  • Four 3G mobile networks compete for customers in the mobile broadband market. Offered speeds are increasing in response to competition, with 4G LTE trials undertaken, offering speeds of up to 100Mb/s. The future growth path of mobile broadband is expected to emulate that of the mobile voice market over the coming years as the cost of access and capable handsets decrease and end-user awareness and ease of use increases.

Estonia key telecom parameters – 2009 - 2010



2010 (e)

Broadband (thousand)



Fixed broadband subscribers



Fixed broadband penetration rate



Mobile broadband subscribers



Mobile broadband penetration rate



Subscribers to telecoms services (thousand)



Fixed-line telephone subscribers



Mobile phone subscribers



(Source: BuddeComm based on industry data) 

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

Related Reports

Share this Report

TMT Intelligence

A platform to scale your intelligence tasks

Monitor critical insights with our AI-powered Market Intelligence Platform gathering and analyzing intelligence in real time. With AI trained to spot emerging trends and detect new strategic opportunities, our clients use TMT Intelligence to accelerate their growth.

If you want to know more about it, please see:

TMT Intelligence Platform

Research Methodology

BuddeComm's strategic business reports contain a combination of both primary and secondary research statistics, analyses written by our senior analysts supported by a network of experts, industry contacts and researchers from around the world as well as our own scenario forecasts.

For more details, please see:

Research Methodology

More than 4,000 customers from 140 countries utilise BuddeComm Research

Are you interested in BuddeComm's Custom Research Service?

News & Views

Have the latest telecommunications industry news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to BuddeComm's weekly newsletter.