2012 Bulgaria - Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts

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Last updated: 22 Jan 2013 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 61

Publication Overview

This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Bulgaria’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;
  • Infrastructure;
  • 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.

Key developments:

Vivacom reports fall in overall revenue for Q3 2012; Vivacom bought out by two banks; MobilTel covers one million households with fixed network; steady growth in new entrant fixed-lines; amended Electronic Communications Act focused on enhancing regulator’s powers; MNOs fined for MNP non-compliance; HSPA+ coverage extended; mobile sector nearly half of all telecom sector revenue; Vivacom reports strong growth in mobile broadband subscriber base; mobile termination rates reduced in mid-2012; MNP takes off under new regulatory measure; 2GH spectrum licence cancelled; 1800MHz spectrum licensees fail to pay for fees; M-Tel extends LTE roll-out; ASO put back to early 2015; new cableco association launched; consolidation among cable TV players; Vivacom increases satellite broadband service; government investment programme for broadband in rural areas; Vivacom FiberNet offer to reach one million households by 2014; regulator’s market data updates; telcos’ operating and financial data to Q3 2012; market developments to January 2013.

Companies covered in this report include:

Vivacom, Orbitel, Vestitel, MobilTel, Trans Telecom, Bulgarian Telecom and Television, Blizoo, Globul.

Researcher:- Henry Lancaster
Current publication date:- Jan 2013 (11th Edition)

Executive Summary

Vivacom’s FiberNet offer to reach over one million households by 2014

BuddeComm’s annual publication, Bulgaria - 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 progressive countries. The report includes the regulator’s market data updates, telcos’ operating data to Q3 2012, and market developments to January 2013.

Economic background

Following its accession to the EU, Bulgaria benefited from strong economic growth brought about by large capital inflows. However, the continuing global financial crisis has impacted the country’s economy through reduced capital inflows and export demand since 2009. Though GDP growth has improved it is expected to have fallen to 1% for 2012, remaining low for 2013. These difficulties have impacted the overall telecom sector, where revenue and investment has fallen steadily since 2010. As a result, the sector accounts for less than 1% of GDP, compared to 2-4% in many other European countries.

Telecom market overview

The broadband market enjoys healthy cross-platform competition supported by governments eager to exploit the potential of ICT to social and economic development and develop an internet society encompassing commerce, health and government services. Cable TV penetration is well above the EU average although the number of major service providers is falling due to market consolidation. The mobile market, served by three MNOs, is increasingly focussed on mobile data to secure revenue and improve ARPU, while the competitive nature of the market has encouraged players to expand into the fixed-line market.

Key telecom parameters – 2010; 2012



2012 (e)

Subscribers by sector (thousand):

Fixed broadband subscribers



Mobile phone



Fixed-line telephony



Penetration by sector:

Fixed broadband









(Source: BuddeComm)


Market Highlights

  • The association of cable communications operators (BACCO) continues to guide infrastructure expansion and ensure access to Vivacom’s passive network while liaising with municipalities and broadcasters.
  • Although FttH is still restricted to urban areas, a number of players are expanding their networks more widely. Blizoo has invested €25 million in its fibre network, and offers among Europe’s fastest data rates.
  • Bulgaria has one of the highest CATV penetration rates in Central and Eastern Europe with over 60% of households subscribing, well above the EU average.
  • M-Tel in early 2012 began rolling out LTE networks in a number of cities, with test services made available to customers of the other MNOs. 

This report is essential reading for those needing high level strategic information and objective analysis on the telecom sector in Bulgaria. 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.

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