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

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Last updated: 30 Jan 2013 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 63

Publication Overview

This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Greece’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:

ATHENA submarine cable from Cyprus to Greece nears completion; Wind Hellas makes offer to acquire ForthNet’s telecoms division; regulator assesses work programme; economic crisis affecting telecoms revenue and investment; regulator affects price reduction for handling NP requests; OTE signs three-year wage deal in bid to save cash; Cosmoline’s WiMAX licence withdrawn; economic crisis stalls national FttH project; steady rise in digital satellite subscriber base; OTE’s VDSL launch to relaunch in mid-2012; Wind Hellas bankruptcy; economic effects on mobile market spending; amended laws reducing SIM card penetration; 2G spectrum to be refarmed for 3G and 4G use; 9000MHz and 1800MHz auction results; Wind Hellas invests in HSPA+ network upgrade; Cosmote launched first LTE network; OTE re-launches VDSL; regulations ratified for in-building fibre ducts; EC presses Greece to facilitate broadband network access; six telcos negotiate for national open access FttB network; IPTV market stuck in doldrums; OTE launches new satellite TV service and plans to sell Hellas Sat; regulator’s 2011 market review; telcos’ operating and financial data to September 2012; market developments to early 2013.

Companies covered in this report include:

Vodafone, Cosmote, Wind Hellas, OTE, On Telecom, ForthNet, Hellas Online.

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

Executive Summary

OTE launches retail and wholesale VDSL

BuddeComm’s annual publication, Greece - 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 Europe’s more economically troubled countries. The report includes the regulator’s market data to the end of 2011, telcos’ financial and operating data to September 2012 and market developments to early 2013.

Economic background

At the end of 2012 the parliament passed an additional package of austerity measures needed to release an additional €31.5 billion in EU and IMF sponsored funds. The deal may see Greece’s debt cut to in coming years as lenders agreed to cut the interest rate on official loans, extend their maturity to 30 years and grant a 10-year interest repayment deferral. They also agreed to return €11 billion of profits accrued through the European Central Bank’s purchase of distressed Greek government bonds and to conduct a debt-buyback scheme. Yet new debt issued by the government in 2014/2015 depends on doubtful economic recovery, and this may oblige the government to require an additional €50 billion bailout after 2014. In addition, high unemployment and low tax receipts continue to exacerbate poor economic output.

Telecom market overview

The broadband market benefits from extensive infrastructure-based competition. The dominant DSL platform has contracted in recent years as consumers have migrated to FttH networks. This trend will become more pronounced in coming years, compounded by greater adoption of mobile broadband offerings as LTE networks depending on fibre backhaul take shape into 2013. Lower revenue from fixed and mobile telephony has been partly offset by increases from the CATV sector.

Mobile market

The mobile sector is now the largest comms market in terms of revenue. High penetration rates have focussed MNOs’ attentions to mobile data services. These are set to develop swiftly in 2013 following the recent auction of spectrum in the 2.6GHz band. LTE services will become a dominant feature of the mobile landscape, supported by operators’ existing experiences in other European markets.

Key telecom parameters – 2010; 2013




Subscribers by sector (thousand):

Fixed broadband



Mobile (SIM cards in service)



Mobile broadband



Fixed-line telephony



Penetration by sector:

Fixed broadband



Fixed-line telephony



Mobile SIM (population)



(Source: BuddeComm)

Market Highlights

  • GSM licences auctioned in 2012 generated much needed revenue for the government, and have enabled the MNOs to pursue mobile broadband options in their bid to increase revenue.
  • OTE’s suspended VDSL deployment was re-launched in late 2012 following the regulator’s decisions on access and wholesale pricing. The move has boosted the availability of higher broadband data speeds for consumers, so helping Greece maintain one of Europe’s fastest growth in broadband subscribers.
  • The government’s national strategy for fibre access networks is aimed at building a nationwide open access FttH network providing 40% geographic coverage by the end of 2015 at an estimated cost of €2.1 billion (mostly derived from the private sector). Delays have pushed back delivery to 2018, while the regulator has since facilitated negotiations between six telcos to develop a cheaper national FttB network.
  • New regulations for in-building wiring and cable infrastructure oblige all new building to be equipped with ducting systems to facilitate the installation of fibre cabling. The provisions encourage at least two fibers to be installed per apartment, thus allowing for two network competing providers, though this is not mandatory.

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