Albania - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Albania’s telcos prepare for 800MHz auction to develop 5G services

Albania’s telecom market is consistent with developments elsewhere in the region, with fixed-line telephony penetration declining as subscribers migrate to mobile solutions and with ongoing government efforts to improve broadband availability and access conditions. To this end the regulator recently imposed LLU and bitstream access conditions on the incumbent telco Albtelecom.

The country’s small economy is highly dependent on the key trading partners of Italy and Greece. In recent years both of these partners have struggled to develop growth in the face of austerity measures. Such economic considerations have had a marked impact on Albania’s telecom sector, with revenue growth having declined for a number of years before showing marginal recovery from 2014.

Penetration in the fixed-line and broadband sectors remains very low by international standards. Although regulatory obstacles remain, this low penetration provides opportunities for further investment in network upgrades to help propel the country’s economic growth through digital offerings and IP-based technologies and services. Such investment in fixed-line infrastructure is being encouraged by the regulator through amended access measures and by the government through its own funding programs. However, as mobile network infrastructure improves consumers will continue to prefer this platform for voice and data services, and as a result the mobile sector will be the focus for future growth in the overall market.

Recent developments in the telecom sector include the sale of Telekom Albania to Bulgaria’s Vivacom, a deal which has increased the latter’s presence in the Balkan region. In February 2019 Vodafone Albania secured a block of spectrum in the 800MHz band, which it will use to improve its mobile broadband capabilities.

The country has long sought accession to the European Union (EU) which has benefited its telecoms sector through closer scrutiny of its regulatory regime and through the injection of funding to help modernise infrastructure. Albania signed a Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the EU, which came into force in mid-2009. As part of the EU pre-accession process, Albania has received financial aid to build public institutions and improve cross-border co-operation under the EU’s Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance funding mechanism. Albania has been recognised as a candidate country for accession to the EU since June 2014.

Key developments:

  • Vodafone Albania the only bidder for a block of 800MHz spectrum at auction;
  • Regulator sets new interconnection rates through to December 2019;
  • International mobile roaming charges reduced from June 2019 in a first step to abolition of charges from 2021;
  • OTE sells Telekom Albania to Albania Telecom Invest;
  • Albtelecom secures 2600MHz spectrum license;
  • Report update includes the regulator's market data to December 2018, operator data to Q1 2019, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Vodafone Albania, Albtelecom (Eagle Mobile), Telekom Albania (AMC), Cosmote, Turk Telecom, Primo Communications.

Table of Contents

  • Key statistics

  • Country overview

  • Telecommunications market

    • Overview of Albania’s telecom market
  • Regulatory environment

    • Historical overview
    • Regulatory authority
    • Telecom sector liberalisation
      • Privatisation
      • Interconnection
      • Number Portability (NP)
      • Universal Service Obligation (USO)
      • Access
  • Fixed network operators

    • Albtelecom
    • Albania Online/Albanian Fibre Backbone (AFB)/Primo
  • Telecommunications infrastructure

    • Overview of the national telecom network
    • Albanian National Broadband Network
    • International infrastructure
  • Fixed-line broadband market

    • Introduction and statistical overview
    • Broadband statistics
    • Forecasts – fixed broadband subscribers – 2019; 2021; 2023
    • Fixed-line broadband technologies
      • Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)
      • HFC networks
      • Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP) networks
      • Other fixed broadband services
    • Digital economy
      • e-government
  • Mobile market

    • Market analysis
    • Mobile statistics
    • Mobile data
      • Short Message Service (SMS)/Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
    • Mobile broadband
    • Regulatory issues
      • GSM licences
      • 3G licences
      • Licences – 2015
      • Licences – 2016
      • 800MHz spectrum
      • 700MHz spectrum
      • Mobile Termination Rates (MTRs)
      • Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
      • Roaming
    • Mobile infrastructure
      • 5G
      • 4G (LTE)
    • Major mobile operators
      • Telekom Albania (Albanian Mobile Communications)
      • Vodafone Albania
      • Albtelecom
      • Plus Communications
      • Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
    • Mobile content and applications
      • M-money
  • Related reports


List of Tables

  • Table 1 – Top Level Country Statistics and Telco Authorities - Albania – 2018
  • Table 2 – Telecom market revenue by sector – 2008 – 2018
  • Table 3 – Telecom market share of revenue by operator – 2010 – 2018
  • Table 4 – Fixed-line number portings – 2013 – 2017
  • Table 5 – Albtelecom financial data – 2015 – 2017
  • Table 6 – Albtelecom subscriber by type – 2015 – 2017
  • Table 7 – Fixed lines in service and penetration – 2010 – 2019
  • Table 8 – Fixed lines in service (Albtelecom and altnets) – 2010 – 2018
  • Table 9 – Fixed lines in service by minor operator – 2010 – 2018
  • Table 10 – Fixed-line telephony market share by operator – 2014 – 2018
  • Table 11 – National internet rental capacity – 2014 – 2018
  • Table 12 – International internet bandwidth – 2007 – 2016
  • Table 13 – Internet users, subscribers and penetration rates – 2009 – 2019
  • Table 14 – Fixed-line broadband subscribers and penetration rate – 2007 – 2019
  • Table 15 – Fixed-broadband subscribers by operator – 2010 – 2018
  • Table 16 – Fixed-broadband market share by operator – 2010 – 2018
  • Table 17 – Forecast fixed broadband subscribers –2019; 2021; 2023
  • Table 18 – Fixed broadband market share by platform –2016 – 2018
  • Table 19 – DSL broadband subscribers – 2008 – 2018
  • Table 20 – Cable modem broadband subscribers – 2008 – 2018
  • Table 21 – FttP broadband subscribers – 2010 – 2018
  • Table 22 – Mobile AMPU and ARPU – 2010 – 2018
  • Table 23 – Active mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 2010 – 2019
  • Table 24 – Registered mobile SIM cards by operator – 2003 – 2018
  • Table 25 – Active mobile SIM cards by operator – 2010 – 2018
  • Table 26 – Mobile subscriber market share of active SIM cards by operator – 2009 – 2018
  • Table 27 – Mobile market revenue by operator – 2003 – 2018
  • Table 28 – Mobile market net profit by operator – 2010 – 2015; 2017 - 2018
  • Table 29 – Mobile market investment by operator – 2010 – 2018
  • Table 30 – Total mobile outgoing traffic – 2012 – 2018
  • Table 31 – Average use of mobile services, active users – 2011 – 2018
  • Table 32 – Mobile data traffic – 2013 – 2018
  • Table 33 – Total SMS messages sent – 2009 – 2018
  • Table 34 – Active mobile broadband subscribers (3G/LTE) and penetration – 2011 – 2019
  • Table 35 – Active mobile internet subscribers by operator via 3G/LTE handsets – 2011 - 2018
  • Table 36 – Dedicated mobile internet subscribers by operator (USB/modem) – 2011 – 2019
  • Table 37 – MTRs – 2013 – 2019
  • Table 38 – Mobile number portings – 2011 – 2017
  • Table 39 – Telekom Albania mobile revenue, EBITDA – 2013 – 2018
  • Table 40 – Telekom Albania active mobile subscribers – 2006 – 2018
  • Table 41 – Vodafone Albania subscribers – 2008 – 2019
  • Table 42 – Vodafone prepaid subscribers – 2005 – 2019
  • Table 43 – Albtelecom active mobile subscribers – 2014 – 2018
  • Table 44 – Albtelecom mobile revenue – 2015 – 2016
  • Table 45 – Plus Communications active mobile subscribers – 2014 – 2017

List of Charts

  • Chart 1 – Telecom market revenue by sector – 2008 – 2018
  • Chart 2 – Telecom market share of revenue by operator– 2010 – 2018
  • Chart 3 – Fixed lines in service and penetration – 2010 – 2019
  • Chart 4 – Fixed lines in service by minor operator – 2005 – 2018
  • Chart 5 – Fixed-line telephony market share by operator – 2014 – 2018
  • Chart 6 – Internet users, subscribers and penetration rates – 2005 – 2019
  • Chart 7 – Fixed-line broadband subscribers and penetration rate – 2007 – 2019
  • Chart 8 – Active mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 2005 – 2019
  • Chart 9 – Registered mobile SIM cards by operator – 2003 – 2018
  • Chart 10 – Mobile subscriber market share of active SIM cards by operator – 2009 – 2018
  • Chart 11 – Mobile revenue by operator – 2009 – 2018
  • Chart 12 – Active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration – 2011 – 2019

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