Bosnia-Herzegovina - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Bosnia-Herzegovina aiming for national LTE coverage by 2023

The economic prosperity of Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH) largely rests with the country’s continuing integration with the European Union (EU). GDP growth has recovered from the slow-down seen in the wake of the GFC in 2008 and 2009, though growth was inconsistent until 2015, since when the economy had grown at above 3% annually. Other than a slight dip in 2017, growth for 2018 was 3.2%. There remain some significant challenges, not least of which is high unemployment which continues to hinder the country’s economic growth potential.

The telecom market has been liberalised and a regulatory framework created based on the EU’s regulatory framework for communications. Although Bosnia-Herzegovina remains an EU candidate country, in July 2017 it applied amended mobile roaming charges to fit in with changes introduced across the Union. Further roaming agreements were made in 2019 with other western Balkan countries

The market is characterised by three zones, each with an incumbent telco. The largest operator BH Telecom is the dominant provider, while Telekom Srpske operates in Republika Srpska and HT Mostar is active in Herzegovina. Together, these three incumbent operators control 99% of the market. All three are subject to specific obligations designed to improve competition.

The fixed-line broadband network is comparatively underdeveloped, with the result that investments made in mobile upgrades by BH Mobile and Telekom Srpske are facilitating broadband connectivity in the country to a greater extent than is common elsewhere in Europe.

Internet services are available through the incumbents and a number of alternative operators. DSL and cable are the main platforms for fixed-line connectivity, while fibre broadband as yet has only a small market presence.

The three mobile network operators (MNOs), each affiliated with one of the incumbent fixed-line operators, provide national coverage. Their upgraded networks are helping to support broadband in rural areas where fixed-line infrastructure is insufficient. In addition, mobile data and mobile broadband offers will provide future revenue growth given the limited potential of mobile voice services. Although the MNOs have tested LTE services under trial licenses since 2013, commercial launches were delayed until the award of spectrum in early 2019. The regulator stipulated that licensees provide national coverage within five years.

Key developments:

  • Telekom Srpske completes acquisition of Telrad Net;
  • International roaming among Balkan countries to end by July 2021;
  • Regulator awards LTE licenses to the three MNOs;
  • KKR sells United Group to BC Partners;
  • Telemach extends footprint by using power utility's poles;
  • Fixed-line voice revenue continues to slide as customers migrate to VoIP and mobile services for voice calls;
  • Report update included the regulator's market data to December 2018, telcos' operating and financial data to Q1 2019, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

BH Telecom, HT Mostar, Telekom Sprske, LogoSoft

Table of Contents

  • Key statistics

  • Country overview

  • Telecommunications market

  • Regulatory environment

    • Historical overview
    • Telecom sector liberalisation
    • Regulatory authority
    • Interconnection
    • Access
    • Number Portability (NP)
    • Carrier Selection/Carrier Preselection
    • Privatisation
      • BH Telecom
      • HT Mostar
      • Telekom Srpske
  • Fixed network operators

    • Introduction
    • BH Telecom
    • HT Mostar
    • Telekom Srpske
  • Telecommunications infrastructure

    • Overview of the national telecom network
  • Fixed-line broadband market

    • Market analysis
    • Broadband statistics
    • Forecasts – broadband subscribers – 2019; 2021; 2023
    • Fixed-line broadband technologies
      • Hybrid Fibre Coax (HFC) networks
      • Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks
      • Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP) networks
      • Other fixed broadband services
  • Mobile market

    • Market analysis
    • Mobile statistics
    • Mobile data services
      • SMS/MMS
    • Mobile broadband
    • Regulatory issues
      • National licences
      • Roaming
      • 3G mobile licenses
      • Spectrum auctions
      • Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
    • Mobile infrastructure
      • 4G (LTE)
      • 3G
    • Major mobile operators
      • BH Mobile
      • Mobilna Srpske (m:tel)
      • HT Mobile (Eronet)
      • Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
    • Mobile content and applications
  • Related reports


List of Tables

  • Table 1 – Top Level Country Statistics and Telco Authorities – Bosnia-Herzegovina – 2018
  • Table 2 – Telecoms revenue by sector–2005 - 2018
  • Table 3 – Accumulated fixed number portings – 2011 - 2017
  • Table 4 – Fixed-line traffic (incumbent telcos) – 2014 - 2017
  • Table 5 – International internet bandwidth – 2007 - 2016
  • Table 6 – Licensed ISPs in Bosnia – 2011 - 2018
  • Table 7 – Dial-up internet subscribers – 2007 - 2018
  • Table 8 – Fixed-line broadband connections by data rate – 2017 - 2018
  • Table 9 – Forecast fixed broadband subscribers – 2019; 2022; 2023
  • Table 10 – Telekom Srpske DSL subscribers – 2011 – 2018
  • Table 11 – FttP subscribers – 2010 - 2018
  • Table 12 – Total SMS and MMS messages sent – 2009 - 2018
  • Table 13 – License fees paid by operators – 2014 - 2018
  • Table 14 – Annual mobile number portings – 2013 - 2017
  • Table 15 – BH Mobile base stations and population coverage – 2014 - 2018
  • Table 16 – BH Mobile mobile subscribers – 2012 - 2018
  • Table 17 – M:tel base stations and population coverage – 2014 - 2018
  • Table 18 – M:tel mobile subscribers – 2008 – 2018
  • Table 19 – MH Mobile base stations and population coverage – 2014 - 2018
  • Table 20 – HT Mobile mobile subscribers – 2012 - 2018
  • Table 21 – MVNO subscribers by operator – 2013 - 2018

List of Charts

  • Chart 1 – Telecoms revenue by sector–2009 – 2018
  • Chart 2 – Proportion of telecoms revenue by sector – 2011 - 2018
  • Chart 3 – Direct access, CS and CPS subscribers – 2008 – 2017
  • Chart 4 – Fixed-telephony subscriber market share by operator – 2011 – 2018
  • Chart 5 – Historic - Fixed-line voice lines by operator – 2009 – 2018
  • Chart 6 – Telekom Srpske financial data – 2010 – 2018
  • Chart 7 – Telekom Srpske domestic revenue by service – 2010 – 2018
  • Chart 8 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 2005 – 2019
  • Chart 9 – Internet users and penetration – 2011 - 2019
  • Chart 10 – Fixed-line broadband subscribers and penetration rate – 2009 – 2019
  • Chart 11 – Broadband subscribers by platform – 2004 – 2018
  • Chart 12 – Broadband share of subscribers by platform – 2007 - 2018
  • Chart 13 – Market share of fixed-line broadband subscribers by data rate – 2011 - 2018
  • Chart 14 – Prepaid and contract cards in service – 2005 – 2017
  • Chart 15 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 2005 – 2019
  • Chart 16 – Mobile subscriber market share by operator –2009 – 2018
  • Chart 17 – Active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration – 2009 – 2018

List of Exhibits

  • Exhibit 1 – Access, the local loop and unbundling – an overview

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