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.
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.
Paul, Many thanks for your inputs yesterday. You provided a compelling different perspective to our traditional infrastructure focus and this is valuable for our future planning. I also had very favourable feedback from our participants on your involvement.
Stephen Negus, Aurecon
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