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

Executive summary

Bosnia-Herzegovina preps for market changes with sale of United Group

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 expected to be 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.

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.

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.

Although a number of fixed-line operators offer services the market is dominated by the three incumbent operators, which control 99% of the market. All three incumbents are subject to specific obligations designed to improve competition.

Internet services are available through the incumbents and a number of alternative operators. DSL and cable are the chief 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.

Key developments:

  • Regulator calls for bids for 400MHz fixed-wireless licence;
  • KKR considering sale of United Group;
  • Telemach extends footprint by using power utility’s poles;
  • New mobile roaming fees come into effect;
  • Regulator opens consultation of releasing spectrum for LTE services;
  • 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 2017, telcos’ operating and financial data to Q1 2018, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

BH Telecom, HT Mostar, Telekom Sprske, LogoSoft

Table of Contents

  • 1. Executive summary
  • 2. Key statistics
  • 3. Country overview
  • 4. Telecommunications market
  • 5. Regulatory environment
    • 5.1 Historical overview
    • 5.2 Telecom sector liberalisation
    • 5.3 Regulatory authority
    • 5.4 Interconnection
    • 5.5 Access
    • 5.6 Number Portability (NP)
    • 5.7 Carrier Selection/Carrier Preselection
    • 5.8 Privatisation
      • 5.8.1 BH Telecom
      • 5.8.2 HT Mostar
      • 5.8.3 Telekom Srpske
  • 6. Fixed network operators
    • 6.1 Introduction
    • 6.2 BH Telecom
    • 6.3 HT Mostar
    • 6.4 Telekom Srpske
  • 7. Telecommunications infrastructure
    • 7.1 Overview of the national telecom network
  • 8. Fixed-line broadband market
    • 8.1 Market analysis
    • 8.2 Broadband statistics
    • 8.3 Forecasts – broadband subscribers – 2019; 2021; 2023
    • 8.4 Fixed-line broadband technologies
      • 8.4.1 Hybrid Fibre Coax (HFC) networks
      • 8.4.2 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks
      • 8.4.3 Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP) networks
      • 8.4.4 Other fixed broadband services
  • 9. Mobile market
    • 9.1 Market analysis
    • 9.2 Mobile statistics
    • 9.3 Mobile data services
      • 9.3.1 SMS/MMS
    • 9.4 Mobile broadband
    • 9.5 Regulatory issues
      • 9.5.1 National licences
      • 9.5.2 National roaming
      • 9.5.3 3G mobile licenses
      • 9.5.4 Spectrum auctions
      • 9.5.5 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
    • 9.6 Mobile infrastructure
      • 9.6.1 4G (LTE)
      • 9.6.2 3G
    • 9.7 Major mobile operators
      • 9.7.1 BH Mobile
      • 9.7.2 Mobilna Srpske (m:tel)
      • 9.7.3 HT Mobile (Eronet)
      • 9.7.4 Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
    • 9.8 Mobile content and applications
  • 10. Related reports
  • Table 1 – Top Level Country Statistics and Telco Authorities – Bosnia-Herzegovina – 2018 (e)
  • Table 2 – Telecoms revenue by sector–2005 - 2016
  • Table 3 – Proportion of telecoms revenue by sector– 2011 - 2016
  • Table 4 – Accumulated fixed number portings – 2011 - 2017
  • Table 5 – Direct access, CS and CPS subscribers – 2008 - 2017
  • Table 6 – Fixed-telephony subscriber market share by operator – 2011 - 2017
  • Table 7 – VoIP subscriptions – 2010 - 2017
  • Table 8 – Fixed-line voice lines by operator – 2001 - 2017
  • Table 9 – Telekom Srpske fixed line subscribers – 2008 - 2017
  • Table 10 – Telekom Srpske financial data – 2010 – 2018
  • Table 11 – Telekom Srpske domestic revenue by service – 2010 – 2018
  • Table 12 – Historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 1999 - 2009
  • Table 13 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 2010 - 2018
  • Table 14 – Fixed-line traffic (incumbent telcos) – 2014 - 2017
  • Table 15 – International internet bandwidth – 2007 - 2016
  • Table 16 – Historic - Internet users and penetration rate – 1999 - 2009
  • Table 17 – Internet users and penetration rate – 2010 - 2018
  • Table 18 – Dial-up internet subscribers – 2007 - 2017
  • Table 19 – Fixed-line broadband subscribers and penetration rate – 2002 - 2018
  • Table 20 – Broadband subscribers by access type – 2004 - 2017
  • Table 21 – Broadband share of subscribers by platform – 2007 - 2017
  • Table 22 – Fixed-line broadband subscribers by data rate – 2017
  • Table 23 – Market share of fixed-line broadband subscribers by data rate – 2011 - 2017
  • Table 24 – Forecast fixed broadband subscribers – 2019; 2022; 2023
  • Table 25 – Telekom Srpske DSL subscribers – 2011 – 2016
  • Table 26 – FttP subscribers – 2010 - 2018
  • Table 27 – Prepaid and contract cards in service – 2005 – 2017
  • Table 28 – Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 1998 – 2009
  • Table 29 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 2010 – 2018
  • Table 30 – Mobile subscriber market share by operator –2004 - 2017
  • Table 31 – Total SMS and MMS messages sent – 2003 - 2017
  • Table 32 – Active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration – 2009 - 2018
  • Table 33 – Annual mobile number portings – 2013 - 2017
  • Table 34 – BH Mobile base stations and population coverage – 2014 - 2017
  • Table 35 – BH Mobile mobile subscribers – 2012 - 2017
  • Table 36 – M:tel base stations and population coverage – 2014 - 2017
  • Table 37 – M:tel mobile subscribers – 2008 - 2017
  • Table 38 – MH Mobile base stations and population coverage – 2014 - 2017
  • Table 39 – HT Mobile mobile subscribers – 2012 - 2017
  • Table 40 – MVNO subscribers by operator – 2013 - 2017
  • Chart 1 – Telecoms revenue by sector–2005 – 2016
  • Chart 2 – Direct access, CS and CPS subscribers – 2008 – 2017
  • Chart 3 – Fixed-telephony subscriber market share by operator – 2011 – 2017
  • Chart 4 – Historic - Fixed-line voice lines by operator – 2001 – 2017
  • Chart 5 – Telekom Srpske domestic revenue by service – 2010 – 2018
  • Chart 6 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 2005 – 2018
  • Chart 7 – Internet users and penetration rate – 2005 – 2018
  • Chart 8 – Fixed-line broadband subscribers and penetration rate – 2002 – 2018
  • Chart 9 – Broadband subscribers by access type – 2004 – 2017
  • Chart 10 – Prepaid and contract cards in service – 2005 – 2017
  • Chart 11 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 2005 – 2018
  • Chart 12 – Mobile subscriber market share by operator –2004 – 2017
  • Chart 13 – Active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration – 2009 – 2018
  • Exhibit 1 – Access, the local loop and unbundling – an overview

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