Bulgaria - Mobile Infrastructure, Broadband, Operators - Statistics and Analyses

Synopsis

Bulgaria has a mature mobile market with effective competition provided by Telekom Austria’s A1 Bulgaria, Telenor Bulgaria (sold to the PPF Group in August 2018) and the incumbent telco Vivacom. A new entrant, Max Telecom (also known simply as MAX), provided additional competition though the company fell into financial difficulty and stopped providing services at the beginning of 2017. Competition among network operators has intensified following the recent implementation of a streamlined mobile number portability process. In addition, customer preference for bundled services has put pressure on pricing and encouraged operators to offer generous voice and data packages. This in turn has impacted on operator revenue, compounded by a steady decline in the number of subscribers.

Vivacom is in the process of being sold, and the potential that a new owner will inject funds in network upgrades and develop services based on 5G should stimulate other market players to invest in their own service provision.

This report presents an overview of Bulgaria’s mobile market, including a variety of statistics and analyses covering the major operators, market developments and services offered.

Key developments:

  • A1 Bulgaria and Telenor Bulgaria trial 5G;
  • Vivacom extends the reach of its LTE-A service;
  • Regulator awards additional spectrum in the 1800MHz band for LTE use;
  • Regulator’s tender for spectrum in the 2.5-2.6GHz band fails to find bidders;
  • MNP takes off under new regulatory measures;
  • Report update includes the regulator’s market data for 2018, telcos’ operating and financial data to Q2 2019, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Vivacom, A1 Bulgaria (MobilTel), Telenor Bulgaria

Table of Contents

  • Market analysis

  • Mobile statistics

    • General statistics
  • Mobile infrastructure

    • 5G
    • 4G (LTE)
    • 3G
    • GSM
    • Mobile voice
    • Mobile data
      • SMS and MMS
    • Mobile broadband
  • Regulatory issues

    • GSM licences
    • Third generation (3G) licences
    • 800MHz
    • 1800MHz
    • 2.5-2.6GHz
    • Other spectrum
    • Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
    • Roaming
    • Mobile Termination Rates (MTR)
  • Major mobile operators

    • Vivacom
    • A1 Bulgaria (MobilTel/M-Tel)
    • Telenor Bulgaria (Cosmo Bulgaria Mobile/GloBul)
    • Mobile content and applications
    • Mobile virtual network Operators (MVNOs)
      • M-commerce
  • Appendix – Historic data

  • Related reports


List of Tables

  • Table 1 – Growth in the number of mobile subscribers and penetration – 2009 – 2024
  • Table 2 – Decline in mobile sector revenue – 2009 – 2018
  • Table 3 – Change in the proportion of mobile revenue by service – 2010 – 2018
  • Table 4 – Change in mobile market share of subscribers by operator – 2006 – 2018
  • Table 5 – Change in mobile market share of revenue by operator – 2007- 2018
  • Table 6 – Change in mobile market revenue share by service – 2008 – 2018
  • Table 7 – Ratio of prepaid to postpaid subscribers – 2009 – 2018
  • Table 8 – A1 Bulgaria’s prepaid subscribers – 2004 – 2019
  • Table 9 – Growth in the number of LTE subscribers – 2015 – 2018
  • Table 10 – Drop in SMS traffic – 2009 – 2019
  • Table 11 – Total MMS messages sent – 2003 – 2017
  • Table 12 – Growth in the number of active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration – 2009 – 2024
  • Table 13 – Share of mobile broadband subscribers by operator – 2017 – 2018
  • Table 14 – Growth in the number of A1 Bulgaria’ mobile broadband subscribers – 2008 – 2019
  • Table 15 – Annual mobile number portings – 2008 – 2017
  • Table 16 – MTRs – 2014 – 2018
  • Table 17 – Change in the number of Vivacom’s mobile subscribers – 2012 – 2018
  • Table 18 – Vivacom mobile revenue – 2009 – 2018
  • Table 19 – Vivacom annualised mobile ARPU – 2015 – 2018
  • Table 20 – A1 Bulgaria prepaid, postpaid and blended monthly ARPU – 2009 – 2019
  • Table 21 – Change in the number of A1 Bulgaria’s mobile subscriber base – 2007 – 2019
  • Table 22 – Increase in A1 Bulgaria’s Minutes of Use (MOU) – 2007 – 2019
  • Table 23 – Telenor Bulgaria subscribers – 2007 – 2018
  • Table 24 – Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration – 1995 – 2009
  • Table 25 – Historic - Ratio of prepaid to postpaid subscribers – 2002 – 2009
  • Table 26 – Historic - Total SMS messages sent – 2003 – 2009
  • Table 27 – Historic - Mobile base stations in service by technology – 2012 – 2016
  • Table 28 – Historic - Telenor Bulgaria’s financial data (NOK) – 2013 – 2018

List of Charts

  • Chart 1 – Growth in the number of mobile subscribers and penetration – 2009 – 2024
  • Chart 2 – Decline in mobile sector revenue – 2009 – 2018
  • Chart 3 – Change in the proportion of mobile revenue by service – 2010 – 2018
  • Chart 4 – Change in mobile market share of subscribers by operator – 2006 – 2018
  • Chart 5 – Change in mobile market share of revenue by operator – 2007- 2018
  • Chart 6 – Change in mobile market revenue share by service – 2008 – 2018
  • Chart 7 – Ratio of prepaid to postpaid subscribers – 2009 – 2018
  • Chart 8 – A1 Bulgaria’s prepaid subscribers – 2004 – 2019
  • Chart 9 – Growth in the number of LTE subscribers – 2015 – 2018
  • Chart 10 – Drop in SMS traffic – 2009 – 2019
  • Chart 11 – Growth in the number of active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration – 2009 – 2024
  • Chart 12 – Growth in the number of A1 Bulgaria’ mobile broadband subscribers – 2008 – 2019
  • Chart 13 – Annual mobile number portings – 2008 – 2017
  • Chart 14 – Change in the number of Vivacom’s mobile subscribers – 2012 – 2018
  • Chart 15 – Vivacom mobile revenue – 2009 – 2018
  • Chart 16 – Vivacom annualised mobile ARPU – 2015 – 2018
  • Chart 17 – A1 Bulgaria prepaid, postpaid and blended monthly ARPU – 2009 – 2019
  • Chart 18 – Change in the number of A1 Bulgaria’s mobile subscriber base – 2009 – 2019
  • Chart 19 – Increase in A1 Bulgaria’s Minutes of Use (MOU) – 2007 – 2019
  • Chart 20 – Telenor Bulgaria subscribers – 2007 – 2018

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