Bulgaria - Telecoms Infrastructure, Operators, Regulations - Statistics and Analyses

Synopsis

Until recent years, Bulgaria’s telecoms market was affected by the country’s difficult macroeconomic climate, as well as by relatively high unemployment and a shrinking population. These factors contributed to steadily declining revenue across the sector until strong recovery returned in 2018.

Nevertheless, there remains pressure on revenue growth. Consumers continue to migrate from fixed-line voice telephony to mobile and VoIP alternatives, while the volume of SMS and MMS traffic has been affected by the growing use of alternative OTT messaging services. Mobile network operators are also faced with reduced roaming revenue following the decision by the European Commission, which became effective from June 2017, to bring international roaming rates in line with domestic rates. In addition, the preference among consumers for bundled services has reduced revenue from stand-alone offers.

The telecom sector has benefitted from Bulgaria’s adoption of EU regulatory measures, which has encouraged investment in the sector from other telcos as well as private equity firms. The incumbent Vivacom has been privatised, and the government no longer holds the ‘golden share’ which had enabled it to veto certain key decisions. Although the liberalised market has attracted new market entrants, Vivacom remains the dominant player, and is in the process of being sold.

This report provides an overview of Bulgaria’s fixed-line telecom market, including data on regulatory developments, the strategies and performances of the major operators and an assessment of the evolution of fixed-line networks.

Key developments:

  • Regulator introduces IP interconnection; signs MoU with Montenegrin telecom regulator to cooperate on reducing cost of telecom services;
  • Amended Electronic Communications Act focused on enhancing regulator’s powers;
  • Vestitel begins building second Greece-Bulgaria fibre link;
  • Report update includes the regulator’s market data for 2018, telcos’ operating and financial data to Q2 2019, Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Vivacom, Orbitel, Vestitel, A1 Bulgaria (MobilTel)

Table of Contents

  • Key statistics

  • Regional European Market Comparison

    • Europe Telecom Maturity Index by tier
      • Market Leaders
      • Market Challengers
      • Market Emergents
    • TMI versus GDP
    • Mobile and mobile broadband penetration
    • Fixed versus mobile broadband penetration
  • Country overview

  • Telecommunications market

    • Market analysis
  • Regulatory environment

    • Historical overview
    • Regulatory authority
    • Telecom sector liberalisation
    • Privatisation
    • Interconnect
      • Access
    • Number Portability (NP)
    • Carrier selection/Carrier PreSelection
  • Fixed network operators

    • Introduction
    • Vivacom/Bulgarian Telecommunications Company (BTC)
    • A1 Bulgaria
  • Telecommunications infrastructure

    • Overview of the national telecom network
    • International networks
  • Appendix – Historic data

  • Related reports


List of Tables

  • Table 1 – Top Level Country Statistics and Telco Authorities - Bulgaria – 2019 (e)
  • Table 2 – Telecom sector investment – 2015 – 2017
  • Table 3 – Investment in NGA – 2013 – 2017
  • Table 4 – Development of in telecom sector revenue, annual change – 2006 – 2018
  • Table 6 – Proportion of telecom sector revenue by service (old style) – 2011 – 2018
  • Table 7 – Change in the share of fixed-voice revenue by type – 2011 – 2018
  • Table 8 – Change in the number of fixed number portings – 2009 – 2017
  • Table 9 – Change in Vivacom’s financial data – 2009 – 2018
  • Table 10 – Vivacom’s financial data by sector – 2010 – 2018
  • Table 11 – Vivacom’s subscribers by sector – 2012 – 2018
  • Table 12 – Vivacom’s pay TV and IPTV subscribers – 2013 – 2018
  • Table 13 – Change in A1 Bulgaria’s financial data – 2009 – 2019
  • Table 14 – Growth in the number of A1 Bulgaria’s fixed RGUs – 2011 – 2019
  • Table 15 – Increase in the number of A1 Bulgaria’s fixed access lines – 2011 – 2019
  • Table 16 – Decline in the number of fixed lines in service and teledensity – 2009 – 2024
  • Table 17 – Increase in international internet bandwidth – 2009 – 2018
  • Table 18 – Historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 2000 – 2009
  • Table 19 – Historic - International bandwidth – 2000 – 2009

List of Charts

  • Chart 1 – Europe Telecoms Maturity Index – Market Leaders (top tier)
  • Chart 2 – Europe Telecoms Maturity Index – Market Challengers (middle tier)
  • Chart 3 – Europe Telecoms Maturity Index – Market Emergents (bottom tier)
  • Chart 4 – Overall view - Telecoms Maturity Index vs GDP per Capita
  • Chart 5 – Europe - mobile subscriber penetration vs mobile broadband penetration
  • Chart 6 – Scandinavia and Baltics: mobile subscriber penetration vs mobile broadband penetration
  • Chart 7 – Northern Europe –mobile subscriber penetration vs mobile broadband penetration
  • Chart 8 – Southern Europe mobile subscriber penetration vs mobile broadband penetration
  • Chart 9 – Eastern Europe mobile subscriber penetration vs mobile broadband penetration
  • Chart 10 – Scandinavia and Baltics fixed and mobile broadband penetration
  • Chart 11 – Northern Europe fixed and mobile broadband penetration
  • Chart 12 – Southern Europe fixed and mobile broadband penetration
  • Chart 13 – Eastern Europe fixed and mobile broadband penetration
  • Chart 14 – Development of in telecom sector revenue, annual change – 2006 – 2018
  • Chart 15 – Telecom sector revenue by service – 2008 – 2018
  • Chart 16 – Proportion of telecom sector revenue by service – 2011 – 2018
  • Chart 17 – Change in the share of fixed-voice revenue by type – 2011 – 2018
  • Chart 18 – Change in the number of fixed number portings – 2009 – 2017
  • Chart 19 – Change in Vivacom’s financial data – 2009 – 2018
  • Chart 20 – Vivacom’s financial data by sector – 2010 – 2018
  • Chart 21 – Vivacom’s subscribers by sector – 2012 – 2018
  • Chart 22 – Vivacom’s pay TV and IPTV subscribers – 2013 – 2018
  • Chart 23 – Change in A1 Bulgaria’s financial data – 2009 – 2019
  • Chart 24 – Growth in the number of A1 Bulgaria’s fixed RGUs – 2011 – 2019
  • Chart 25 – Increase in the number of A1 Bulgaria’s fixed access lines – 2011 – 2019
  • Chart 26 – Decline in the number of fixed lines in service and teledensity – 2009 – 2024
  • Chart 27 – Increase in international internet bandwidth – 2009 – 2018

List of Exhibits

  • Exhibit 1 – Generalised Market Characteristics by Market Segment
  • Exhibit 2 – Access, the local loop and unbundling – an overview

Related Reports

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Technologies

Regulations & Government Policies
Strategies & Analyses (Industry & Markets)
Telecoms Infrastructure

Number of pages 71

Status Current

Last updated 14 Oct 2019
Update History

Analyst: Henry Lancaster

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