Publication Date: December 2023
Report Pages: 193
Analyst: Henry Lancaster
Bulgaria’s telecom market was for some years affected by the difficult macroeconomic climate, as well as by relatively high unemployment and a shrinking population. These factors continue to hobble investment in the sector, though revenue growth has returned since 2019. There still remains pressure on revenue growth, however, with consumers migrating 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.
The mature mobile market has effective competition between A1 Bulgaria, Yettel (branded as Telenor Bulgaria before March 2022, the Telenor Group’s local unit that had been sold to the PPF Group in August 2018), and the incumbent telco Vivacom. Competition intensified following the 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.
Vivacom was sold to United Group in April 2020, following European Commission approval. The company is investing in network upgrades and its development of services based on 5G have stimulated other market players to invest in their own service provision. A1 Bulgaria and Vivacom both launched commercial 5G services in 2020, and by the end of 2022 about 70% of the population is expected to be covered by 5G.
The broadband market in Bulgaria enjoys excellent cross-platform competition. The share of the market held by DSL has fallen steadily as a result of customers being migrated to fibre networks, particularly those operated by the incumbent telco Vivacom. By early 2021 about 65% of fixed-line broadband subscribers were on fibre infrastructure.
This report provides an overview of Bulgaria’s fixed-line telecom market, including data on regulatory developments, the strategies of the major operators and an assessment of the evolution of fixed-line networks. The report also reviews the mobile voice and data segments; including a variety of statistics and analyses covering the major operators, market developments and services offered. In addition, the report covers the fixed-line and fixed-wireless broadband sectors, includes an assessment of technologies, the major players, market developments and statistics as well as subscriber forecasts.
Vivacom, Orbitel, Vestitel, A1 Bulgaria (MobilTel), Yettel (Telenor Bulgaria), PPF Group, Trans Telecom, Blizoo, Max Telecom, T.com, United Group
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