Bulgaria - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Publication Overview

This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Bulgaria’s telecommunications market. The report analyses the fixed-line, mobile and broadband sectors. Subjects include:

  • Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
  • Facts, figures and statistics;
  • Industry and regulatory issues;
  • Infrastructure developments;
  • Major Players, Revenues, Subscribers, ARPU, MoU;
  • Mobile Voice and Data Markets;
  • Broadband (FttP, DSL, cable, wireless);
  • Mobile subscribers and ARPU;
  • Broadband market forecasts;
  • Government policies affecting the telecoms industry;
  • Market liberalisation and industry issues;
  • Telecoms operators – privatisation, IPOs, acquisitions, new licences;
  • Mobile technologies (GSM; 3G, HSPA, LTE, 5G).

Researcher:- Henry Lancaster
Current publication date:- September 2018 (16th Edition)

Executive Summary

Bulgarian telecoms sector attracting more international investment

Bulgaria’s telecoms market in recent years has been affected by the country’s difficult macroeconomic climate, as well as relatively high unemployment and a shrinking population. These factors have contributed to steadily declining revenue across the sector since 2008. Consumers continue to migrate from fixed-line voice telephony to mobile and VoIP alternatives, while there is increasing pressure on SMS and MMS services from the growing use of alternative OTT messaging services. Mobile network operators are also faced with reduced roaming revenue and the popularity of bundled services which has reduced revenue from stand-alone offers. Nevertheless, there are considerable opportunities for telcos, and despite these manifest pressures the country’s telecom sector continues to attract investors, as seen in Telenor Group’s recent sale of its local unit to the PPF Group.

The broadband market enjoys excellent cross-platform competition, including services based on DSL, cable, fibre, WiMAX and LAN technologies. While the share of the market held by cable has increased slightly in recent years, the DSL sector is losing market share as a result of customers being migrated to fibre networks, particularly those operated by the incumbent telco Vivacom. By mid-2018 about 56% of Vivacom’s fixed-line broadband subscribers were on fibre infrastructure.

The country has undertaken steps to develop an internet society encompassing commerce, health and government services.

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. The report also covers the fixed-line and fixed-wireless broadband sectors, including a review of technologies, the major players, market developments, statistics and subscriber forecasts. In addition the report assesses the mobile market, including a variety of statistics and analyses covering the major operators, market developments, services offered and emerging technologies.

Key developments:

  • Telenor Bulgaria and Vivacom launch VoLTE services;
  • A1 Bulgaria trials 5G;
  • Regulator proposes auction of up to 580MHz of additional spectrum;
  • Vivacom extends the reach of its LTE-A service;
  • Telenor Group sells in business in Bulgaria to the PPF Group;
  • Amended Electronic Communications Act focused on enhancing regulator’s powers;
  • Regulator awards additional spectrum in the 1800MHz band for LTE use;
  • MNP takes off under new regulatory measures;
  • Cooolbox launches 1Gb/s FttP service;
  • Government investment program for broadband in rural areas;
  • Vivacom’s FiberNet offer passes 1.15 million premises;
  • Report update includes the regulator’s market data for 2017, telcos’ operating and financial data to Q2 2018, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Vivacom, A1 Bulgaria (MobilTel), Telenor Bulgaria, A1 Bulgaria (MobilTel), Trans Telecom, Vivacom, Bulgarian Telecom and Television, Blizoo, Vivacom, Orbitel, Vestitel, A1 Bulgaria (MobilTel).

Table of Contents

  • 1. Key statistics
    • 1.1 Country overview
  • 2. Telecommunications market
    • 2.1 Market analysis
  • 3. Regulatory environment
    • 3.1 Historical overview
    • 3.2 Regulatory authority
    • 3.3 Telecom sector liberalisation
    • 3.4 Privatisation
    • 3.5 Interconnect
      • 3.5.1 Access
    • 3.6 Number Portability (NP)
    • 3.7 Carrier selection/Carrier PreSelection
  • 4. Fixed network operators
    • 4.1 Introduction
    • 4.2 Vivacom/Bulgarian Telecommunications Company (BTC)
    • 4.3 A1 Bulgaria
  • 5. Telecommunications infrastructure
    • 5.1 Overview of the national telecom network
    • 5.2 International networks
  • 6. Broadband market
    • 6.1 Introduction and statistical overview
      • 6.1.1 Market analysis
      • 6.1.2 Broadband statistics
      • 6.1.3 Forecasts – broadband subscribers – 2019; 2021; 2023
    • 6.2 Hybrid Fibre Coax (HFC) networks
    • 6.3 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks
    • 6.4 Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP)
    • 6.5 Other fixed broadband services
      • 6.5.1 World Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX)
      • 6.5.2 Satellite broadband
  • 7. Digital economy
    • 7.1 E-government
    • 7.2 E-health
  • 8. Mobile communications
    • 8.1 Market analysis
    • 8.2 Mobile statistics
      • 8.2.1 General statistics
    • 8.3 Mobile infrastructure
      • 8.3.1 Mobile voice
      • 8.3.2 Mobile data
      • 8.3.3 Mobile broadband
    • 8.4 Regulatory issues
      • 8.4.1 GSM licences
      • 8.4.2 Third generation (3G) licences
      • 8.4.3 800MHz
      • 8.4.4 1800MHz
      • 8.4.5 2.5-2.6GHz
      • 8.4.6 Other spectrum
      • 8.4.7 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
      • 8.4.8 Roaming
      • 8.4.9 Mobile Termination Rates (MTR)
    • 8.5 Major mobile operators
      • 8.5.1 Vivacom
      • 8.5.2 A1 Bulgaria (MobilTel/M-Tel)
      • 8.5.3 Telenor Bulgaria (Cosmo Bulgaria Mobile/GloBul)
      • 8.5.4 Mobile content and applications
      • 8.5.5 Mobile virtual network Operators (MVNOs)
      • Table 1 – Top Level Country Statistics and Telco Authorities - Bulgaria – 2018 (e)
      • Table 2 – Telecom sector investment – 2015 - 2017
      • Table 3 – Investment in NGA – 2013 - 2017
      • Table 4 – Telecom sector revenue, annual change – 2006 - 2017
      • Table 5 – Telecom sector revenue by service – 2008 - 2017
      • Table 6 – Proportion of telecom sector revenue by service – 2011 - 2017
      • Table 7 – Share of fixed-voice revenue by type – 2011 - 2017
      • Table 8 – Cumulative fixed number portings – 2009 - 2016
      • Table 9 – Vivacom financial data – 2003 - 2018
      • Table 10 – Vivacom financial data by sector – 2010 - 2017
      • Table 11 – Vivacom subscribers by sector – 2012 - 2018
      • Table 12 – Vivacom pay TV and IPTV subscribers – 2013 - 2018
      • Table 13 – A1 Bulgaria fixed-telephony and broadband RGUs – 2011 - 2018
      • Table 14 – A1 Bulgaria fixed access lines – 2011 - 2018
      • Table 15 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 2000 - 2018
      • Table 16 – International bandwidth – 2000 - 2016
      • Table 17 – Historic - Internet users and penetration rate – 2000 - 2009
      • Table 18 – Internet users and penetration rate – 2010 - 2018
      • Table 19 – Fixed-line broadband market share by access type – 2009 - 2017
      • Table 20 – Fixed broadband subscribers and penetration – 2005 - 2018
      • Table 21 – Fixed broadband subscribers by data speed – 2010- 2017
      • Table 22 – Total /internet (retail and wholesale) revenue – 2008 - 2017
      • Table 23 – Retail and wholesale internet revenue – 2015 - 2017
      • Table 24 – Forecast fixed broadband subscribers – 2019; 2021; 2023
      • Table 25 – A1 Bulgaria broadband subscribers –2011 - 2018
      • Table 26 – Cable broadband subscribers – 2005 - 2017
      • Table 27 – DSL subscribers – 2005 - 2017
      • Table 28 – Vivacom broadband subscribers – 2013 - 2018
      • Table 29 – Vivacom fibre broadband connections and homes passed – 2013 – 2018
      • Table 30 – FttP subscribers – 2008 - 2017
      • Table 31 – Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration – 1995 - 2009
      • Table 32 – Mobile subscribers and penetration – 2010 - 2018
      • Table 33 – Mobile base stations in service by technology – 2012 - 2016
      • Table 34 – Mobile sector revenue – 2009 - 2018
      • Table 35 – Proportion of mobile revenue by service – 2010 - 2017
      • Table 36 – Mobile market share of subscribers by operator – 2006 - 2017
      • Table 37 – Mobile market share of revenue by operator – 2007- 2016
      • Table 38 – Mobile market revenue share by service – 2008 - 2017
      • Table 39 – Ratio of prepaid to postpaid subscribers – 2002 - 2017
      • Table 40 – A1 Bulgaria prepaid subscribers – 2004 - 2018
      • Table 41 – LTE subscribers – 2015 - 2017
      • Table 42 – Total SMS messages sent – 2003 - 2017
      • Table 43 – Total MMS messages sent – 2003 - 2017
      • Table 44 – Active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration – 2009 - 2018
      • Table 45 – A1 Bulgaria mobile broadband subscribers – 2008 - 2018
      • Table 46 – Annual mobile number portings – 2008 - 2016
      • Table 47 – European roaming charges – 2007 – 2016
      • Table 48 – European data roaming charges – 2014 - 2017
      • Table 49 – MTRs – 2014 - 2018
      • Table 50 – Vivacom mobile subscribers – 2012 - 2018
      • Table 51 – Vivacom mobile revenue – 2009 - 2017
      • Table 52 – Vivacom annualised mobile ARPU – 2015 – 2017
      • Table 53 – A1 Bulgaria financial data – 2005 - 2018
      • Table 54 – A1 Bulgaria prepaid, postpaid and blended monthly ARPU – 2004 - 2018
      • Table 55 – A1 Bulgaria mobile subscribers – 2007 - 2018
      • Table 56 – A1 Bulgaria Minutes of Use (MOU) – 2007 - 2018
      • Table 57 – Historic - Telenor Bulgaria financial data (€) – 2009 - 2013
      • Table 58 – Historic - Telenor Bulgaria mobile services revenue (€) – 2011 - 2013
      • Table 59 – Telenor Bulgaria financial data (NOK) – 2013 - 2018
      • Table 60 – Telenor Bulgaria subscribers – 2007 - 2018
      • Chart 1 – Telecom sector revenue by service – 2008 – 2017
      • Chart 2 – Proportion of telecom sector revenue by service – 2011 – 2017
      • Chart 3 – Vivacom financial data – 2003 – 2018
      • Chart 4 – Vivacom financial data by sector – 2010 – 2017
      • Chart 5 – Vivacom subscribers by sector – 2012 – 2018
      • Chart 6 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 2000 – 2018
      • Chart 7 – Internet users and penetration rate – 2005 – 2018
      • Chart 8 – Fixed-line broadband market share by access type – 2009 – 2017
      • Chart 9 – Fixed broadband subscribers and penetration – 2005 – 2018
      • Chart 10 – Fixed broadband subscribers by data speed – 2010- 2017
      • Chart 11 – Mobile subscribers and penetration – 2002 - 2018
      • Chart 12 – Mobile base stations in service by technology – 2012 – 2016
      • Chart 13 – Mobile market share of subscribers by operator – 2006 - 2017
      • Chart 14– Mobile market revenue share by service – 2009 – 2017
      • Chart 15 – A1 Bulgaria financial data – 2005 - 2018
      • Chart 16 – A1 Bulgaria prepaid, postpaid and blended monthly ARPU – 2004 - 2018
      • Chart 17 – Telenor Bulgaria financial data (NOK) – 2013 – 2018
      • Chart 18 – Telenor Bulgaria subscribers – 2007 – 2018
      • Exhibit 1 – Access, the local loop and unbundling – an overview

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