Cyprus - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

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Last updated: 5 Jul 2021 Update History

Report Pages: 136

Cyprus issues licences for 5G services following multi-spectrum auction

Cyprus has suffered from the effects of the pandemic, which essentially closed down the tourism sector during 2020 and into 2021. Nevertheless, the incumbent telco Cyta reported strong revenue growth in 2020, largely due to greater use of broadband and mobile services, though investment fell as a result of pandemic-related delays in completing planned projects.

The mobile market is served by four mobile network operators, including Cablenet which initially offered services as an MVNO before becoming an MNO in its own right. Cyta has offered mobile services under the Cytamobile-Vodafone brand since 2004 following a partner agreement with Vodafone Group, while Epic was acquired by Monaco Telecom in mid-2018. In mid-2021 Monaco agreed to sell its entire passive infrastructure in Cyprus. The number of mobile subscribers fell in 2020, largely the result of subscribers scaling back on multiple SIM cards as an economic measure.

The broadband market continues to develop steadily, providing the country with one of the highest broadband penetration rates in the region. DSL remains the dominant access platform, accounting for about two-thirds of fixed broadband connections. Cablenet is engaged in investment projects which will see its network pass about 80% of premises, compared to 50% as of early 2021. Although fibre infrastructure in Cyprus is minimal, in common with other markets in the region there are efforts underway (supported by the government and regulator) to extend an FttP service to about 200,000 premises. As a result, the number of DSL subscribers is set to fall steadily in coming years as customers are migrated to the fibre platform.

This report introduces the key aspects of Cyprus’s telecoms market, outlining the regulatory environment and providing updated operational and financial data on the major operators. The report also reviews the mobile voice and data segments, also covering regulatory and technology developments. In addition, the report assesses the broadband and e-commerce markets.

BuddeComm notes that the outbreak of the Coronavirus is having a significant impact on production and supply chains globally. During the coming year the telecoms sector to various degrees is likely to experience a downturn in mobile device production, while it may also be difficult for network operators to manage workflows when maintaining and upgrading existing infrastructure.

Overall progress towards 5G may be postponed or slowed down in some countries.

On the consumer side, spending on telecoms services and devices is under pressure from the financial effect of large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes. However, the crucial nature of telecom services, both for general communication as well as a tool for home-working, will offset such pressures. In many markets the net effect should be a steady though reduced increased in subscriber growth.

Although it is challenging to predict and interpret the long-term impacts of the crisis as it develops, these have been acknowledged in the industry forecasts contained in this report.

The report also covers the responses of the telecom operators as well as government agencies and regulators as they react to the crisis to ensure that citizens can continue to make optimum use of telecom services. This can be reflected in subsidy schemes and the promotion of tele-health and tele-education, among other solutions.

Key developments:

  • Cyta fast tracks fibre rollout plan to the end of 2023;
  • Regulator concludes multi-spectrum auction for 5G, issues licenses;
  • Epic signs vendor agreement with Huawei to develop 5G;
  • Monaco Telecom sells passive infrastructure in Cyprus with lease-back arrangement;
  • Cyta upgrades transmission capacity on the TE-North Cable System to 500Gb/s;
  • Report update includes the regulator's market data to December 2020, operators' data updates to Q1 2021, Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses, assessment of the global impact of Covid-19 on the telecoms sector, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Cyta, PrimeTel, Multichoice, Cablenet, Cytamobile-Vodafone, Epic (MTN Cyprus), Kibris Telecom

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