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Czech Republic - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

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Last updated: 22 Jun 2020 Update History

Report Pages: 180

Czech regulator delays 5G-suitable spectrum auction to mid-2020

The Czech Republic has a sophisticated telecom market which over the years has attracted investment from a number of major European telcos. The incumbent telco O2 Czech Republic remains the dominant player though alternative operators are gaining market share, partly through organic growth and partly through merger and acquisition activity. One significant deal was the acquisition of UPC Ceska Republika by Vodafone Group, which enabled Vodafone’s local unit to expand its business in the fixed-line segment. UPC, as well as its portfolio of services, has been rebranded under the Vodafone moniker.

O2 CR has struggled to improve revenue growth in recent years, and in response it has transitioned itself to face market challenges. Among the changes was its reorganisation into separate business divisions and the spinning off of CETIN as a separate unit to manage the fixed and mobile networks while also operating as a national wholesale network provider.

While the mobile sector is showing steady growth, underlying concerns that the market is insufficiently competitive have stimulated the regulator to provide for the entry of a new player at the multi-band spectrum auction scheduled for later in 2020. In addition, the government has amended the Telecommunications Act to improve pricing for end-users, and to ease the number portability process in a bid to stimulate competition and encourage operators to improve the quality of service offerings.

All the MNOs have focused on growing revenue by marketing mobile broadband and other value-added services. While most investment in recent years has been earmarked for LTE, more recently the MNOs have focussed on preparing for 5G. Services are expected to be launched by the end of 2020 after additional spectrum is allocated.

Growth in the Czech Republic’s fixed-line broadband market has slowed in line with higher penetration. The sector has more recently seen stronger growth in the cable and fibre sectors. The migration away from DSL has largely been due to the expansion of fibre networks, which are being built out by a number of telcos. Many of them are engaged in cooperative ventures, and also access wholesale services on CETIN’s fibre infrastructure.

Covering developments in the market and regulatory environment, this report provides insights into the evolving fixed-line telecom market of the Czech Republic, offering statistics, profiles of the major operators and an assessment of deployed infrastructure. The report also covers the mobile market, providing an overview of the MNOs as well as developments in technologies and regulatory affairs. A range of market and company statistics provide insights into the state of both the mobile voice and data markets, as well as the performance and strategies of the key network players. In addition, the report reviews the fixed and fixed-wireless broadband sectors, profiling the key players, assessing access platforms and market trends, and providing broadband subscriber forecasts.

BuddeComm notes that the outbreak of the Coronavirus in 2020 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

  • O2 CR launches limited 5G service, expects half of its broadband services to be delivered by fixed wireless by end-2020;
  • CETIN commits to extending fibre networks to an additional 143 rural zones;
  • Regulator delays multi-spectrum auction for 5G to mid-2020;
  • O2 CR withdraws most payphones;
  • UPC Ceska Republika’s services rebranded under the Vodafone banner;
  • Broadband subscriber base shows steady growth;
  • T-Mobile CR expands home LTE broadband service;
  • T-Mobile prepares to close 3G services;
  • Report update includes the regulator's monitoring report to April 2020, annual report and market reports for 2018, telcos' operating and financial data to Q1 2020, 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

T-Mobile Czech Republic, GTS Czech, Èeské Radiokomunikace, MobilKom, BT, ÈD-Telematika, ÈEZ ICT Services, UPC Ceska Republika, O2 Czech Republic, Vodafone Czech Republic, Nej TV, RIO Media, Nordic Telecom (MobilKom, U:fon).

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