Georgia - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Executive summary

Georgia’s Mobitel secures spectrum in the 2100MHz band at auction

Georgia continues to develop its economy in the face of considerable challenges, not least being a fractured political relationship with Russia and the continuing downturn in the Russian economy which has negatively impacted on its own growth potential. There are also difficulties related to breakaway regions which have been recognised by Russia, and in which Russian telcos are active. However, there is potential for economic growth from closer ties to Europe, while new pipelines running across the territory may lessen Georgia’s dependence on Russia for oil and gas supplies.

The slow economic growth has impacted on the country’s telecom sector. Revenue from fixed-line voice services has fallen sharply, while revenue from the mobile sector has also fallen in the wake of intense competition compounded by the fall in messaging traffic as subscribers migrate to alternative OTT services. The overall market is largely propped up by the broadband sector, where the number of subscribers continues to increase steadily. The sharp growth in the number of fibre broadband connections has impacted on the DS segment as customers are migrated from copper to fibre networks. This development reflects the significant increase in investment in infrastructure in recent years, spurred by the government’s national broadband plan.

Since 2003, telecommunications has become one of the fastest growing sectors in the Georgian economy. The share of telecommunications in the country’s GDP reached a high of 7%, though it fell to about 5.6% for 2015.

The penetration of active mobile subscribers was about 1120% by early 2017. Growth in mobile broadband is being encouraged following multi-spectrum auctions, including the award of additional spectrum in the 800MHz band in 2016 and spectrum in the 2100ooMHz band in 2017, which is being made available for LTE services. All three MNOs are investing to expand the reach and capabilities of their LTE infrastructures, which already provide more than 90% coverage.

Key developments:

  • Mobitel secures spectrum in the 2100MHz band at auction;
  • Mediafon Datapro awarded contract to manage number portability database;
  • MagtiCom offering fixed-line services following acquisition of the ISPs Caucasus Online and Deltacom;
  • Regulator awards spectrum in the 800MHz band to MagtiCom, used for LTE-A services;
  • Caucasus Online contracts TE SubCom to upgrade the Caucasus Cable system, supporting data of over 9Tb/s;
  • MagtiCom claiming 90% geographic coverage with LTE-A services;
  • Report update includes the regulator’s annual report for 2015, market statistics to February 2017.

Market penetration rates in Georgia’s telecoms sector – 2017 (Feb)

Penetration of telecoms services: Penetration
Fixed-line telephony 20.2%
Fixed broadband 15%
Mobile SIM (population) 112%

(Source: BuddeComm)

Companies mentioned in this report:

Caucasus Online, Georgia Online, United Telecom, Telecom Georgia, Egrisi, SaNet, SilkNet, Georgian Railway Telecom, Akhali Kselebi

Table of Contents

  • 1. Executive summary
  • 2. Key statistics
  • 3. Country overview
    • 3.1 Economy
  • 4. Telecommunications market
    • 4.1 Market analysis
  • 5. Regulatory environment
    • 5.1 Regulatory authority
    • 5.2 Privatisation
    • 5.3 Numbering changes
    • 5.4 Number Portability (NP)
    • 5.5 Licensing and auctions – background information
    • 5.6 Illegal operations
    • 5.7 Call termination
  • 6. Fixed network operators
    • 6.1 SilkNet (formerly United Telecom)
    • 6.2 Telecom Georgia (Sakartvelos Telekomi)
    • 6.3 NewNet Telecommunications (Akhali Kselebi)
    • 6.4 Egrisi
    • 6.5 Georgian Railway Telecom (GRT)
    • 6.6 MagtiCom
  • 7. Telecommunications infrastructure
    • 7.1 Overview of the national telecom network
    • 7.2 International infrastructure
  • 8. Fixed-line broadband market
    • 8.1 Broadband statistics
    • 8.2 Forecasts – broadband subscribers – 2018; 2020; 2022
    • 8.3 Fixed-line broadband technologies
      • 8.3.1 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks
      • 8.3.2 Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP) networks
      • 8.3.3 Other fixed broadband services
  • 9. Digital media
  • 10. Mobile market
    • 10.1 Market analysis
    • 10.2 Mobile statistics
    • 10.3 Mobile data
      • 10.3.1 SMS and MMS
    • 10.4 Mobile broadband
    • 10.5 Forecasts – mobile subscribers – 2018; 2020; 2022
    • 10.6 Regulatory issues
      • 10.6.1 Unrecognised operators
      • 10.6.2 Frequency auctions
      • 10.6.3 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
    • 10.7 Mobile infrastructure
      • 10.7.1 Digital networks
    • 10.8 Major mobile operators
      • 10.8.1 Geocell
      • 10.8.2 MagtiCom
      • 10.8.3 Mobitel (Beeline)
      • 10.8.4 SilkNet
  • 11. Related reports
  • Table 1 – Country statistics Georgia – 2016 (e)
  • Table 2 – Telecom revenue and investment statistics – 2016 (e)
  • Table 3 – Telephone network statistics – 2017 (Feb)
  • Table 4 – Internet user statistics – 2017 (Feb)
  • Table 5 – Mobile statistics – 2017 (Feb)
  • Table 6 – National telecommunications authority
  • Table 7 – Georgia’s GDP real growth rate – 2006 - 2016
  • Table 8 – Telecom market revenue – 2001 - 2016
  • Table 9 – Fixed number portings – 2011 - 2016
  • Table 10 – Fixed line subscribers by major operator – 2010 - 2017
  • Table 11 – Historic - Fixed lines in service, annual change and penetration – 1995 - 2009
  • Table 12 – Fixed lines in service, annual change and penetration – 2010 - 2018
  • Table 13 – Fixed-line subscribers by technology – 2013 - 2017
  • Table 14 – Fixed-line revenue – 2010 - 2017
  • Table 15 – Fixed-line revenue by technology – 2010 - 2017
  • Table 16 – Fixed-line voice traffic by technology – 2010 - 2017
  • Table 17 – International internet bandwidth capacity – 2001 - 2015
  • Table 18 – Historic - Internet users and penetration rate – 1996 - 2009
  • Table 19 – Internet users and penetration rate – 2010 - 2018
  • Table 20 – Fixed-line internet subscribers and penetration – 2001 - 2016
  • Table 21 – Household internet penetration – 2005 - 2017
  • Table 22 – Fixed broadband subscribers – 2001 - 2018
  • Table 23 – Broadband market revenue – 2010 - 2017
  • Table 24 – Fixed broadband subscribers by major operator – 2013 - 2017
  • Table 25 – Forecast - fixed broadband subscribers – 2018; 2020; 2022
  • Table 26 – DSL subscribers – 2008 - 2017
  • Table 27 – Caucasus Online internet subscribers – 2012 - 2016
  • Table 28 – Caucasus Online internet revenue – 2013 - 2016
  • Table 29 – SilkNet internet subscribers – 2012 - 2017
  • Table 30 – SilkNet internet revenue – 2013 - 2017
  • Table 31 – FttP subscribers – 2010 - 2017
  • Table 32 – Wi-Fi subscribers – 2010 – 2017
  • Table 33 – WiMAX subscribers – 2010 – 2017
  • Table 34 – TV subscribers by platform – 2010 - 2017
  • Table 35 – Broadcasting revenue by platform – 2010 - 2017
  • Table 36 – Cable TV penetration – 2010 - 2015
  • Table 37 – Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 1999 - 2009
  • Table 38 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 2010 - 2018
  • Table 39 – Active mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 2010 - 2018
  • Table 40 – Mobile market retail revenue – 2010 - 2017
  • Table 41 – SMS traffic – 2010 - 2017
  • Table 42 –SMS revenue – 2010 - 2017
  • Table 43 – MMS traffic – 2010 - 2017
  • Table 44 –MMS revenue – 2010 - 2017
  • Table 45 – Active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration – 2010 - 2016
  • Table 46 – HSPA/EVDO internet subscribers – 2010 – 2017
  • Table 47 – EVDO/CDMA internet subscribers – 2012 – 2017
  • Table 48 – LTE internet subscribers – 2014 – 2017
  • Table 49 – Standard mobile internet subscribers – 2012 – 2016
  • Table 50 – Mobile internet traffic – 2010 – 2015
  • Table 51 – Forecast – mobile subscribers – 2018; 2020; 2022
  • Table 52 – Mobile number portings – 2011 - 2016
  • Table 53 – Mobile market share of subscribers by operator – 2012 - 2017
  • Table 54 – Geocell subscribers – 2002 - 2017
  • Table 55 – Geocell mobile revenue – 2013 - 2017
  • Table 56 – MagtiCom subscribers – 2007 - 2017
  • Table 57 – MagtiCom mobile revenue – 2013 - 2017
  • Table 58 – Mobitel mobile subscribers – 2007 - 2017
  • Table 59 – Mobitel standard mobile internet subscribers – 2010 - 2016
  • Table 60 – MagtiCom mobile revenue – 2013 - 2017
  • Table 61 – SilkNet mobile subscribers – 2012 - 2017
  • Table 62 – SilkNet mobile revenue – 2012 - 2017
  • Chart 1 - Fixed lines in service, annual change and penetration - 2005 – 2018
  • Chart 2 - Internet users, annual change and penetration rate - 2005 – 2018
  • Chart 3 - Fixed broadband subscribers - 2005 – 2018
  • Chart 4 – Active mobile subscribers and penetration rate - 2010 – 2018
  • Exhibit 1 – United Telecom’s Tbilisi network infrastructure

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