Greece - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

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Last updated: 23 Jun 2021 Update History

Report Pages: 231

Greece fast-tracks 5G following multi-spectrum auction

Greece’s telecom market is susceptible to the country’s volatile economy, and as a result revenue among the key operators has been variable. The incumbent telco OTE, supported by the organisational and financial clout of its parent Deutsche Telekom, reported a 16.6% fall in revenue for 2020, and the economic fallout of the pandemic continued to reduce revenue into 2021.

Broadband penetration in Greece is developing steadily despite the difficult economic conditions. The main operators are concentrating investment on fibre-based next generation networks, enabling them to reach the European broadband targets for 2025. Their work is also supported by government ultra-fast broadband projects, largely funded by the EC and aimed at delivering a service of at least 100Mb/s to underserved areas.

Greece’s well-developed mobile market is dominated by the three MNOs Wind Hellas, Vodafone Greece, and Cosmote. Operators continue to invest in LTE infrastructure and technologies to provide networks capable of meeting customer demand for data services. After extensive trials of 5G, the MNOs were able to launch commercial services in early 2021 following the December 2020 auction of spectrum in a range of bands. The rapid rollout of 5G encouraged Cosmote to close down its 3G network (a process expected to be completed by the end of 2021) and refarm spectrum for LTE and 5G.

This report introduces the key aspects of the Greek fixed-line telecoms, wholesale and IT market, outlining the regulatory environment, assessing the major players and providing relevant operational data and financial statistics on both the operators and the market. The report also covers the fixed-line broadband segment, as also the mobile voice and data markets, covering regulatory and sector developments as well as reviews of the key players.

BuddeComm notes that the outbreak of the Coronavirus continues to have 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

  • Regulator consults on renewing a provider of universal services;
  • Cosmote selects Ericsson as its sole 5G RAN vendor, reaches 50% population coverage with 5G, plans to close down its 3G infrastructure by December 2021;
  • Regulator completes multi-spectrum auction for 5G;
  • Forthnet rebrands as Nova;
  • EC approves €223 million for Greece’s Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFBB) project;
  • Vodafone planning to repurpose 3G network assets for LTE and 5G by 2022;
  • Report update includes the regulator's market review and annual report for 2019, market data to June 2020, telcos' operating and financial data to Q1 2021, Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses, assessment of the global impact of Covid-19 on the telecoms sector, recent market development.

Companies mentioned in this report

Vodafone Greece, OTE (Cosmote), Wind Hellas, Nova (Forthnet), Wind Hellas, On Telecoms, Tellas, On Telecoms

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