Kosovo has benefited from financial and regulatory assistance as part of the EU pre-accession process. The EU remains Kosovo’s main trading partner and its main source of foreign direct investment. The economy is significantly driven by trade with Germany and Switzerland, where most expatriates live and work. Remittances from such workers form an important part of household incomes.
The telecom sector has been liberalised, and legislation has aligned the sector with the EU’s revised regulatory framework. Measures have also been adopted relating to competition and to facilitating the market entry of new players. Nevertheless, poor telecom infrastructure has meant that fixed-line penetration remains low by European standards. Unlike most markets, the fixed-line broadband sector is dominated by new players, in particular the cable operator IPKO, a subsidiary of Telekom Slovenia.
Broadband penetration in Kosovo is developing slowly. There is effective competition between the main cable and DSL operators, though as yet there is little progress with the expansion of fibre networks: investment by the incumbent PTK, trading as Telecom Kosovo, in building an upgraded fibre-based NGN has been insufficient thus far, exacerbated by the company’s financial difficulties. These difficulties encouraged the government in mid-2019 to prepare the sale of a majority stake in the company.
The mobile sector accounts for most telecom lines for voice services, as well as the greater part of telecom revenue. Two MNOs dominate the sector. Telenor Serbia and VIP Mobile stopped offering unlicensed mobile voice and data services in mid-2017 across border regions as part of a deal by which Kosovo secured its own dialling code.
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.
Post and Telecommunications of Kosovo (Kosovo Telecom, Vala), IPKO, Artmotion, Kujtesa; Dukagjini Telecommunications, Dardafon.
This is all fascinating and your way of presenting the information is extraordinary.
Gary Sorkin, Pacific Communication Group
BuddeComm's strategic business reports contain a combination of both primary and secondary research statistics, analyses written by our senior analysts supported by a network of experts, industry contacts and researchers from around the world as well as our own scenario forecasts.
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