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Latvia - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

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Last updated: 23 Apr 2020 Update History

Report Pages: 130

Latvia again heads fibre coverage rankings

Latvia’s telecom market continues to benefit from investment and from regulatory measures aimed at developing fibre-based infrastructure. There is effective competition in the mobile market, with extensive services based on LTE-A technologies to boost data speeds. Operators such as Bité Latvia and Tele2 Latvia have also begun transitioning their networks to support services and applications based on 5G. Tele2 Latvia in mid-2019 provided a commercial 5G device for its 5G network, with commercial services outside its trial zone expected in early 2020.

In the fixed-line broadband sector, the country is the top ranked in Europe for fibre coverage and take-up, closely followed by Lithuania. With this infrastructure in place, the country has also developed a sophisticated digital economy, with e-commerce and e-government services widely available.

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:

  • Lattelecom rebrands as 'Tet';
  • Sole MVNO Amigo taken over by LMT;
  • Bité Latvia switches on its NB-IoT network, begins migration path to 5G, doubles network capacity;
  • Tele2 Latvia secures a 50MHz block of 3.5GHz spectrum, installs initial 5G base stations;
  • Bité and Tele2 Group launch network sharing joint venture for Latvia and Lithuania;
  • Tet expands VDSL vectoring;
  • Report update includes the regulator's market data updates for 2018, telcos' operating and financial data to Q3 2019, Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses, assessment of the global impact of COVID-19 on the telecoms sector, recent market developments.

Key companies mentioned in this report:

Tet (Lattelecom), Baltcom TV, Izzi, Viasat, Latvia Mobilais Telefons, Bité Latvia, Telekom Baltija, ZetCom, Tele2 Latvia, Latvenergo.

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