The Moldovan telecom market saw several years of solid growth, particularly in the fixed-line and mobile broadband sectors. However, a combination of high unemployment and economic difficulties have led to constraints on consumer spend, resulting in telecom revenue having fallen since 2016. This decline continued into the first half of 2019, with a fall in overall revenue of 5.4%.
Moldova’s aspirations to join the European Union (EU) have encouraged the government and regulator to adopt a range of measures to bring the country’s telecoms sector into line with EU principles and standards. In July 2017 the Electronic Communications Act was amended to accommodate the 2009 European regulatory framework, while further amendments were adopted in December 2017 and additional changes were proposed in 2019.
Moldova’s internet market is developing rapidly, and though the penetration rate is well below the average for many European countries there are many opportunities for further development. The market is highly competitive, with 94 active ISPs, though Moldtelecom and Starnet between them account for most connections. The number of cable broadband subscribers is increasing steadily, though fibre is now by far the strongest sector. By mid-2019 fibre accounted for about 62% of all fixed broadband connections, and almost two-thirds of all connections provided data rates of above 30Mb/s.
The mobile market has also grown rapidly, and the sector accounts for the majority of total telecoms revenue. A triopoly of operators is dominated by Orange Moldova, while the launch of LTE services has opened up a new revenue growth opportunity centred on mobile broadband. The near comprehensive geographical reach of their mobile networks, market brand recognition and existing customer relationships will make for steady subscriber growth in coming years.
Moldtelecom, Orange Moldova; Moldcell, IDC
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Last updated 20 Nov 2019
Analyst: Henry Lancaster
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