Russia Telecoms Market Report

Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

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Last updated: 29 Jul 2021 Update History

Report Pages: 254

Russia develops 5G spectrum program for 2021

The Russian telecom market is the largest in Europe, supported by a population approaching 147 million. The overall market is dominated by the western regions, particularly Moscow and St Petersburg which are the main cities and economic centres. All sectors of the market have been liberalised, with competition most prevalent in the two largest regional markets. The incumbent telco Rostelecom, which absorbed most of the regional players, in late 2019 acquired the remaining 55% of Tele2 Russia which it did not already own. The deal strengthened the company’s ability to compete in the offering a full range of bundled services.

Telcos continue to deploy and modernise fixed-line network infrastructure to offer improved broadband services as well as a range of IP-delivered content. As a result, the fibre broadband sector has shown considerable growth, supported by the government’s program to extend the reach of broadband to outlying regions.

MegaFon is thus far the only MNO to provide commercial 5G services, though the other operators have conducted trials for some time. The largest MNOs in mid-2021 secured regulatory approval for sharing agreement under which they will deploy 5G using shared network and spectrum assets.

Mobile penetration is high, though this is partly due to the popularity of multiple SIM card use. There is pressure on operator revenue from the poor economic climate, lower pricing resulting from intense competition, regulatory measures introduced in 2018 which saw the end of roaming charges, and the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

This report provides an overview of Russia’s fixed-line telecom and IT markets. It includes information on key regulatory developments, data on fixed-line networks, and an assessment of telcos’ financial and operating performance. The report also reviews the mobile market, covering the major mobile operators as well as technologies and mobile data, content and applications, and a variety of updated financial and operational statistics. In addition, the report assesses developments in the fixed broadband sector, assessing the migration from DSL to fibre and the potential for DOCSIS3.1. The report includes a range or subscribers forecasts covering the fixed-line, mobile, mobile broadband and fixed broadband segments.

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:

  • Government determines that only domestic-made equipment can be used in 5G networks from 2024;
  • MegaFon contracts vendors to develop its mobile infrastructure through to 2030;
  • Four MNOs sign agreement to cooperate in developing 5G networks;
  • Government proposes a single 5G network operator for the 4.5GHz band;
  • MegaFon providing 1Gb/s data rate on its LTE network, enters talks for sale and leaseback of tower infrastructure;
  • Domestic on-net roaming charges ended;
  • ER-Telecom to upgrade entire network to a 1Gb/s service by 2026;
  • Report update includes the regulator's market data to December 2020, telcos' financial and operating data to Q1 2021, Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses, assessment of the global impact of Covid-19 on the telecoms sector, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

MegaFon, Tele2 Russia, Skylink, VEON, Volga Telecom, SMARTS Group, Uralsvyazinform, MTS, TransTeleCom, ER-Telecom, MTS, Rostelecom, PeterStar, Synterra Telecom, Comstar, Summa Telecom, MetroMAX, Comstar, Yota, Virgin Connect, Enforta, Golden Telecom

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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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