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Ukraine - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

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Last updated: 18 Dec 2020 Update History

Report Pages: 165

Ukraine’s government approves plan for 5G migration in 2021

Ukraine’s developing telecom market has attracted international investors in recent years. One of the major players, Russia’s MTS, in mid-2020 sold its interest in Vodafone Ukraine to Azerbaijani investors. The market has continued to face considerable difficulties resulting from the annexation of Crimea by Russia, as well as from unrest in eastern regions. The Covid-19 pandemic has also contributed to a faltering economy, with GDP expected to have fallen 7.7% in 2020. This has put pressure on telcos’ revenue.

The sizeable broadband market enjoys effective cross-platform competition. DSL remains an important platform though it has been eclipsed by fibre following efforts by operators to build networks based on FttP. Wireless platforms such as Wi-Fi and WiMAX exist on a smaller scale, and there is ongoing investment aimed at delivering a national wireless network. A number of wireless broadband licensees have also had their concessions extended to 2025, which will provide greater certainty in investment decisions.

The competitive mobile market is dominated by the three network operators Vodafone Ukraine (sold by MTS in late 2019), Kyivstar (owned by VEON) and Lifecell (owned by Turkcell). These dominant providers have effectively stymied the development of the MVNO sector by promoting their own low-cost subsidiaries. As a result, the MVNO market remains underdeveloped and few operators have been licensed thus far. Nevertheless, in coming years a gap in the low-cost segment may provide the opportunity for MVNOs to thrive.

Mobile broadband services present a significant growth opportunity. Significant investment has been made in extending LTE infrastructure. Spectrum in the 900MHz band was refarmed for LTE services, and new licences were issued to the MNOs in mid-2020. The MNOs have also more recently concentrated on 5G, supported by the regulator which has drawn up a plan to develop 5G based on new spectrum releases in 2021.

This report provides an overview of Ukraine’s telecom market, including profiles of the major operators, a review of telecom network infrastructure, regulatory measures, and emerging network developments. The report also reviews the mobile market, offering a range of statistics as well as assessments on the key players and technology deployments. In addition, the report covers the fixed-and fixed-wireless broadband segments, including subscriber forecasts.

BuddeComm notes that the outbreak of the Coronavirus 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:

  • Vodafone Ukraine further develops NB-IoT capabilities;
  • MTS Group completes sale of Vodafone Ukraine to Bakcell;
  • Legal amendments to Telecoms Law widen regulator’s powers;
  • Fixed-line and mobile providers team up to offer bundled services;
  • Ukrtelecom extends fibre-based services to additional communities;
  • Aero extends WiMAX licence to 2025;
  • Report update includes the regulator market data, State Statistics data to June 2020, telcos’ operating and financial data to Q3 2020, 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:

Ukrtelecom, Kyivstar (Beeline), Datagroup, Eurotranstelecom, Vega, Velton Telecom, Intertelecom, ITC, Telesystems, Golden Telecom, PAN Wireless, Volia Cable, Ukrainian Radio Systems, Lifecell (Astelit), Vodafone Ukraine (MTS, Bakcell)

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