Albania - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media - Statistics and Analyses
Albanian telecom sector continues showing slow but steady growth
Albania's telecom market is consistent with developments elsewhere in the region, with fixed-line telephony penetration declining as subscribers migrate to mobile solutions and with ongoing government efforts to improve broadband availability and access conditions. To this end the regulator recently imposed LLU and bitstream access conditions on the incumbent telco Albtelecom.
The country's small economy is highly dependent on the key trading partners of Italy and Greece. The former still struggles to develop growth while the latter faces yet more austerity as part of the ongoing acceptance of bail out conditions from international lenders. These economic considerations had a marked impact on Albania's telecom sector, with revenue growth having declined for a number of years before showing marginal recovery from 2014.
Penetration in the fixed-line and broadband sectors remains very low by international standards. Although regulatory obstacles remain, this low penetration provides opportunities for further investment in network upgrades to help propel the country's economic growth through digital offerings and IP-based technologies and services. Such investment in fixed-line infrastructure is being encouraged by the regulator through amended access measures and by the government through its own funding programs. However, as mobile network infrastructure improves consumers will continue to prefer this platform for voice and data services, and as a result the mobile sector will be the focus for future growth in the overall market.
The country has long sought accession to the European Union (EU) which has benefited its telecoms sector through closer scrutiny of its regulatory regime and through the injection of funding to help modernise infrastructure. Albania signed a Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the EU, which came into force in mid-2009. As part of the EU pre-accession process, Albania has received financial aid to build public institutions and improve cross-border co-operation under the EU's Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance funding mechanism. Since June 2014 Albania has been recognised as an official candidate for accession to the EU.
Vodafone Albania shuts down its M-Pesa service; Plus Communications and Albtelecom secure 2600MHz spectrum licenses; Albtelecom's share of the broadband market continues to be squeezed by competitors; report update includes the regulator's market data to March 2017, operator data to Q2 2017, recent market developments.
Companies mentioned in this report:
Vodafone Albania, Albtelecom (Eagle Mobile), Telekom Albania (AMC), Cosmote, Turk Telecom, Primo Communications.