Economic malaise risks telecom sector recovery
Bosnia-Herzegovina made remarkable economic progress since emerging from war in the 1990s to the financial turmoil of 2009. Since then the country’s economy has recovered, with GDP expected to reach at least 2.2% in 2011. Future economic prosperity relies to a great extent on the country’s integration with the European Union. In preparation for eventual membership, the country has sought closer integration with the EU and adopted a range of commitments to political, economic, trade, and human rights reform. It has also aligned its telecom policies and regulatory measures to prepare it to compete effectively within the EU.
The market has been liberalised and a regulatory framework created based on the EU’s regulatory framework for communications, promoting competition as the most efficient way to offer communications products and services. Ongoing introduction of secondary legislation by the regulator is slowly improving the regulatory environment. To this end, the regulator has promoted fixed-line and mobile number portability, reduced interconnection tariffs and allowed the three incumbent operators to provide services outside their original concession areas.
Although a number of fixed-line operators offer services the market is dominated by the three incumbent operators, which hold a combined market share of 99%. All three incumbents are subject to specific obligations designed to improve competition.
Internet services are available through the incumbents and alternative operators. Internet usage in Bosnia-Herzegovina is showing signs of significant growth on the back of competition and the improved availability of services.
The three mobile network operators (MNOs), each affiliated with one of the incumbent fixed-line operators, provide near-national coverage. Their networks, being upgraded to support services based on HSPA technology; will in coming years support broadband in rural areas where fixed-line infrastructure is insufficient. In addition, mobile data and mobile broadband offers will provide future revenue growth given the limited potential of mobile voice services.
Bosnia-Herzegovina telecoms statistics – 2010; 2012
Sector | 2010 | 2012 (e)
Subscribers to telecoms services (thousand)
Fixed-line telephone subscribers | 989 | 950
Broadband subscribers | 360 | 480
Mobile phone subscribers | 3,013 | 3,190
Telecom penetration by service
Fixed-line telephony | 26% | 23%
Broadband | 9.5% | 13.5%
Mobile phone | 83% | 85%
(Source: BuddeComm based on industry data)
The mobile market makes up more than half of all revenue, with the fixed-line sector declining as customers adopt mobile-centric telecoms solutions.
In late 2011 the regulator reduced licence fees for licence holders by 50% with the aim of encouraging further development in the telecom and broadcasting sectors. The reduction in fees is also expected to impact prices for telecom services for end-users.
In late 2012 the regulator held a public consultation on draft rules to rebalance voice telephony services in Bosnia and Herzegovina to 2015. The rules are intended to establish price caps for providers of voice services with SMP.
Connections speeds remain low, with the majority of lines offering data at up to 2Mb/s, and about 100,000 offering data at up to 4Mb/s. The number of 8Mb/s lines was only about 8,000 in early 2012.
In late 2012 M:tel launched its Open Start line of multi-play packages which include IPTV, internet and landline telephony.
Fixed-line voice revenue has continued to slide, as customers migrate to VoIP and mobile services for voice calls.
GDP in 2011 reached about 1.7% but is expected to show zero growth in 2012, partly caused by the ongoing economic difficulties of its key trading partners.Henry Lancaster October 2012
Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.
This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Bosnia--Herzegovina’s telecommunications market. The report analyses the mobile, internet, broadband, digital TV and converging media sectors.
Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
Facts, figures and statistics;
Industry and regulatory issues;
Major players, revenues, subscribers, ARPU, MoU;
Internet, VoIP, IPTV;
Mobile voice and data markets;
Broadband (FttH, DSL, cable TV, wireless);
Convergence and digital media;
3G subscriber and mobile ARPU data;
Broadband market forecasts for selective years to 2020.
Includes operator data; regulator’s 2011 market report, market developments to October 2012.
Companies covered in this report include:
BH Telecom, HT Mostar, Telekom Sprske
This report is essential reading for those needing high level strategic information and objective analysis on the telecom sector in Iceland.
It provides further information on:
Market liberalisation and regulatory issues;
The impact of the global economic crisis;
Telecoms operators – privatisation, acquisitions, new licences;
Mobile data market developments in coming years in light of spectrum auctions and new license awards;
3G developments, regulatory issues and technologies including HSPA and LTE;
Broadband migration to an FttH architecture;
Historical and current subscriber statistics and forecasts;
ARPU statistics and forecasts.
Learn how to effectively navigate the market research process to help guide your organization on the journey to success.Download eBook