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Bosnia-Herzegovina - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband & Forecasts

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The Bosnia-Herzegovina - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband & Forecasts report includes all BuddeComm research data and analysis on this country. Covering trends and developments in telecommunications, mobile, internet, broadband, infrastructure and regulation. Please review the Executive Summary and Table of Contents for more details.

Executive summary

Bosnia-Herzegovina has made marked economic development since emerging from war, elevating the country to middle-income status as defined by the World Bank. It is also working towards joining the EU, signing a Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) which oversees closer integration with the EU and covers commitments to political, economic, trade, or human rights reform in a country in exchange for tariff-free access to some or all EU markets, financial or technical assistance. As part of the EU pre-accession process, Bosnia-Herzegovina is expected to receive financial aid to build public institutions and improve cross-border co-operation; €89.1 million during 2009, €106.0 million during 2010, €108.1 million during 2011 and €110.2 million during 2012.

Much of Bosnia-Herzegovina’s economic growth was assisted in large part due to foreign direct investment (FDI), which had the flow on effect of driving domestic demand, increasing inflation and widening the trade imbalance. Hence the recent global financial crisis impacted Bosnia-Herzegovina significantly as bank credit dried up and demand for exports fell due to deteriorating conditions in the EU, its main trading partner. Assistance was sought from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which approved US$1.57 billion in funding in July 2009 to support a program to cushion the economy from the effects of the global financial crisis and adopt policies to address fiscal imbalances and strengthen the financial sector. The IMF estimates real GDP will contract in Bosnia-Herzegovina by 3% during 2009.

A significant contraction is not expected in the telecoms market given the essential nature and existing growth patterns of most telecom services. The liberalised market is regulated in line with the EU’s regulatory framework for communications, promoting competition as the most efficient way to offer communications products and services.

A considerable amount of network investment has been undertaken by the country’s three incumbent operators, which operate along regional lines, to offer broadband services, which are available via ADSL, cable and wireless. Internet usage is growing due to rising income levels and improved affordability, with broadband representing an increasing proportion of Internet subscriptions as subscribers upgrade from dial-up services, a trend that will continue in 2009 due to significant number of users still on dial-up services.

Bosnia-Herzegovina boasts a developing broadcasting market, with programming available via cable, terrestrial FTA and broadband TV (IPTV). Digital TV programming is available and triple play offerings have been introduced.

Bosnia has three mobile network operators, each affiliated with one of the three incumbent fixed-line operators. Unlike their fixed-line counterparts, all three mobile network operators offer near-national coverage. Most subscribers utilise prepaid services, which has contributed to subscriber growth through more affordable services. MVNO-based services are to be introduced by 2011 as per Bosnia-Herzegovina’s telecoms policy for 2008-2012. Mobile data services are offered by all three mobile network operators, including SMS, MMS, GPRS, EDGE, WCDMA and HSDPA.

Key highlights:

Fixed teledensity levels have plateaued, attributed to fixed mobile substitution due to rising mobile penetration levels. To arrest the trend incumbents are focusing on increasing ADSL take up, upgrading networks and backhaul as a result.

Broadband now represent the majority of Internet subscriptions. Broadband growth has largely been driven by ADSL, although broadband access is also accessible via cable, wireless and fibre. Continual growth is expected in 2009 as dial-up subscribers upgrade connections to broadband.

A digital switchover transition for terrestrial TV has been published for approval. The strategy proposes an analogue switch over date of December 2011 and the use of DVB-T with MPEG-4 compression. Subsidies are proposed to stimulate fast STB penetration, enable monitoring and allow broadcasters to speed up the digital switchover process. Digital TV is already available via cable and IPTV.

Mobile penetration growth is expected to be relatively subdued in 2009 after the equivalent of a quarter of Bosnia-Herzegovina’s population purchased a mobile SIM service in the preceding year. Prospects for the mobile data market have improved after each of the three existing mobile network operators was awarded a 3G licence in March 2009. Mobile broadband offerings with prepaid bundled data allowances are now available.Bosnia-Herzegovina - key telecom parameters - 2008 - 2009 Sector20082009 (e)


Fixed broadband subscribers (thousand)189300
Fixed broadband penetration rate5%7%
Subscribers to Telecoms Services
Fixed-line telephone subscribers (thousand)980950
Mobile phone subscribers (thousand)3,1803,500
(Source: BuddeComm based on industry data)
This report covers trends and developments in telecommunications, mobile, Internet,
broadband, digital TV. Subjects include:

Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
Facts, figures and statistics;
Industry and regulatory issues;
Infrastructure developments;
Major Players, Revenues, Subscribers;
Mobile Voice and Data Markets;
Broadband (FttH, DSL, cable TV, wireless);
Digital Media;
Broadband forecasts for selective years to 2018.

  • Executive summary
    • Table Bosnia-Herzegovina - key telecom parameters - 2008 - 2009
  • Key statistics
    • Table Country statistics Bosnia-Herzegovina - 2009
    • Table Telephone network statistics - 2009
    • Table Internet user statistics - 2009
    • Table Internet subscriber statistics - 2009
    • Table Broadband statistics - 2009
    • Table Mobile statistics - March 2009
    • Table National telecommunications authority
    • Country overview
  • Telecommunications market
    • Overview of Bosnia-Herzegovina's telecom market
  • Regulatory environment
    • Background
    • Telecom sector liberalisation in Bosnia-Herzegovina
    • Regulatory authority
      • Communications Regulatory Agency (CRA)
    • Interconnection
      • Table Incumbent network call termination cost - January 2009
    • Access
    • Number portability
    • Carrier Selection / Carrier Preselection
    • Tariff rebalancing
    • Licences
    • Privatisation
      • BH Telecom
      • HT Mostar
      • Telekom Srpske
  • Fixed network operators in Bosnia-Herzegovina
    • Overview of operators
    • BH Telecom
    • HT Mostar
    • Telekom Srpske
  • Telecommunications infrastructure
    • National telecom network
      • Table Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 1999 - 2009
      • Table Fixed lines in service per incumbent operator - 2001 - 2008
  • Internet market
    • Overview
      • Table Internet users, subscribers and penetration rates - 1999 - 2009
    • Information society
    • ISP market
  • Broadband market
    • Overview
      • Table Broadband subscribers and penetration rate - 2002 - 2009
      • Table Broadband subscribers by access type - 2004 - 2008
      • Table Broadband subscribers by ISP and market share - 2008
    • Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)
    • Cable broadband
    • Wireless broadband
  • Digital media
    • Overview of broadcasting market
    • Digital TV
      • Broadband TV (IPTV)
      • Cable TV (CATV)
      • Digital Terrestrial TV (DTTV)
  • Mobile communications
    • Overview of Bosnia-Herzegovina's mobile market
      • Table Mobile operators, subscribers and annual change - March 2009
      • Table Mobile subscribers and penetration rate - 1998 - 2009
      • Table Mobile market share by revenue - 2008
      • Table Mobile network call termination cost - January 2009
    • Regulatory issues
      • National licences
      • National roaming
      • 3G mobile licenses
    • Mobile technologies
      • Digital
      • Third generation mobile
    • Mobile operators
      • Overview of operators
      • GSM BiH
      • Mobilna Srpske (m:tel)
      • HT Mobile (Eronet)
    • Mobile voice services
      • Prepaid cards
        • Table Prepaid users by mobile network operator - 2003 - 2008
    • Mobile data services
      • Short Message Service (SMS) / Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
      • General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)
        • Table GPRS subscribers per operator - 2006 - 2008
      • Enhanced Data for GSM Evolution (EDGE)
    • Mobile content and applications
  • Forecasts
    • Forecasts - fixed broadband subscribers - 2009 - 2012; 2018
      • Scenario 1 - higher broadband subscriber growth
        • Table Forecast fixed broadband subscribers - higher growth scenario - 2009 - 2012;2018
      • Scenario 2 - lower broadband subscriber growth
        • Table Forecast fixed broadband subscribers - lower growth scenario - 2009 - 2012;2018
    • Notes on scenario forecasts

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