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Croatia - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts


Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

This report covers trends and developments in telecommunications, mobile, Internet, broadband, digital TV and converging media including VoIP and IPTV developments. Subjects include:

  • Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
  • Facts, figures and statistics;
  • Industry and regulatory issues;
  • Infrastructure;
  • Major players, revenues, subscribers, ARPU;
  • Internet, VoIP, IPTV;
  • Mobile voice and data markets;
  • Broadband (FttH, DSL, cable TV, wireless);
  • Convergence and digital media;
  • Broadband and mobile market forecasts for selective years to 2018.


Croatia has prospered due to its close relationship with the European Union although its ambition of EU ascension has been hampered recently by an ongoing border dispute with neighbouring EU member nation Slovenia. Close economic ties with both EU and non-EU nations is evident; principal export partners are Germany, Italy, Bosnia and Herzegovina while its main import sources are Italy, Germany and Russia. The global financial crisis has impacted Croatia, with GDP contracting during Q1 2009 by 6.7% on an annualised basis due to falling personal consumption, which represents approximately 60% of GDP, while unemployment has risen for the first time since 2002.

  The overall telecom industry is expected to weather the economic turmoil relatively well due to the essential nature of most telecom services. Croatia’s liberalised telecommunications generated a total of HRK15 billion during 2008, a 3.4% annual increase. The mobile market was the biggest contributor, generating HRK8.5 billion in revenue, followed by the fixed-line market, generating revenue in excess of HRK5 billion; data transmission revenue exceeded HRK1 billion in revenue.

  Following market liberalisation alternative operators have made inroads into the fixed telephony market, with the incumbent’s market share slipping below 80% of total subscribers. To ensure fair competition a number of regulatory measures have been introduced including reducing the incumbent’s rates for call termination as well as improving access to its last mile network.

  Broadband services are widely available and DSL is the dominant form of broadband access, with competing services available via cable, FttH, and wireless broadband. Recognising the potential of applying ICT to improve both social and economic development, Croatia has taken steps to develop a knowledge-based society, encompassing education, health and government services. A healthy digital TV market is evident, with content accessible via cable TV, satellite and broadband TV. Bundled offerings such as triple play have been launched by the cable operators and the telecoms incumbent.  

Croatia’s mobile market is one of the most highly penetrated in the Balkans region. MVNOs have commenced services adding to the present competition provided by a recently established third mobile network operator. With the mobile voice market at near saturation levels, the established mobile network operators have focused on improving ARPU levels by encouraging prepaid subscribers to migrate to postpaid plans as well as encouraging take up of mobile broadband services based on deployed 3G/HSPA networks.

  Key highlights:

  • Regulatory measures designed to improve competition are having an effect: the number of local loops unbundled from the incumbent rose by 28% during the first six months in 2009; call termination rates on the incumbent’s fixed network as well as the networks of the two biggest mobile operators fell by 14% during 2008 and 2009 respectively.
  • Representing an increasing proportion of total Internet subscribers, fixed broadband penetration is rising on the back of increasing availability; competing platforms such as cable, FTTx and WiMAX as well as regulatory-based measures such as LLU. The incumbent and competing operators have utilised broadband to offer and bundle convergence services such as IPTV and VoIP into double and triple play packages.
  • An emerging Internet society is evident, encompassing education, health, commerce and government services. E-government services are available for both businesses and individuals and usage is increasing. E-government services development during 2009-2012 will be guided by a development strategy adopted in January 2009.
  • Digital TV prospects have improved: an analogue to digital TV switch-over strategy has been adopted and a licence to operate two DVB-T multiplexes was awarded in May 2009, with the successful bidder required to expand DTTV coverage to 95% of the population. Competing digital TV offerings are already available via cable, IPTV and satellite.
  • Mobile broadband is the next growth opportunity for Croatia’s three GSM/WCDMA mobile network operators in the country’s saturated mobile market, with mobile broadband penetration hovering at only 4%. The future growth path of mobile broadband take up is expected to emulate that of the mobile voice market over the coming years due to the decreasing cost of access and capable handsets decrease and increasing end user awareness and ease of use.
  •  
Croatia - Key telecom parameters - 2008 - 2009
Sector | 2008 | 2009 (e) |
Broadband |
Fixed broadband subscribers(thousand) | 525 | 650 |
Fixed broadband penetration rate | 12% | 15% |
Mobile broadband penetration rate | 4% | 6% |
Subscribers to telecoms services |
Fixed-line telephone subscribers (thousand) | 1,850 | 1,840 |
Mobile phone subscribers (thousand) | 5,900 | 6,400 |
3G subscribers | 418 | 770 |
3G market share of mobile base | 7% | 12% |
| (Source: BuddeComm based on industry data)

    Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.

1. Key Statistics
2. Telecommunications Market
2.1 Overview of Croatia’s telecom market
3. Regulatory Environment
3.1 Background
3.2 Regulatory authority
3.3 Telecom sector liberalisation in Croatia
3.3.1 Privatisation
3.3.2 Interconnect
3.3.3 Access
3.3.4 Number portability (NP)
3.3.5 Carrier PreSelection (CPS)
4. Fixed Network Operators in Croatia
4.1 Introduction
4.2 T-Hrvatski Telekom (T-HT)
4.3 H1 Telekom (Portus)
4.4 Optima Telekom
4.5 Metronet
5. Telecommunications Infrastructure
5.1 Overview
5.2 Telecoms & IT
6. Wholesaling
6.1 Overview
7. Internet Market
7.1 Overview
7.1.1 Internet statistics
7.2 Croatia’s emerging Internet economy
7.2.1 E-government
7.2.2 E-education
7.2.3 E-health
8. Broadband Market
8.1 Overview
8.1.1 Broadband statistics
8.2 Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)
8.3 Cable modems
8.4 Fibre-to-the-Home (FttH) networks
8.5 Wireless broadband
8.5.1 WiFi
8.5.2 WiMAX
9. Convergence
9.1 Triple play models
9.2 Overview of broadcasting market
9.3 Regulatory issues
9.4 Digital TV
9.4.1 Broadband TV (IPTV)
9.4.2 Cable TV
9.4.3 Satellite-based digital pay TV
9.4.4 Digital Terrestrial TV (DTTV)
10. Mobile Communications
10.1 Overview of Croatia’s mobile market
10.1.1 Mobile statistics
10.2 Regulatory issues
10.2.1 Third GSM licence and 3G licences
10.2.2 Fourth GSM licence
10.2.3 Mobile number portability (MNP)
10.2.4 Mobile Tax
10.2.5 Network interconnection
10.3 Mobile technologies
10.3.1 Digital
10.3.2 3G mobile
10.4 Major mobile operators
10.4.1 T-Mobile Hrvatska
10.4.2 VIPnet
10.4.3 Tele2 Croatia
10.4.4 Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
10.5 Mobile voice services
10.5.1 Prepaid cards
10.6 Mobile data services
10.6.1 Short Message Service (SMS) / Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
10.6.2 General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)
10.6.3 Enhanced Data for GSM Evolution (EDGE)
10.6.4 BlackBerry
10.6.5 Mobile broadband
10.6.6 Mobile TV
10.7 Mobile content and applications
10.7.1 M-commerce
11. Forecasts
11.1 Forecast fixed broadband subscribers - 2009 - 2012; 2018
11.1.1 Scenario 1 - higher broadband subscriber growth
11.1.2 Scenario 2 - lower broadband subscriber growth
11.2 Forecast 3G subscribers - 2009 - 2012; 2018
12. Glossary of Abbreviations
List of Tables
Table 1 - Country statistics Croatia - 2008
Table 2 - Telephone network statistics - 2008
Table 3 - Internet user statistics - 2008
Table 4 - Internet subscriber statistics - 2008
Table 5 - Broadband subscriber statistics - 2008
Table 6 - Mobile statistics - March 2009
Table 7 - National telecommunications authority
Table 8 - T-Hrvatski Telekom financial data - 2007 - 2008
Table 9 - T-Hrvatski Telekom fixed lines by type - 2005 - 2008
Table 10 - T-Hrvatski Telekom data subscribers by type - 2005 - 2008
Table 11 - Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 1995 - 2009
Table 12 - Workplace network usage by network type - 2008
Table 13 - Internet users, subscribers and penetration rates - 1999 - 2008
Table 14 - Internet penetration among businesses, by number of employees - 2007 - 2008
Table 15 - Percentage of businesses receiving orders online, by number of employees - 2007 - 2008
Table 16 - Online purchases by age group - 2008
Table 17 - Items purchased online by individuals - 2008
Table 18 - Uptake of e-government services by businesses - 2007 - 2008
Table 19 - Uptake of e-government services by individuals - 2008
Table 20 - Fixed broadband subscribers and penetration rate - 2003 - 2009
Table 21 - T-HT ADSL subscribers & ARPU - 2002 - 2009
Table 22 - Audience share by broadcaster - prime time - 2004 - 2009
Table 23 - Audience share by broadcaster - all day - 2004 - 2009
Table 24 - Total TV advertising spending - 2004 - 2008
Table 25 - MAXtv subscribers - 2006 - 2009
Table 26 - Cable TV subscribers - 2005 - 2009
Table 27 - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate - 1997 - 2009
Table 28 - Mobile operators, subscribers and annual change - March 2009
Table 29 - T-Mobile financial and operational data - 2004 - 2008
Table 30 - T-Mobile churn, subscriber acquisition costs & ARPU - 2005 - 2008
Table 31 - VIPnet financial data - 2004 - 2008
Table 32 - VIPnet prepaid, postpaid & blended monthly ARPU - 2004 - 2008
Table 33 - VIPnet Minutes of Use (MOU) - 2007 - 2008
Table 34 - Tele2 financial data - 2008
Table 35 - T-Mobile prepaid subscribers - 2001 - 2009
Table 36 - VIPnet prepaid subscribers - 2004 - 2008
Table 37 - Total mobile broadband subscribers - 2007 - 2009
Table 38 - Forecast fixed broadband subscribers - higher growth scenario - 2009 - 2012; 2018
Table 39 - Forecast fixed broadband subscribers - lower growth scenario - 2009 - 2012; 2018
Table 40 - Forecast 3G subscribers - lower and higher growth scenarios - 2009 - 2012; 2018
Exhibit 1 - The EU regulatory framework for communications
Exhibit 2 - Access and the local loop
Exhibit 3 - BlackBerry services defined

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