Czech Republic - Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts
MNOs prepare to reap benefits of LTE network sharing agreements
The Czech Republic’s small but mature telecom market enjoys effective competition in all segments, with alternative operators gaining size and strength through organic growth. Merger and acquisition activity continues, while the incumbent O2 CR was in early 2014 acquired by the investment firm PPF, bringing to an end Telefónica’s longstanding involvement in the market.
O2 CR is facing the increasingly challenging task of stabilising revenue as fixed-line traffic continues to migrate to mobile operators and competing fixed-line operators. Mobile penetration in the Czech Republic is among the highest in Central European nations. With mobile voice markets saturated, the established operators have focused on growing revenue by marketing mobile broadband and other value-added services such as mobile content and applications.
The Czech Republic’s media market is evolving under the weight of digital TV and convergence trends, with over half the population now receiving TV services digitally. The uptake of IPTV services is growing on the back of more affordable broadband access while the cable TV market has undergone consolidation to create a major player sizeable enough to compete effectively against the telecoms incumbent.
The country’s fixed-line broadband market continues to experience growth, though this has begun to slow in response to higher consumer penetration of services. The sector has more recently seen stronger growth in the cable sector as the proportion of DSL lines has begun to slide as customers migrate to fibre networks which are being built out by a number of telcos. Fixed wireless broadband remains strong, with penetration among the highest in the EU. Widespread broadband access has laid the foundation for a developing internet society, with a range of online services and activities taking place.
O2 Czech becomes part of the investment group PPF; banking group acquires 6% of O2 CR from smaller investors; VOLNY transfers DSL subscribers to O2 CR; stagnant economy affecting consumer spend on telecom services; regulator consults on the tender for additional frequencies in the 800MHz, 1800MHz and 2600MHz bands; O2 CR and T-Mobile CR agree a national LTE network sharing deal, Vodafone negotiates to join as well; MNOs promote m-payment services; T-Mobile CR launches DC-HSPA+ offering 42Mb/s as well as the country’s first LTE-A service; Vodafone upgrades network HSPA+; spectrum auction in 800MHz band results; mobile ARPU continues to fall; MVNO market developing with new players; MTRs reduced for incumbent MNOs; Vodafone launches VDSL2 services; RIO Media building one of the largest FttP networks; BPL in Prague a success through SmartCity Platform; cloud computing used by 20% of businesses; SkyLink bought by M7 Group; DVB-T2 reaches two-thirds population coverage; UPC plans to create separate infrastructure and services divisions; regulator’s 2013 annual report and market data updates; telcos’ operating and financial data to Q2 2014; market developments into 2014.
Companies and subsidiaries mentioned in this report include:
O2 Czech Republic, T-Mobile Czech Republic, GTS Czech, Èeské Radiokomunikace, MobilKom, T-Systems Czech Republic, BT, ÈD-Telematika, ÈEZ ICT Services, UPC Èeská republika, Vodafone CR, Air Telekom (MobilKom), UPC, DigiTV, CRa, CDG, Nej TV, RIO Media
Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year
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