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Georgia - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses


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Georgia's MagtiCom breaks into the quad play market

Georgia continues to develop its economy in the face of considerable challenges, not least being a fractured political relationship with Russia and the continuing downturn in the Russian economy which has negatively impacted on its own growth potential. There are also difficulties related to breakaway regions which have been recognised by Russia, and in which Russian telcos are active. However, there is potential for economic growth from closer ties to Europe, while new pipelines running across the territory may lessen Georgia's dependence on Russia for oil and gas supplies.

The slow economic growth has impacted on the country's telecom sector. Revenue from fixed-line voice services has fallen sharply, while revenue from the mobile sector has also fallen in the wake of intense competition compounded by the fall in messaging traffic as subscribers migrate to alternative OTT services. The overall market is largely propped up by the broadband sector, where the number of subscribers continues to increase steadily. The sharp growth in the number of fibre broadband connections has impacted on the DS segment as customers are migrated from copper to fibre networks. This development reflects the significant increase in investment in infrastructure in recent years, spurred by the government's national broadband plan.

Since 2003, telecommunications has become one of the fastest growing sectors in the Georgian economy. The share of telecommunications in the country's GDP reached a high of 7%, though it fell to about 5.6% for 2015.

Mobile penetration broached 130% by mid-2016. Further growth in mobile broadband is anticipated following the recent multi-spectrum auction, as well as the award of additional spectrum in the 800MHz band in 2016. Spectrum is being made available for LTE services, and the three MNOs are all investing to expand the reach and capabilities of their LTE infrastructures. In mid-2016 MagtiCom claimed that its LTE-A network provided 90% territorial coverage. Mobile networks are crucial for the provision of voice and data services given that fixed-line networks in many parts of the country remain outdated (particularly in rural and remote areas).

Key developments:

Mediafon Datapro awarded contract to manage number portability database;
MagtiCom offering fixed-line services following acquisition of the ISP Caucasus Online;
Turkcell submits bid for TeliaSonera's 58.55% stake in Fintur Holdings;
Regulator awards spectrum in the 800MHz band to MagtiCom, which it now uses for LTE-A services;
Caucasus Online contracts TE SubCom to upgrade the Caucasus Cable system, to support data of over 9Tb/s;
MagtiCom claiming 90% geographic coverage with LTE-A services.

Market penetration rates in Georgia's telecoms sector 2016 (e)
Penetration of telecoms services: | Penetration
Fixed-line telephony | 19%
Fixed broadband | 15.3%
Mobile SIM (population) | 133%
(Source: BuddeComm)

Companies mentioned in this report:

Caucasus Online, Georgia Online, United Telecom, Telecom Georgia, Egrisi, SaNet, SilkNet, Georgian Railway Telecom, Akhali Kselebi


1. Executive summary
2. Key statistics
3. Country overview
3.1 Economy
4. Telecommunications market
4.1 Market analysis
5. Regulatory environment
5.1 Regulatory authority
5.2 Privatisation
5.3 Numbering changes
5.4 Number Portability (NP)
5.5 Licensing and auctions background information
5.6 Illegal operations
5.7 Call termination
6. Fixed network operators
6.1 United Telecom (formerly Sakartvelos Elektrokavshiri)
6.2 Telecom Georgia (Sakartvelos Telekomi)
6.3 NewNet Telecommunications (Akhali Kselebi)
6.4 Egrisi
6.5 Georgian Railway Telecom (GRT)
7. Telecommunications infrastructure
7.1 Overview of the national telecom network
7.2 Forecasts fixed-line subscribers 2016; 2018; 2021
7.3 International infrastructure
8. Fixed-line broadband market
8.1 Broadband statistics
8.2 Forecasts broadband subscribers 2016; 2018; 2021
8.3 Fixed-line broadband technologies
8.3.1 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks
8.3.2 Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP) networks
8.3.3 Other fixed broadband services
9. Digital media
10. Mobile market
10.1 Market analysis
10.2 Mobile statistics
10.3 Mobile data
10.3.1 SMS and MMS
10.4 Mobile broadband
10.5 Forecasts mobile subscribers 2016; 2018; 2021
10.6 Regulatory issues
10.6.1 Georgia's unrecognised operators
10.6.2 Frequency auctions
10.6.3 Mobile Number Portability 9MNP)
10.7 Mobile infrastructure
10.7.1 Digital networks
10.8 Major mobile operators
10.8.1 Geocell
10.8.2 MagtiCom
10.8.3 Mobitel (Beeline)
11. Related reports
Table 1 Country statistics Georgia 2016 (e)
Table 2 Telecom revenue and investment statistics 2016 (e)
Table 3 Telephone network statistics 2016 (Jun)
Table 4 Internet user statistics 2016 (e)
Table 5 Mobile statistics 2016 (e)
Table 6 National telecommunications authority
Table 7 Georgia's GDP real growth rate 2006 - 2016
Table 8 Telecom market revenue 2001 - 2016
Table 9 Fixed lines by major operator 2013 - 2016
Table 10 Historic - Fixed lines in service, annual change and penetration 1995 - 2009
Table 11 Fixed lines in service, annual change and penetration 2010 - 2017
Table 12 Fixed-line subscribers by technology 2013 - 2016
Table 13 Fixed-line revenue 2013 - 2016
Table 14 Forecast - fixed line subscriptions 2016; 2018; 2021
Table 15 International internet bandwidth capacity 2001 - 2015
Table 16 Historic - Internet users and penetration rate 1996 - 2009
Table 17 Internet users and penetration rate 2010 - 2017
Table 18 Fixed-line internet subscribers and penetration 2001 - 2016
Table 19 Household internet penetration 2005 - 2016
Table 20 Fixed broadband subscribers 2001 - 2016
Table 21 Broadband market revenue 2013 - 2016
Table 22 Fixed broadband subscribers by major operator 2013 - 2016
Table 23 Forecast - fixed broadband subscribers 2016; 2018; 2021
Table 24 DSL subscribers 2008 - 2016
Table 25 Caucasus Online internet revenue 2013 - 2016
Table 26 SilkNet internet revenue 2013 - 2016
Table 27 FttP subscribers 2010 - 2016
Table 28 WiMAX subscribers 2010 2016
Table 29 Wi-Fi subscribers 2012 2016
Table 30 TV subscribers by platform 2011 - 2015
Table 31 Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 1999 - 2009
Table 32 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 2010 - 2017
Table 33 Mobile market revenue 2013 - 2016
Table 34 SMS traffic 2013 - 2016
Table 35 MMS traffic 2013 - 2016
Table 36 Active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration 2010 - 2016
Table 37 EVDO/CDMA internet subscribers 2012 2016
Table 38 Forecast mobile subscribers 2016; 2018; 2021
Table 39 Mobile number portings 2011 - 2016
Table 40 SilkNet mobile subscribers 2013 - 2016
Table 41 SilkNet mobile revenue 2013 - 2016
Table 42 Mobile market share by operator 2012 - 2016
Table 43 Geocell subscribers 2002 - 2016
Table 44 Geocell mobile revenue 2013 - 2016
Table 45 MagtiCom subscribers 2007 - 2016
Table 46 MagtiCom mobile revenue 2013 - 2016
Table 47 Mobitel total mobile subscribers 2007 - 2016
Table 48 Mobitel mobile broadband subscribers 2011 - 2013
Table 49 MagtiCom mobile revenue 2013 - 2016
Chart 1 - Fixed lines in service, annual change and penetration - 2005 2017
Chart 2 - Internet users, annual change and penetration rate - 2005 2017
Chart 3 - Fixed broadband subscribers - 2005 2017
Chart 4 - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate - 2005 2017
Exhibit 1 United Telecom's Tbilisi network infrastructure

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