This report covers trends and developments in telecommunications, mobile, Internet, broadband, Internet society and digital TV developments. Subjects include:
Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
Facts, figures and statistics;
Industry and regulatory issues;
Major players, revenues, subscribers, ARPU, MOU;
Mobile voice and data markets;
Broadband (FttH, DSL, wireless);
Broadcasting and digital media.
Proof that a well developed regulatory environment can stimulate competitionA prosperous European Union member, Greece experienced an extended period of strong economic growth until the recent global economic turmoil, which exposed weaknesses in Greece’s economy.
Among these was a reliance on debt to support recent GDP growth, resulting in a high debt to GDP ratio, second only to Italy among EU nations. Double digit fiscal deficits as a percentage of GDP and a lack of political will to implement tough reforms to rein in public spending has contributed significantly to Greece’s current state of economic affairs. The Greek government was later forced to request assistance from the EU and IMF in the spring of 2010, with a loan package of 145 billion approved.
In exchange a range of austerity measures have been introduced, which include reducing public sector spending and increasing taxation, dampening demand. Real GDP is expected to contract by 3% during 2010 followed by a further 0.5% contraction in 2011.
Greece’s telecoms industry is not immune to the contracting economic environment, with operators reporting reduced financial results. Improving competition is evident as operators reduce prices and regulatory-mandated reductions in wholesale tariffs come into force.
The national incumbent, Hellenic Telecommunications Organization, continues to dominate the markets for fixed-line voice, Internet and broadband services. The regulator has become increasingly successful in nurturing competition, with take up of local loop unbundling well underway.
Given the lack of competing infrastructure, broadband penetration in Greece is improving as evident by the increasing number of unbundled lines. Increasing broadband take up based on ADSL networks has supported the launch of broadband services such as broadband TV.
Digital TV services are available via IPTV, satellite and digital terrestrial TV. Increased Internet usage by the broader population is fostering an Internet society, with notable developments in the public administration (e-government) sector.
Greece possesses a well-developed mobile market with mobile ownership levels in excess of 100% although such penetration levels indicate multiple SIM card ownership. Greece’s mobile market is served by three mobile network operators.
Increased mobile market competition has reduced the price difference between fixed and mobile voice services, supporting the trend of substituting fixed lines with mobile. The launch of HSDPA/HSPA networks is supporting the provision of mobile broadband services, with all three operators offering competitive offerings with generous data allowances.
Greeces wholesale market continues to drive the broadband market given the lack of competing network infrastructure. Ongoing monitoring and action by the regulator continues to improve market conditions for competitors.
The incumbent revealed plans to deploy a Fibre-to-the-Cabinet network using Very High Speed DSL technology lines for the final link to the end user. Speeds of up to 50Mb/s are promised.
Digital TV is available via satellite, broadband TV and digital terrestrial TV. Lack of existing cable TV services and low satellite TV penetration offers a substantial growth opportunity for broadband ISPs as the broadband Internet access market matures. The transition to digital only broadcasting is underway; Greece’s commercial broadcasters have engaged a vendor to provide infrastructure to deploy 100% population coverage.Greece’s three established mobile network operators struggle to grow in the current economic climate. One operator has undergone numerous rounds of debt restructuring. Growth is expected to pick up in line with overall economic growth.Greece broadband and telecoms statistics - 2010 - 2011
Sector 2010 2011 Broadband (thousand) Fixed broadband subscribers 2,200 2,400 Mobile broadband subscribers 1,700 1,900 Subscribers to telecoms services (thousand) Fixed-line telephone subscribers 5,800 5,700 Mobile phone subscribers 20,100 20,600 (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.