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Greece - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts

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;
  • Infrastructure;
  • Major players, revenues, subscribers, ARPU, MOU;
  • Internet, IPTV;
  • 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.

Market highlights:

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.

1. Key Statistics
2. Telecommunications Market
2.1 Overview of Greece’s telecom market
3. Regulatory Environment
3.1 Background
3.1.1 EU regulatory framework
3.2 Regulatory authority
3.2.1 National Telecommunications and Post Commission (EETT)
3.3 Telecom sector liberalisation in Greece
3.3.1 Privatisation
3.3.2 Interconnection
3.3.3 Access
3.3.4 Number portability
3.3.5 Carrier selection and carrier preselection
4. Fixed Network Market
4.1 Overview of operators
4.2 Hellenic Telecommunications Organization (OTE)
4.3 Tellas
4.4 FORTHnet
4.5 On Telecoms
5. Telecommunications Infrastructure
5.1 National telecom network
5.1.1 OTE
5.1.2 Alternative operators
5.1.3 Satellite networks
5.1.4 Submarine cables
5.2 Wholesaling
5.3 Telecoms and IT
6. Internet Market
6.1 Overview
6.2 Internet statistics
6.3 Greece’s emerging Internet society
6.3.1 E-Government
7. Broadband Market
7.1 Overview
7.2 Fixed broadband statistics
7.3 Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)
7.4 Fibre-to-the-Home (FttH) networks
7.5 Wireless broadband
7.5.1 WiFi
7.5.2 WiMAX
7.5.3 Satellite
8. Digital Media
8.1 Overview of the broadcasting market
8.1.1 Digital TV
9. Mobile Communications
9.1 Overview of Greece’s mobile market
9.2 Regulatory issues
9.2.1 Significant Market Power (SMP) obligations
9.2.2 Mobile termination rates
9.2.3 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
9.3 Mobile statistics
9.4 Mobile technologies
9.4.1 Digital
9.4.2 Third Generation (3G) mobile
9.5 Major mobile operators
9.5.1 Wind Hellas (TIM Hellas)
9.5.2 Vodafone Greece
9.5.3 Cosmote
9.6 Mobile voice services
9.6.1 Prepaid cards
9.7 Mobile data services
9.7.1 Short Messaging Service (SMS)/Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
9.7.2 General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)
9.7.3 Mobile TV
9.7.4 i-mode
9.7.5 BlackBerry
9.7.6 Mobile broadband
9.7.7 Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC)
9.8 Mobile content and applications
10. Forecasts
10.1 Forecasts - fixed broadband subscribers - 2010 - 2013; 2020
10.1.1 Scenario 1 - stronger broadband subscriber growth
10.1.2 Scenario 2 - slower broadband subscriber growth
11. Glossary of Abbreviations
List of Tables and Exhibits
Table 1 - Country statistics Greece - 2010
Table 2 - Telephone network statistics - 2010
Table 3 - Internet user statistics - 2010
Table 4 - Internet subscriber statistics - 2010
Table 5 - Broadband subscriber statistics - 2010
Table 6 - Mobile statistics - 2010
Table 7 - National telecommunications authority
Table 8 - Interconnection rates - 2006 - 2009
Table 9 - Cost of local loop unbundling and shared access - 2008 - 2009
Table 10 - OTE group financial data - 2006 - 2010
Table 11 - Tellas revenue and EBITDA - 2008 - 2010
Table 12 - Tellas direct and indirect subscribers - 2008 - 2010
Table 13 - Tellas blended, direct and indirect ARPU - 2008 - 2010
Table 14 - FORTHnet financial data - 2009 - 2010
Table 15 - Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 2000 - 2011
Table 16 - OTE fixed lines in service - 2005 - 2009
Table 17 - Wholesale lines by type - 2009 - 2010
Table 18 - Collocation availability and uptake - 2007 - 2009
Table 19 - ICT market revenue - 2006 - 2010
Table 20 - Workplace network usage by network type - 2009
Table 21 - Internet users, subscribers and penetration - 1999 - 2011
Table 22 - Online purchases by individuals - 2005 - 2010
Table 23 - Electronic sales as percentage of total non-VAT turnover for non-financial sector businesses with 10 or more employees - 2009
Table 24 - E-Education usage by individuals - 2007 - 2010
Table 25 - E-Education usage by businesses - 2009 - 2010
Table 26 - Uptake of e-government services by businesses - 2004 - 2010
Table 27 - Uptake of e-government services by individuals - 2004 - 2010
Table 28 - Fixed broadband subscribers and penetration - 2003 - 2010
Table 29 - Fixed broadband subscribers by data speed - January 2010
Table 30 - OTE retail and wholesale ADSL subscribers - 2007 - 2009
Table 31 - FORTHnet broadband and LLU subscribers - 2007 - 2010
Table 32 - Broadcaster audience share - 2009
Table 33 - Mobile subscribers and penetration - 1996 - 2011
Table 34 - Wind Hellas financial data - 2010
Table 35 - Wind Hellas ARPU - 2009 - 2010
Table 36 - Vodafone subscribers & voice minutes - 2008 - 2010
Table 37 - Vodafone ARPU - 2008 - 2010
Table 38 - Cosmote financial data - 2007 - 2010
Table 39 - Cosmote subscribers and ARPU - 2006 - 2010
Table 40 - Ratio of prepaid to postpaid subscribers - 2000 - 2010
Table 41 - Cosmote prepaid subscribers - 2005 - 2010
Table 42 - Vodafone prepaid subscribers - 2005 - 2009
Table 43 - Total SMS messages sent - 2002 - 2010
Table 44 - Mobile broadband subscribers - 2004 - 2011
Table 45 - Forecast fixed broadband subscribers - higher growth scenario - 2010 - 2013; 2020
Table 46 - Forecast fixed broadband subscribers - lower growth scenario - 2010 - 2013; 2020
Exhibit 1 - The EU regulatory framework for communications
Exhibit 2 - 2001 2G auction results in Greece
Exhibit 3 - 2001 3G auction results in Greece

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