Government nears sale of 75% interest in telecom incumbent
Kosovo has benefited from financial and regulatory assistance as part of the EU pre-accession process, The EU remains Kosovo’s main trading partner and its main source of foreign direct investment.
Telecom sector overview
The country’s telecom sector has been liberalised, with new legislation introduced in late 2012 to align with the EU’s revised regulatory framework. It also adopted measures relating to competition and to facilitating the market entry of new players. Nevertheless, poor telecom infrastructure has meant that fixed-line penetration remains low by European standards. Unlike most markets, the fixed-line broadband sector is dominated by new players, in particular the cable operator IPKO which has upgraded its network with DOCSIS3.0 technology.
Broadband penetration in Kosovo is developing slowly, with effective competition between the main cable and DSL operators. There are a number of smaller ISPs, though the sector is dominated by only two players. Cable accounts for the majority of connections, and though the incumbent PTK is building out an upgraded fibre-based NGN investment has been insufficient.
The mobile sector accounts for most lines as well as the greater part of telecom revenue. Two MNOs compete with two MVNOs, though the latter have a very small market presence. The prepaid sector accounts for the vast majority of subscribers, though it is gradually losing ground as more contract subscribers sign up for services. Mobile data services will become increasingly important in coming years as a source of new revenue growth.
Kosovo – Key telecom parameters – 2010; 2012
Sector | 2010 | 2012 (e)
Subscribers to services (thousand)
Fixed-line | 83 | 85
Fixed broadband | 126 | 144
Mobile phone | 1,450 | 1,570
Penetration rate by service:
Fixed-line | 4.4% | 4.9%
Fixed broadband | 6.1% | 8.4%
Mobile phone | 70% | 90%
(Source: BuddeComm based on industry data)
Competition in the liberalised telecom market has been facilitated by the 2012 Law On Electronic Telecommunications which aims to ease the market entry of new players. Nevertheless, continuing poor investment in the sector has meant that fixed-line telecoms penetration in Kosovo remains among the lowest in Europe.
Broadband availability through DSL, cable and wireless services is being supplemented by nascent FttX deployments. Poor infrastructure means that rural broadband is still dominated by wireless access: WiMAX networks offer near universal population coverage, though data speeds are commonly about 256Kb/s, which severely limits internet functionality.
Digital TV programming is available from the cable TV operator IPKO. The country’s main broadcasters have formed a consortium to promote digital terrestrial TV development.
Competition in the mobile market is secured by two MNOs and two MVNOs, though the latter have a limited presence. Relatively high mobile penetration showcases the sector’s popularity as a customer response to poor fixed-line infrastructure.
Henry Lancaster December 2012
Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.
This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Kosovo’s telecommunications market. The report analyses the mobile, Internet, broadband, digital TV and converging media sectors.
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 (FttX, DSL, cable, wireless);
Broadband market forecasts for selective years to 2020.
Mobile subscriber base climbs steadily in 2012; government’s delayed privatisation of PTK opposed by trade union body; telecom sector revenue showed slight growth into 2012; continuing economic strain leads to fall in telecom investment; PTK expands fixed-lines services with €10 million investment; Kosovo adopt new Law On Electronic Communications; IPKO launches an 80Mb/s offer; regulator’s H1 2012 market data, market developments to December 2012.
Companies covered in this report include:
PTK, IPKO, Artmotion, Kujtesa; Dukagjini Telecommunications, Dardafon.This report is essential reading for those needing high level strategic information and objective analysis on the telecom sector in Kosovo.
It provides further information on:
Market liberalisation and regulatory issues;
The impact of the global economic crisis;
Telecoms operators – privatisation, acquisitions, new licences;
Mobile data market developments in coming years;
3G developments, regulatory issues and technologies;
Broadband migration to an FttH architecture;
Historical and current subscriber statistics and forecasts;
ARPU statistics and forecasts.