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Kosovo - Telecoms, Mobile & Broadband


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The Kosovo - Telecoms, Mobile & Broadband report includes all BuddeComm research data and analysis on this country. Covering trends and developments in telecommunications, mobile, internet, broadband, infrastructure and regulation.


Executive summary

Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia in February 2008 when the Kosovo Assembly adopted a resolution which declares Kosovo to be independent. This was followed by a Constitution that came into force in June 2008. Kosovo has been under the interim administration of the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) since 1999 although since December 2008 its role has been minor.

Considered a potential EU candidate, Kosovo commenced in November 2002 the EU’s Stabilisation Tracking Mechanism (STM), a mirror instrument of the Stabilisation and Association Process (SAP) used to integrate potential EU candidate countries with the EU. The process aims at building an institutional, legislative, economic and social framework directed by the values and models subscribed to by the EU, as well as at promoting the transition to a market economy.

As part of the EU pre-accession process, Kosovo has received financial aid to build public institutions and improve cross-border co-operation under EU funding mechanism Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance. Under the IPA, Kosovo is expected to receive €106.1 million during 2009, €67.3 million during 2010, €68.7 million during 2011 and €70.0 million during 2012. The EU is the main trading partner of Kosovo as well its main source of foreign direct investment, with the country’s economy transitioning to a market-based economy. Despite the latest global economic turmoil Kosovo sustained relatively strong economic growth during 2008 on the back of sustained donor activity, overseas worker remittances and increased public investment although remittances may decline during 2009 as Europe contends with recession.

Kosovo’s telecom industry has been liberalised and legislation has been introduced that adopts regulatory principles found in the EU’s regulatory framework for communications, which promotes competition as the most efficient way to offer communications products and services while ensuring universal access.

Prior to independence Kosovo operated its own telecom industry, with a separate ministry, regulator, network operators and service providers. As Kosovo’s international status has not been finalised it is yet to receive a country code from the ITU. Hence network operators in Kosovo at present use one of three country codes: Monaco (+377), Slovenia (+386) and Serbia (381).

Low Internet penetration in Kosovo has been attributed to the lack of economic development, resulting in low purchasing power and consequent low PC penetration and take up of Internet subscriptions. Internet service availability is expanding as network operators build out networks. The government has launched a number of Initiatives to improve Internet usage, such as providing PCs and broadband Internet connections for schools. Broadband access services are offered by the incumbent as well as a number of competing operators. As of January 2009 a total of 10 ISPs were licensed to offer Internet access services.

Kosovo’s mobile market is serviced by two mobile networks operators and two MVNOs. Mobile services are marketed via postpaid and prepaid tariff options, with the latter instrumental in popularising mobile voice services due to its inherent flexibility and affordability. Mobile data services such as SMS, MMS and GPRS are also available and will become increasingly important as a source of new revenue as growth opportunities from new subscriber additions disappear in the maturing mobile voice market.

Key highlights:

  • Kosovo boasts a developing telecoms network as the incumbent and alternative operators deploy network infrastructure to expand availability of telecom services. Having previously focused on modernisation, which included swapping out analogue switches with NGN equivalents, the incumbent is now focused on network expansion; during April 2009 the incumbent reported it was deploying FttH networks, with plans to connect all schools and state institutions to fibre access networks by 2010.
  • Broadband Internet access is available from the incumbent and a number of competing operators, with xDSL, cable and wireless used to deliver services. Despite its third place ranking in the market the incumbent’s market share increased by 10 percentage points during 2008, with a similar gain likely in 2009 as the incumbent puts its weight behind marketing broadband services to offset falling revenue from traditional services.
  • Recognising the need to improve broadband penetration, particularly in rural areas, the regulator has released a draft strategy on implementing broadband wireless access nationally in the 3.5GHz frequency band, with the expectation of up to four operators will be licensed to offer wireless broadband services.
  • Competition will intensify in the once monopolistic mobile market; a second mobile network operator and two MVNOs commenced operation during 2008, helping mobile subscriber levels grow by 60% and resulting in the incumbent’s share of total mobile subscribers falling to 80%, with this figure likely to trend downwards during 2009.Kosovo broadband and telecoms statistics - 2008 - 2009
Sector20082009 (e)
  • Broadband
  • Fixed broadband subscribers (thousand)115160
  • Fixed broadband penetration rate6%9%
  • Subscribers to Telecoms Services
  • Fixed-line telephone subscribers (thousand)96180
  • Mobile phone subscribers (thousand)1,6531,700
(Source: BuddeComm based on industry data) This report covers trends and developments in telecommunications, mobile, Internet, broadband, digital TV. Subjects include:
  • Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
  • Facts, figures and statistics;
  • Industry and regulatory issues;
  • Infrastructure;
  • Major Players, Revenues, Subscribers;
  • Mobile Voice and Data Markets;
  • Broadband (DSL, cable TV, wireless);
  • Broadcasting market.

  • Executive summary
    • Table Kosovo broadband and telecoms statistics - 2008 - 2009
  • Key statistics
    • Table Country statistics Kosovo - 2009
    • Table Telephone network statistics - 2008
    • Table Internet user statistics - 2009
    • Table Internet subscriber statistics - 2009
    • Table Broadband statistics - 2009
    • Table Mobile statistics - March 2009
    • Table National telecommunications authority
    • Country overview
  • Telecommunications market
    • Overview of Kosovo's telecom market
  • Regulatory environment
    • Regulatory authorities
    • Telecom sector liberalisation in Kosovo
    • Privatisation
    • Interconnect
    • Access
    • Number portability
  • Fixed network operators in Kosovo
    • Post and Telecom of Kosovo (PTK)
      • Table PTK revenue breakdown by sector - 2006 - 2008
    • IPKO
    • Kujtesa
  • Telecommunications infrastructure
    • National telecom network
    • International infrastructure
  • Internet market
    • Overview
      • Table Internet users, subscribers and penetration rates - 2008 - 2009
  • Broadband market
    • Overview
      • Broadband statistics
        • Table Fixed broadband subscribers & penetration rate - 2006 - 2009
        • Table Fixed broadband subscribers by access type - 2006 - 2009
        • Table Broadband ISP subscribers and market share - 2007 - 2008
        • Table IPKO broadband subscribers - 2006 - 2008
    • Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)
    • Cable broadband
    • Wireless broadband
  • Digital media
    • Overview of broadcasting market
    • Cable TV
  • Mobile communications
    • Overview of Kosovo's mobile market
      • Mobile statistics
        • Table Mobile operators, subscribers and annual change - March 2009
        • Table Mobile subscribers and penetration rate - 2007 - 2009
        • Table Mobile network termination rates - 2008
    • Regulatory issues
      • First mobile licence for Kosovo
      • Second mobile licence for Kosovo
      • MVNO Framework
      • Mobile number portability
    • Mobile technologies
      • Digital
    • Major mobile operators
      • Vala
      • IPKO
      • Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO)
    • Mobile voice services
      • Prepaid
    • Mobile data services
    • Short Message Service (SMS) / Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
    • General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)

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