Kosovo - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media - Statistics and Analyses
Kosovo's regulator issues spectrum to boost mobile broadband
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. The economy is significantly driven by trade with Germany and Switzerland, where most expatriates live and work. Remittances from such workers form an important part of household incomes.
The country's telecom sector has been liberalised, with 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, a subsidiary of Telekom Slovenia.
Broadband penetration in Kosovo is developing, though slowly. There is effective competition between the main cable and DSL operators, though as yet there is little progress with the expansion of fibre networks: investment by the incumbent PTK in building out an upgraded fibre-based NGN has been insufficient thus far. Although there are a number of smaller ISPs the sector is dominated by only three players: PTK, Ipko and Kujtesa. Cable accounts for the majority of broadband connections.
The mobile sector accounts for most telecom lines for voice services, 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, but it is gradually losing ground as more contract subscribers sign up for services. 3G services were launched as late as December 2013, while LTE infrastructure remains limited. However, on the back of expanding LTE networks developing mobile data services will become increasingly important in coming years as a source of new revenue growth for operators.
Kosovan government requests that Telekom Srbija be granted temporary licence to operate in Kosovo; Regulator preps for additional mobile licences to be used for mobile broadband; Sale of a 75% stake in PTK cancelled until the company improves its performance; Vala launches LTE services; Albtelecom and PTK complete the second fibre-optic system between Albania and Kosovo; PTK expands fixed-line services with 10 million investment; Kosovo adopts new Law On Electronic Communications; Ipko launches an 80Mb/s service offer; Report update includes the regulator's Q3 2015 market data, telcos' data to Q3 2015, recent market developments.
Market penetration by telecom service 2015 (e) Penetration rate by service: | Penetration Fixed-line | 3.1% Fixed broadband | 11.6% Mobile | 97.6% (Source: BuddeComm based on industry data)