Market Research Logo

Latvia - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts


Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

  • Executive summary
    • Table Latvia broadband and telecoms statistics - 2007 - 2010
  • Key statistics
    • Table Country statistics Latvia - 2009
    • Table Telephone network statistics - 2009
    • Table Internet user statistics - 2009
    • Table Internet subscriber statistics - 2009
    • Table Broadband statistics - 2009
    • Table Mobile statistics - 2010
    • Table National telecommunications authority
  • Telecommunications market
    • Overview of Latvia's telecom market
  • Regulatory environment
    • Background
    • Regulatory authority
      • Public Utilities Commission (SPRK)
    • Telecom sector liberalisation in Latvia
      • Privatisation
      • Interconnect
        • Table Interconnection rates - 2006 - 2008
      • Access
      • Carrier selection (CS) and Carrier PreSelection (CPS)
      • Number portability
  • Major network operators in Latvia
    • Overview of operators
    • Lattelecom
    • Norby Telecom
  • Telecommunications infrastructure
    • National telecom network
      • Table Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 1999 - 2010
    • Telecoms & IT
      • Table Workplace network usage by network type - 2006 - 2009
  • Internet market
    • Overview
      • Table Internet users, subscribers and penetration rates - 1999 - 2009
  • Digital economy/digital media
    • Latvia's emerging Internet society
      • Table Online purchases by individuals - 2005 - 2010
      • Table Electronic sales as percentage of total non-VAT turnover for non-financial sector businesses with 10 or more employees - 2009
    • E-government
      • Table Take up of e-government services by businesses - 2004 - 2010
      • Table Take up of e-government services by individuals - 2004 - 2010
    • E-education
      • Table E-education usage by individuals - 2007 - 2010
      • Table E-education usage by businesses - 2009 - 2010
    • E-health
  • Broadband market
    • Overview
      • Table Broadband subscribers and penetration rate - 2001 - 2009
      • Table Lattelecom broadband subscribers - 2002 - 2009
    • Cable modems
    • Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)
      • ADSL2+
    • Fibre-to-the-Home (FttH) networks
    • Wireless broadband
      • WiMAX
      • WiFi
  • Overview of broadcasting market
  • Digital TV
    • Broadband TV (IPTV)
      • Table Lattelecom IPTV subscribers - 2008 - 2009
    • Cable TV (CATV)
      • Baltkom
      • Izzi
    • Satellite-based digital pay TV
      • Table Viasat subscribers - 2005 - 2009
    • Digital Terrestrial TV (DTTV)
  • Mobile communications
    • Overview of Latvia's mobile market
      • Table Mobile subscribers and penetration - 1999 - 2011
    • Regulatory issues
      • CDMA licence awarded
      • Third Generation (3G) licences
      • EU roaming tariffs
        • Table European roaming charges - 2007 - 2011
      • Mobile Termination Rates (MTR)
    • Mobile technologies
      • Digital
      • 3G mobile
    • Major mobile operators
      • Latvia Mobilais Telefons (LMT)
        • Table LMT subscribers and ARPU - 2006 - 2009
      • Tele2
        • Table Tele2 financial data - 2007 - 2009
        • Table Tele2 subscribers - 2008 - 2009
      • Telekom Baltija/Triatel
      • Bite
      • Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
    • Mobile voice services
      • Prepaid cards
        • Table LMT prepaid subscribers - 2002 - 2009
    • Mobile data services
      • Short Message Service (SMS) and Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
      • General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)
      • Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution (EDGE)
      • Broadband wireless data service (1x EV-DO)
      • Mobile TV
      • BlackBerry
      • Mobile broadband
        • Table Mobile broadband subscribers - 2005 - 2010
    • Mobile content and applications
      • QR code readers
  • Forecasts
    • Forecasts - broadband subscribers - 2010 - 2013; 2018
      • Scenario 1 – higher broadband subscriber growth
        • Table Forecast broadband subscribers - higher market growth scenario - 2010 - 2013; 2019
      • Scenario 2 – lower broadband subscriber growth
        • Table Forecast broadband subscribers - lower market growth scenario - 2010 - 2013; 2019
    • Notes on scenario forecasts

Since independence Latvia embraced market reform and joined the European Union (EU) along with neighbouring Estonia and Lithuania. This culminated with a period of rapid economic growth with annual growth rates among the highest in the world; 9% during 2000-2007. Economic distortions were evident; wages doubled during 2005-2008, private sector debt increased to 125% of GDP and much demand was channelled into a real estate bubble.

Latvia was hit particularly hard by the global financial turmoil, with real GDP contracting by 18% in 2009, the highest among the EU27 member nations. The EU estimates GDP will further contract by 4% in 2010, again the highest among the EU27 member nations. Although Latvia has been assisted by a €7.5 billion support package from the international community, future economic growth will depend on export growth as domestic demand is expected to remain weak for some time due to high unemployment.

Latvia’s telecom market benefited from the recent economic growth in terms of demand for new products and funding sources for investment. Increased demand was also the result of regulatory changes such as market liberalisation and implementation of an EU-mandated regulatory framework designed to stimulate competition. Telecom services’ spending was largely protected during the economic downturn due to the utility nature of most telecom services.

Not all sectors are expected to fare the same, given ongoing trends such as fixed mobile substitution and the increasing popularity of fixed and mobile broadband services. Broadband services are widely available and account for almost all Internet subscriptions. DSL is the dominant form of broadband access, with competition predominantly infrastructure based as cable, wireless and Fibre-to-the-Home FttH), and also available. The latter is currently promoted as offering among the fastest speeds in the world, with up to 500Mb/s offered.

Latvia’s wholesale broadband market continues to see less success, with the number of lines retailed via bitstream, local loop unbundling and simple resale inadequate, due to the regulator’s inability to facilitate a viable wholesale market. The recent introduction of a new EU regulatory package for telecoms presents an opportunity to introduce more effective regulation.

A healthy digital TV market is evident, with offerings available from established cable TV, satellite, digital terrestrial TV and broadband TV providers. Digital TV uptake is rapidly increasing in response to the ongoing transition to digital terrestrial TV transmission.

Four GSM/CDMA/WCDMA mobile network operators vie for customers in a market where SIM card penetration exceeds 100%. Although the mobile voice market is at saturation levels in terms of subscriber penetration, voice traffic will continue to migrate from fixed to mobile networks as mobile voice tariffs drop in response to ongoing reductions in mobile network termination rates. To grow revenue service providers are focusing on mobile broadband services, offering increasingly generous amounts of bundled data.


Download our eBook: How to Succeed Using Market Research

Learn how to effectively navigate the market research process to help guide your organization on the journey to success.

Download eBook

Share this report

;