Lithuanian fibre reaches two-thirds of the population
BuddeComm’s annual publication, Lithuania - Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts, provides a comprehensive overview of the trends and developments in the telecommunications and digital media sectors of one of Eastern Europe’s more advanced telecom markets. The report includes the regulator’s market data for 2012, telcos’ financial and operating data to Q1 2013 and market developments to May 2013.
Telecom market overview
The telecoms market has seen falling revenue in recent years as the economy continues to recover from the mauling experienced in 2008/9. Lower revenue from fixed and mobile telephony is partly offset by increases from the cable TV sector. Nevertheless, investment in fibre and mobile infrastructure has placed the country as one of the regional leaders for fibre infrastructure, with the regulator promoting access to networks in a bid to encourage competition and prevent any one operator developing a monopoly for fibre infrastructure. The incumbent TEO remains the dominant player in DSL access, and has made great strides to gain market share from altnets in fibre networks.
Lithuania’s mobile sector forms by far the largest part of the telecom market by revenue. Served by three MNOs, two of which have significant interests across the Baltics and Scandinavia, the market also has a few MVNOs and resellers, though their collective market share has fallen steadily during the last three years. Strong competition has driven growth, particularly in mobile data services. With one of the highest mobile penetration rates in Europe, operators have focussed on HSPA and LTE networks to deliver services to customers and so increase revenue and APU. The regulator has consulted on its programme to use additional frequencies for mobile voice and data services, which would help extend the reach of broadband to rural areas.
Key telecom parameters – 2010; 2013
Sector | 2010 | 2013 (e)
Subscribers by sector (million):
Fixed broadband subscribers | 0.68 | 0.79
Mobile broadband | 0.19 | 0.32
Mobile phone | 4.89 | 5.0
Fixed-line telephony | 0.75 | 0.65
Penetration by sector:
Fixed broadband | 21% | 26%
Mobile | 151% | 170%
Fixed-line | 23% | 20%
In the fourth quarter of 2012 investment in network infrastructure fell 4.2% quarter-on-quarter and fell 26.2% year-on-year. Most investment has gone to fiber broadband and 4G networks.
Number portings now account for more than 12% of all fixed-lines in service.
The share of fixed-voice lines held by altnets is approaching 11%, compared to less than 2% a decade ago.
TEO was late to invest in fibre, and given that the cost of access to its own infrastructure through LLU was relatively high cablecos were encouraged to invest in their own shared networks. As a result, altnets accounted for 99.5% of all fibre connections in 2005, though this has been reduced to 61%.
All three MNOs have been awarded spectrum in the 2500MHz-2560MHz and 2620MHz-2680MHz bands, with coverage requirements including having to reach 50% network coverage to five cities by 2015 and 50% to 15 cities by 2017.
This report is essential reading for those needing high level strategic information and objective analysis on the telecom sector in Lithuania.
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 in light of spectrum auctions and new license awards;
3G developments, regulatory issues and technologies including HSPA and LTE;
Broadband migration to an FttH architecture;
Historical and current subscriber statistics and forecasts;
ARPU statistics and forecasts.
Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.