Delayed LTE auction preps for mobile broadband expansion in 2014
The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (Macedonia) has been a European Union (EU) candidate country since 2005. As part of the EU pre-accession process, the country has built closer economic ties with the Union: the EU accounts for 60% of Macedonia’s exports and about half of its imports. Closer regulatory and administrative ties with European Commission (EC) institutions have done much to develop the telecom sector and prepare the market for the competitive environment encouraged in the EU.
As part of EU integration legislation has implemented the principles of the EU’s regulatory framework for communications, established an independent regulator and set out a number of provisions to provide for a competitive telecom market, including wholesale access to the incumbent’s fixed-line network. Although the fixed telephony market has been liberalised, the incumbent continues to dominate the sector. Broadband services are widely available, with effective competition between DSL and cable platforms complemented by wireless broadband and a nascent FttX sector.
Broadband services are available via DSL, fibre, cable and wireless and the incumbent has launched IPTV services in competition with well-established cable TV operators.
Macedonia’s mobile market is served by a triopoly of mobile network operators, two of which benefit from the technical know-how and financial resources of parent companies Deutsche Telekom and Telekom Austria. Mobile data services are also available and this market is also expected to become increasingly important as new subscriber additions fade in the maturing mobile voice market. With WCDMA/HSPA networks in place, the focus for mobile data has shifted to mobile broadband offerings.
Key telecom parameters – 2010; 2013
Sector | 2010 | 2013 (e)
Subscribers to telecoms services (thousand):
Fixed-broadband | 257 | 342
Fixed-line telephony | 413 | 400
Mobile telephony | 2,153 | 2,245
Subscriber penetration rate:
Fixed-broadband | 11% | 16%
Fixed-line telephony | 20% | 19%
Mobile SIM | 105% | 109%
Competitors are making inroads into the fixed telephony market, with alternative operators representing a growing proportion of fixed lines. EU-mandated regulatory measures have improved market prospects for competitors.
Broadband uptake growth is expected to maintain momentum during the next few years, with the incumbent placing greater emphasis in FttX networks.
Digital TV is widely available via satellite, digital terrestrial TV and broadband TV. The incumbent’s IPTV subscriber base has grown steadily in the wake of upgraded network capabilities, which has contributed to fewer customers to satellite services.
Competition is intensifying in the mobile market. Mobile number portability has grown rapidly following a reduction in fees. Mobile voice penetration is on a par with the EU average, while high-end mobile data services represent a considerable growth area for MNOs in coming years.
The regulator’s tender for the use of frequencies for LTE was suspended through lack of interest among operators. A renewed tender was expected by the end of 2013.
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 Macedonia’s telecommunications market. The report analyses the mobile, 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;
Internet, VoIP, IPTV;
Mobile voice and data markets;
Broadband (FttH, DSL, cable TV, wireless);
Convergence and digital media;
Broadband market forecasts for selective years to 2020.
Telekom Slovenije merges Macedonian subsidiaries into ONE; market for fixed-line telephony falls in 2011; regulator prepares for 4G licence auction in 800MHz band; telecoms market accounting for 7% of GDP, well above the EU average; VIP Mobile awarded additional spectrum for 3G services; regulator market data for 2012; telcos’ operating and financial data to Q1 2013; market developments to mid-2013.
Companies covered in this report include:
Makedonski Telekom, ONE, VIP, Blizoo (formerly CabelTel), Telecom Slovenia.