Moldova - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media - Statistics and Analyses
Moldova's telecom sector seeing further growth and consolidation
The Moldovan telecoms market into 2017 is expected to see a continuation of the remarkable growth experienced in recent years. This has been achieved despite high unemployment and economic difficulties which have led to constraints on consumer spend. However, many areas of the economy, as well as the telecom market, remain relatively under-developed and so there is considerable room for growth in coming years. This expectation has encouraged operators to continue to invest in all sectors except fixed-line telephony, where customer interest has waned in favour of services provided by mobile networks.
In addition, Moldova's aspirations to join the European Union (EU) have encouraged the government and regulator to adopt a range of measures to bring the country's telecoms sector into line with EU principles and standards.
Moldova's internet market continues to develop rapidly, and with broadband penetration approaching 16% (well below the average for many European countries) there remain considerable opportunities for further development. Broadband subscriber growth has been particularly strong since 2009, with the sector dominated by two service providers Moldtelecom and Starnet which accounted for 87% of all connections as of September 2016 despite the presence of about 50 ISPs in the market.
The mobile market has also grown rapidly. The sector accounts for the majority of total telecoms revenue. A triopoly of operators is dominated by Orange Moldova, while the launch of 3G/HSDP networks as well as services based on LTE technology has opened up a new revenue growth opportunity centred on mobile broadband. The mobile operators are well positioned to exploit the potential of mobile data services give the lack of effective fixed-line broadband competition beyond the main cities. The near comprehensive geographical reach of their mobile networks, market brand recognition and existing customer relationships will make for steady subscriber growth in 2017.
Orange Group acquires the cableco Sun Communications; Multiplex A comes on-stream with Moldova's first DTTV channels; Regulator issues draft of 18 measures proposed for 2017; Orange secures additional licences in the in the 800MHz and 900MHz bands; Moldcell launches commercial LTE services following spectrum auction; Regulator suspends 3.4GHz auction after no bids offered; Technology neutral 15-year licences in the 800MHz, 900MHz and 1800MHz bands synchronised; Report update includes telcos' operating and financial data to Q3 2016, regulator's market data to September 2016, recent market developments.
Market penetration rates in Moldova's telecoms sector 2016 (e) Penetration of telecoms services: | Penetration Fixed-line telephony | 33.1% Fixed broadband | 15.7% Mobile SIM (population) | 123.1% (Source: BuddeComm)