Romania - Mobile Market - Insights and Statistics
Romania's mobile communications market is served by five mobile network operators utilising a mixture of GSM, CDMA and WCDMA technologies. Current penetration levels indicate saturation although multiple SIM-card ownership is evident. Mobile broadband is widely available following the launch of 3G networks, with competition making services increasingly affordable. This report provides a concise overview of Romania's growing mobile market, covering market developments, as well as profiling the major operators and offering a variety of financial and performance statistics. It also provides an update on spectrum auctions and regulatory developments.
Orange Romania to invest 500 million in its Romanian networks; Digi Mobil increases 3G mobile broadband speeds to 21.6Mb/s in 24 cities; Lycamobile launches services as an MVNO; Cosmote Romania rebrands as Telekom Romania; Vodafone launches its M-Pesa mobile banking service; new EU roaming tariffs come into effect; RCS&RDS upgrades its mobile broadband speeds; regulator reduces fixed-line and mobile termination rates; Cosmote launches commercial LTE service; Ministry of Defence encouraged to release 800MHz and 2600MHz spectrum for commercial LTE; regulator issues guidelines on MVNO market entry; MNOs expand m-ticketing functionalities; regulator auctions 4G frequencies, bringing in 682 million; Orange expands LTE service to include smartphones; regulator's market data for H1 2014; telco's operating and financial data to Q4 2014, recent market developments.
Companies covered in this report include:
Vodafone Romania, Orange Romania, Telekom Romania (Cosmote Romania), Digi Mobil, Telemobil.
Romania's competitive mobile market is served by five mobile network operators utilising a mixture of GSM, CDMA and WCDMA technologies. Mobile penetration is at about 110% though multiple SIM-card ownership is evident, and so realistic SIM card use is lower.
Given the high penetration, growth through first-time subscriber acquisition is becoming increasingly difficult and so MNOs have concentrated on a number of alternative revenue growth strategies such as segmented voice market offerings and a renewed focus on the nascent mobile broadband and content market.
Mobile broadband has been made possible following the launch of four competing WCDMA 3G networks and increasing affordability of smartphone penetration, which accounts for less than 10% of total handsets sold. Vodafone, Orange, Telemobil and new mobile market entrant RCS&RDS were successful in acquiring licences. Existing operator Telekom Romania (formerly Cosmote Romania) took part in the tender but missed out, although it later acquired Telemobil (Zapp) in 2009.
The acquisition of a 3G licence by RCS&RDS gave the cable TV operator a broader product portfolio and offers increased scope in product bundling given that it already offers triple play services.
In all, mobile revenue accounted for about 12.5% of total telecom sector revenue in 2011, a level consistent over the previous three years.
Licences in the 1800MHz held by Orange and Vodafone expired at the end of 2012, and that held by Telekom Romania expired in April 2014. Licences in the 2100MHz band expire in February 2020 for Orange and Vodafone, in January 2022 for Telekom Romania and RCS&RDS.
Table 1 Overview of spectrum allocations
Spectrum | Orange | Vodafone | Telekom Romania | RCS&RDS
900MHz | 2x12.4MHz | 2x12.4MHz | 2x10MHz | -
1800 | 2x12.4MHz | 3x12.4MHz | 2x12.6MHz | -
2100MHz | 2x14.84MHz | 2x14.84MHz | 2x14.84MHz | 2x154MHz
(Source: BuddeComm based on ITU, operator and regulator data)
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