Romania - Mobile Market - Insights and Statistics

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.

Key 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)

1. Synopsis
1.1 Overview of Romania's mobile market
2. Mobile statistics
2.1 General statistics
2.1.1 Prepaid
2.2 Mobile voice
2.3 Mobile broadband/data
2.3.1 Short Message Service (SMS)/Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
3. Regulatory issues
3.1 Licensing
3.1.1 UMTS (3G) licences
3.1.2 410MHz licence awarded
3.1.3 450MHz band
3.1.4 900MHz band
3.2 Spectrum
3.2.1 Multi-band spectrum auctions
3.2.2 2.5GHz band
3.3 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
3.4 Mobile Termination Rates (MTRs)
3.5 Roaming
3.6 Network sharing
4. Mobile infrastructure
4.1 Analogue networks
4.2 Digital networks
4.2.1 UMTS (3G) mobile
4.2.2 Long-term Evolution (LTE)
4.3 Other infrastructure developments
4.3.1 General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)
4.3.2 Enhanced Data for GSM Evolution (EDGE)
4.3.3 Evolved High Speed Packet Access (HSPA+)
4.3.4 Broadband wireless data service (1x EV-DO)
4.4 Major mobile operators
4.4.1 Vodafone Romania
4.4.2 Orange Romania
4.4.3 Telekom Romania (formerly Cosmote Romania)
4.4.4 DigiMobil
4.5 Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
5. Mobile content and applications
5.1.1 Orange World
5.1.2 M-ticketing
5.1.3 M-banking
5.1.4 Mobile TV
6. Related reports
Table 1 Overview of spectrum allocations
Table 2 Historic Mobile subscribers (active SIM) and penetration rate 1997 - 2004
Table 3 Mobile subscribers (active SIM) and penetration rate 2005 - 2015
Table 4 Mobile market revenue 2008 - 2014
Table 5 Ratio of prepaid to postpaid subscribers 2000 - 2013
Table 6 Prepaid cards in service 2009 - 2013
Table 7 Vodafone prepaid subscribers 2005 - 2014
Table 8 Telekom Romania prepaid subscribers 2008 20148106*57.9%
Table 9 Mobile traffic 2009 - 2015
Table 10 Total MMS messages sent 2008 - 2015
Table 11 Total SMS messages sent 2005 - 2015
Table 12 SMS messages sent per subscriber 2010 - 2014
Table 13 Multi-spectrum auction results 2012
Table 14 Multi-spectrum auction results spectrum allocation 2012
Table 15 Mobile number portings 2008 - 2013
Table 16 MTRs 2008 - 2014
Table 17 European roaming charges 2007 - 2014
Table 18 Overview of mobile technologies by operator
Table 19 Vodafone subscribers and voice minutes 2008 - 2014
Table 20 Vodafone ARPU 2008 - 2014
Table 21 Vodafone revenue 2009 - 2015
Table 22 Orange subscribers 2007 - 2014
Table 23 Orange annualised ARPU 2008 - 2014
Table 24 Orange Romania mobile service revenue 2008 - 2014
Table 25 Cosmote Romania mobile financial data 2006 - 2014
Table 26 Cosmote Romania subscribers 2006 - 2013
Table 27 Cosmote Romania ARPU 2006 - 2014
Table 28 Zapp subscribers 2009 - 2010
Chart 1 Mobile subscribers (active SIM) and penetration rate 2005 2015
Chart 2 Vodafone subscribers and voice minutes 2008 2014
Chart 3 Vodafone ARPU 2008 2014
Chart 4 Vodafone revenue 2009 2015

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