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Romania - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts


Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

This report covers trends and developments in telecommunications, mobile, Internet, broadband, Internet society and digital TV developments.

Subjects include:

  • Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
  • Facts, figures and statistics;
  • Industry and regulatory issues;
  • Infrastructure;
  • Major Players, Revenues, Subscribers, ARPU, MOU;
  • Internet, VoIP, IPTV;
  • Mobile Voice and Data Markets;
  • Broadband (FttH, DSL, cable TV, wireless);
  • Convergence and Digital Media.


One of the European Union’s newest members, Romania underwent a period of extensive reform leading up to EU ascension that coincided with a real GDP annual growth rate averaging 5.8% from 2000 to 2008. Much of this growth was due to foreign direct investment, capital inflows and loose fiscal policies.  

Like many of its neighbours, Romania has been impacted by the recent global financial turmoil through declining demand for its exports, a slowdown of credit activity, and lower foreign direct investment inflows, with Romania expected to record an 8.0% contraction in real GDP for 2009 followed by 0.5% growth in 2010 according to EU estimates. During the midst of the crisis a financial support package of €19.9 billion was arranged in May 2009 to support Romania’s 2009/10 financing gap, of which €12.9 billion over 24 months was provided by the International Monetary Fund. In return, Romania is required to meet a number of obligations which include reducing its fiscal deficit to under 3% by 2011.

 Like much of the economy Romania’s telecoms market underwent reform to align telecommunications policy with that of the EU. Competition has been introduced but incumbent operator RomTelecom retains a major share of the overall telecoms market. Ongoing action by an active regulator has improved market conditions slightly, particularly in the network access sector, although more stringent measures are required to ensure fair competition, expected to materialise as the regulator expects to complete market competitiveness analysis in 2010 and 2011. 

Internet services are widely available in Romania with healthy infrastructure based competition although competition is more prevalent in cities and urban areas where competing platforms are deployed. Romania’s Internet market is undergoing a transformation as broadband services increase in popularity due to falling broadband access prices and now represent the majority of Internet connections, with future Internet connection growth in 2010 and beyond exclusively due to broadband. Internet services are available from a number of ISPs, some of which are expanding service offerings to include VoIP and broadband TV (IPTV) in an attempt to differentiate offerings. 

A healthy digital TV market is evident with competing digital TV offerings from a number of cable TV and satellite pay TV platforms. A strategic plan for the transition to Digital Terrestrial TV was published by the Ministry of Communications and was approved in October 2009, with analogue switchoff expected by 2012. 

Romania possesses a well developed mobile market with mobile ownership levels in excess of 100% although such penetration levels indicate multiple SIM card ownership. Romania’s mobile market is served by five mobile network operators although the merger between two operators will reduce this number to four. The launch of 3G/HSDPA networks has opened up a new revenue growth opportunity in 2010 centred on mobile broadband, with all operators offering competitive offerings with generous data allowances. 

Key highlights:

  • Healthy platform based broadband competition is evident, with access available via cable, ADSL, FTTx, LAN and wireless. ADSL accounts for a quarter of connections, with micro LAN based ISPs representing the majority of broadband subscriptions. Competition within the ADSL market should improve as the regulator completes market analyses in 2010 and 2011 and implements measures to improve wholesale market conditions.
  • An emerging Internet society is evident, encompassing public administration and health. Uptake of e-government services by businesses in particular is evident, with up to 40% of businesses using e-government services to obtain information, forms and return forms.
  • Digital TV is widely available via cable, satellite, IPTV and DTTV. The cable TV market is dominated by two large players. Both offer broadband and voice telephony in addition to CATV while the largest operator has also launched 3G mobile services. Five satellite TV platforms are in operation, with consolidation expected given the level of existing digital TV market competition.
  • Romania’s established mobile network operators have launched 3G/HSDPA services, with growth in 2010 focused on promoting 3G take up and mobile broadband services. The future growth path of mobile broadband take up is expected to emulate that of the mobile voice market over the coming years due to the decreasing cost of access and capable handsets and increasing end user awareness and ease of use.
  •  
Romania - key telecom parameters - 2008; 2010
Sector 2008 2010 (e)
Broadband    
Fixed broadband subscribers (thousand) 2,511 3,400
Fixed broadband penetration rate 12% 16%
Subscribers to telecoms services  
  Fixed-line telephone subscribers (thousand) 5,040 5,150
Mobile phone subscribers (thousand) 27,600 31,600
(Source: BuddeComm based on industry data)

 Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.

1. Key Statistics
2. Telecommunications Market
2.1 Overview of Romania’s telecom market
3. Regulatory Environment
3.1 Overview
3.1.1 EU regulatory framework
3.2 Regulatory authority
3.2.1 National Authority for Management and Regulation in Communications (ANCOM)
3.3 Telecom sector liberalisation in Romania
3.3.1 Privatisation
3.3.2 Access
3.3.3 Interconnect
3.3.4 Carrier selection and carrier PreSelection
3.3.5 Number portability
3.3.6 Tariff rebalancing
4. Fixed Network Operators in Romania
4.1 Overview of operators
4.2 RomTelecom
4.3 Alternative operators
4.3.1 RCS&RDS
4.3.2 UPC
4.3.3 Atlas Telecom
4.3.4 GTS Telecom
4.3.5 SN Radiocomunicatii (Radiocom)
5. Telecommunications Infrastructure
5.1 National telecom network
5.1.1 RomTelecom
5.1.2 Alternative operators
5.2 International infrastructure
5.3 Telecoms & IT
6. Internet Market
6.1 Overview
6.1.1 Internet statistics
6.2 Romania’s emerging Internet society
6.2.1 E-commerce
6.2.2 E-government
6.2.3 E-health
7. Broadband Market
7.1 Overview
7.1.1 Broadband statistics
7.2 Cable modems
7.3 Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)
7.4 Local Area Networks (LANs)
7.5 Fibre-to-the-Home (FttH) networks
7.6 Wireless broadband
7.6.1 WiFi
7.6.2 WiMAX
7.7 Broadband forecasts - 2009 - 2012; 2018
7.7.1 Scenario 1 - stronger broadband subscriber growth
7.7.2 Scenario 2 - slower broadband subscriber growth
8. Convergence
8.1 Triple play
8.2 Overview of broadcasting market
8.2.1 Broadcasting statistics
8.2.2 Romanian Television Company (TVR)
8.2.3 Commercial broadcasters
8.3 Digital TV
8.3.1 Digital Terrestrial TV (DTTV)
8.3.2 Broadband TV (IPTV)
8.3.3 Cable TV (CATV)
8.3.4 Satellite-based digital pay TV developments
9. Mobile Communications
9.1 Overview and analysis of Romania’s mobile market
9.1.1 Mobile statistics
9.2 Regulatory issues
9.2.1 Third Generation (3G) licences
9.2.2 450MHz licence awarded
9.2.3 Mobile Number Portability
9.2.4 EU roaming tariffs
9.2.5 Mobile Termination Rates (MTR)
9.3 Mobile technologies
9.3.1 Third Generation (3G) mobile
9.4 Major mobile operators
9.4.1 Telemobil / Zapp
9.4.2 Vodafone
9.4.3 Mobil Rom / Orange
9.4.4 Cosmote Romania / Cosmorom
9.4.5 DigiMobil
9.5 Mobile voice services
9.5.1 Prepaid services
9.6 Mobile data services
9.6.1 Short Message Service (SMS) / Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
9.6.2 General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)
9.6.3 Enhanced Data for GSM Evolution (EDGE)
9.6.4 Mobile broadband
9.6.5 i-mode
9.6.6 Mobile TV
9.6.7 BlackBerry
9.7 Mobile content and applications
9.7.1 Orange World
10. Glossary of Abbreviations
List of Tables and Exhibits
Table 1 - Country statistics Romania - 2009
Table 2 - Telephone network statistics - 2009
Table 3 - Internet user statistics - 2009
Table 4 - Internet subscriber statistics - 2009
Table 5 - Broadband statistics - 2009
Table 6 - Mobile statistics - March 2009
Table 7 - National telecommunications authority
Table 8 - Cost of local loop unbundling and share access - 2006 - 2008
Table 9 - Network interconnection rates - 2006 - 2008
Table 10 - Carrier selection/PreSelection subscribers - 2005 - 2008
Table 11 - Fixed line subscribers by operator - 2006 - 2009
Table 12 - Fixed-line market share by access lines - 2005 - 2008
Table 13 - Total traffic on fixed-line networks by operator in minutes - 2004 - 2008
Table 14 - RomTelecom financial data - 2005 - 2009
Table 15 - RomTelecom subscribers - 2006 - 2009
Table 16 - Fixed-line subscribers of alternative operators - 2005 - 2009
Table 17 - Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 1995 - 2009
Table 18 - Total international Internet bandwidth - 2000 - 2008
Table 19 - Retail data transmission connections by service type - 2006 - 2008
Table 20 - Internet users, subscribers and penetration - 1999 - 2009
Table 21 - Internet penetration among businesses by employee size - 2004 - 2009
Table 22 - Online purchases by individuals - 2005 - 2008
Table 23 - Percentage of businesses receiving orders online by employee size - 2006 - 2008
Table 24 - Uptake of e-government services by businesses - 2004 - 2008
Table 25 - Uptake of e-government services by individuals - 2004 - 2009
Table 26 - Data types stored by GP practices - 2007
Table 27 - Electronic data exchanged by GP practices - 2007
Table 28 - Fixed broadband subscribers by access technology - January 2009
Table 29 - Fixed broadband subscribers by access technology - 2005 - 2009
Table 30 - Fixed broadband subscriptions by customer type - January 2009
Table 31 - Fixed broadband subscribers and penetration rate - 2002 - 2009
Table 32 - RomTelecom ADSL subscribers - 2005 - 2009
Table 33 - Forecast fixed broadband subscribers - higher growth scenario - 2009 - 2012; 2018
Table 34 - Forecast fixed broadband subscribers - lower growth scenario - 2009 - 2012; 2018
Table 35 - Broadcasting subscribers by platform - 2005 - 2008
Table 36 - Prime time audience share by broadcaster - 2004 - 2009
Table 37 - All day audience share by broadcaster - 2004 - 2009
Table 38 - Total TV advertising spending - 2004 - 2008
Table 39 - UPC - homes passed - 2006 - 2009
Table 40 - UPC - subscribers by service type - 2006 - 2009
Table 41 - Dolce subscribers - 2007 - 2009
Table 42 - Mobile operators, subscribers and annual change - March 2009
Table 43 - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate - 1997 - 2009
Table 44 - Mobile terminated traffic by destination - 2005 - 2008
Table 45 - Cosmote Romania financial data - 2006 - 2009
Table 46 - Cosmote Romania subscribers and ARPU - 2009 - 2009
Table 47 - Ratio of prepaid to postpaid subscribers - 2000 - 2008
Table 48 - Vodafone prepaid subscribers - 2005 - 2008
Table 49 - Cosmote Romania prepaid subscribers - 2008 - 2009
Table 50 - SMS messages sent - 2005 - 2008
Table 51 - Mobile broadband subscribers - 2006 - 2010
Exhibit 1 - The EU regulatory framework for communications
Exhibit 2 - Access, the local loop and unbundling - an overview

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