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Serbia - Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts


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

Serbia gets national HSPA+ and preps for LTE launch

Following an economically and politically turbulent period during the 1990s, Serbia started the first decade of the new millennium with strong GDP growth until the economic crisis of 2008 restricted both growth and investment. GDP growth soon recovered but it has been stymied by the poor performance of Serbia’s neigh neighbouring markets including Italy and Greece.

Economic difficulties prompted the government to adopt a range of fiscal measures to raise revenue, including a short-term imposition of a 10% tax on telecom services. Similarly, the economic difficulties, compounded by a range of regulatory measures, has seen a steady fall in telecom market revenue suffered due to the recent adverse economic conditions although not all markets were affected equally.

Serbia’s potential integration with the European Union (EU), formalised by the Stabilisation and Association Agreement in 2008, has encouraged the government and regulator to adopted measures aimed at promoting telecoms reform. The Agreement oversees closer integration with the EU and covers commitments to political, economic, trade, or human rights reform. In addition, as part of the EU pre-accession process, Serbia has received financial aid to build public institutions and improve cross-border co-operation.

EU reforms have been fundamental to Serbia’s telecom industry. The EU’s regulatory framework for communications (the NRF), adopted in mid-2010, promotes competition as the most efficient way to offer communications products and services while ensuring universal access. However, the May 2012 election of a new government less inclined to compromise with EU, though still committed to joining the Union, may have implications for telecom sector regulatory measures.

Considerable network investment has been undertaken by incumbent and alternative operators in recent years, despite economic difficulties. This has helped to stimulate internet usage, which has also been bolstered by improved affordability as prices are reduced through competition.

Serbia boasts an extensive broadcasting market, with programming available via radio and TV programme distribution via cable, wireless cable, terrestrial free-to-air and broadband TV. An analogue switch off (ASO) plan has been adopted and digital TV is widely available on cable networks.

Serbia’s high mobile penetration, the result of multiple SIM card use, has seen lower revenue in recent years, placing further pressure on operators to develop business models which encourage consumer use of mobile data services as also the continued substitution of fixed-line for mobile voice calls.

Serbia - Key telecom parameters – 2010; 2012
Sector | 2010 | 2012 (e)

Subscribers to telecom services (thousand):

Fixed-line telephony | 3,100 | 3,000
Mobile phone | 9,920 | 10,460
Broadband | 995 | 1,450

Penetration rate of telecoms services:

Fixed-line | 41% | 41%
Broadband | 13% | 19%
Mobile penetration | 136% | 142%
(Source: BuddeComm)

Market highlights:

The 2010 Telecommunications Law transposed the EU’s 2003 regulatory framework for communications into national law, promising improved market prospects for competitors. Further amendments required to keep in line with the revised NRF came into force in mid-2011.

The government’s buy-out of OTE’s stake in the incumbent Telekom Serbia may make it easier to find a buyer for the company in future. Though no plans have been announced, the government is keen to raise cash to ease its debt burden.

DSL still accounts for the majority of fixed broadband subscriptions. Fibre developments remain nascent, and so the onus is on the regulator to develop an appropriate access regime sympathetic to investment.

Growing usage of e-commerce, e-government and e-education services by both individuals and businesses characterises the nascent information society in Serbia. Future growth will depend significantly on user friendly and useful applications as well as fast broadband connectivity.

The introduction of MNP in 2011 has promoted competition in the market.

Henry Lancaster August 2012

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 Serbia’s telecommunications market. The report analyses the mobile, internet, broadband, digital TV and converging media sectors.

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;3G subscriber and mobile ARPU forecasts to 2015;
Broadband market forecasts for selective years to 2020.

Key developments:

Regulator’s market report for 2011, telcos’ operating and financial data to June 2012; market developments to mid-2012.

Companies covered in this report include:

Mobilna Telefonija Srbija (MTS), Telekom Serbia, VIP Mobile, Telenor Serbia, Serbia Broadband (SBB)

This report is essential reading for those needing high level strategic information and objective analysis on the telecom sector in Serbia. It provides further information on:

Market liberalisation and regulatory issues;
The impact of the global economic crisis;
Telecoms operators – privatisation, acquisitions, new licences;
Mobile data market developments in coming years in light of spectrum auctions and new license awards;
3G developments, regulatory issues and technologies including HSPA and LTE;
Broadband migration to an FttH architecture;
Historical and current subscriber statistics and forecasts;
ARPU statistics and forecasts.


1. Executive summary
2. Key statistics
2.1 Country overview
2.2 Economic climate
3. Telecommunications market
3.1 Overview of Serbia’s telecom market
4. Regulatory environment
4.1 Law on Electronic Communications
4.2 Regulatory authorities
4.3 Telecom sector liberalisation in Serbia
4.4 Privatisation
4.4.1 Telekom Serbia
4.4.2 Mobi 63
4.5 Interconnect
5. Fixed network operators in Serbia
5.1 Telekom Serbia
6. Telecommunications infrastructure
6.1 National telecom network
6.1.1 Electric Energy Transmission and Transmission System Control (EMS)
6.1.2 EPS network
6.2 International infrastructure
6.3 Telecoms and IT
7. Information society
7.1 E-commerce
7.2 E-government
7.3 E-education
8. Broadband market
8.1 Overview
8.2 Broadband statistics
8.3 Cable broadband
8.4 Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)
8.5 Fibre-to-the-Home (FttH) networks
8.6 Wireless broadband
8.6.1 WiMAX
8.6.2 WiFi
9. Digital media
9.1 Overview of broadcasting market
9.2 Regulatory issues
9.3 Broadband TV (IPTV)
9.4 Cable TV
9.5 Satellite-based digital pay TV developments
9.6 Digital Terrestrial TV (DTTV)
10. Mobile communications
10.1 Overview of Serbia’s mobile market
10.1.1 Mobile statistics
10.2 Regulatory issues
10.2.1 Third mobile licence for Serbia
10.2.2 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
10.3 Mobile technologies
10.3.1 Digital
10.3.2 Third generation mobile
10.4 Major mobile operators
10.4.1 Telenor Serbia
10.4.2 Mobilna Telefonija Srbija (MTS)
10.4.3 VIP Mobile
10.5 Mobile voice services
10.5.1 Prepaid
10.6 Mobile data services
10.6.1 Short Message Service (SMS)/Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
10.6.2 General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)
10.6.3 Enhanced Data for GSM Evolution (EDGE)
10.6.4 Evolved High Speed Packet Access (HSPA+)
10.6.5 Long-term Evolution (LTE)
10.6.6 Mobile broadband
10.7 Mobile content and applications
11. Forecasts
11.1 Forecasts – fixed broadband subscribers – 2010 - 2013; 2020
11.1.1 Scenario 1 – higher broadband subscriber growth
11.1.2 Scenario 2 – lower broadband subscriber growth
11.2 Notes on scenario forecasts
12. Related reports
List of Tables and Charts
Table 1 – Country statistics – 2012 (e)
Table 2 – Telephone network statistics – 2012 (e)
Table 3 – Internet user statistics – 2012 (e)
Table 4 – Broadband statistics – 2011 (e)
Table 5 – Mobile statistics – 2012 (e)
Table 6 – National telecommunications authority
Table 7 – Telecom market revenue by sector – 2008 – 2011
Table 8 – Fixed-line and mobile market share by operator – 2010 - 2011
Table 9 – Share of telecom revenue by service – 2010 - 2011
Table 10 – Share of telecom investment by service – 2010 - 2011
Table 11 – Fixed-line telephony revenue – 2004 - 2013
Table 12 – Telekom Serbia Group and company revenue by sector, annual change – 2011
Table 13 – Telekom Serbia Group financial data – 2007 - 2011
Table 14 – Telekom Serbia financial data – 2009 - 2011
Table 15 – Telekom Serbia Group subscribers by sector – 2009 - 2011
Table 16 – Telekom Serbia company subscribers by sector – 2010 - 2011
Table 17 – Telekom Serbia Group investments by sector – 2010 - 2011
Table 18 – Telekom Serbia company investments by sector – 2010 - 2011
Table 19 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 2004 - 2013
Table 20 – Annual requests for new fixed lines – 2004 - 2012
Table 21 – VoIP users and traffic – 2010 - 2012
Table 22 – Fixed line traffic – 2004 - 2012
Table 23 – Total international internet bandwidth – 2004 - 2010
Table 24 – Workplace network usage by network type – 2006 - 2011
Table 25 – Household penetration of computers and laptops – 2007 - 2011
Table 26 – Computer usage by individuals – 2006 - 2011
Table 27 – Proportion of businesses with a website – 2006 - 2010
Table 28 – Online purchases by individuals – 2007 - 2010
Table 29 – E-commerce activities by businesses – 2006 – 2010
Table 30 – Uptake of e-government services by individuals – 2009 - 2010
Table 31 – Uptake of e-government services by businesses – 2009 - 2010
Table 32 – E-education usage by individuals – 2008 - 2010
Table 33 – ISPs by access platform – 2008 - 2011
Table 34 – Internet subscribers and penetration rates – 2004 - 2012
Table 35 – Household internet penetration by connection type – 2007 - 2012
Table 36 – Internet market revenue – 2005 - 2012
Table 37 – Dial-up internet connections – 2007 - 2012
Table 38 – Fixed-line broadband subscriptions by connection type – 2004 - 2013
Table 39 – Broadband penetration rate – 2005 - 2013
Table 40 – Telekom Serbia ADSL subscribers – 2008 - 2011
Table 41 – Wireless internet subscribers – 2007 - 2012
Table 42 – Pay TV subscribers – 2007 - 2013
Table 43 – Pay TV subscribers by platform – 2010 - 2011
Table 44 – Proportion of Pay TV subscribers by platform – 2009 - 2010
Table 45 – Pay TV market revenue – 2005 - 2013
Table 46 – Pay TV revenue share by platform – 2010 - 2011
Table 47 – Pay TV operator market share by subscribers – 2008 - 2010
Table 48 – Telekom Serbia IPTV subscribers – 2008 - 2011
Table 49 – Cable TV subscribers and penetration – 2008 - 2013
Table 50 – Mobile market revenue – 2003 - 2013
Table 51 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 1998 - 2012
Table 52 – Mobile phone usage by individuals – 2006 - 2012
Table 53 – Total outgoing mobile traffic – 2003 - 2013
Table 54 – Mobile operator market share by subscribers – 2003 - 2011
Table 55 – Mobile operator market share by revenue – 2003 - 2010
Table 56 – Mobile termination rates – 2009
Table 57 – MNO network coverage – 2011
Table 58 – Telenor subscribers – 2006 - 2012
Table 59 – Telenor financial data (mobile) – 2007 - 2012
Table 60 – Telenor prepaid and postpaid ARPU and MOU – 2007 - 2012
Table 61 – MTS subscribers – 2008 - 2011
Table 62 – VIP Mobile financial data – 2007 - 2012
Table 63 – VIP Mobile subscribers – 2007 – 2012
Table 64 – Proportion of prepaid mobile users – 2005 - 2013
Table 65 – Telenor prepaid users – 2007 - 2010
Table 66 – MTS prepaid users – 2008 - 2011
Table 67 – Total SMS and MMS messages sent – 2003 - 2012
Table 68 – Mobile internet and 3G subscribers – 2007 - 2012
Table 69 – Forecast fixed broadband subscribers – higher growth scenario – 2010 - 2013; 2020
Table 70 – Forecast fixed broadband subscribers – lower growth scenario – 2010 - 2013; 2020
Chart 1 – Telekom Serbia Group financial data – 2007 – 2011
Chart 2 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 2004 – 2013
Chart 3 – Household internet penetration by connection type – 2007 – 2012
Chart 4 – Broadband subscriptions by connection type – 2004 – 2013
Chart 5 – Telekom Serbia ADSL subscribers – 2008 – 2011
Chart 6 – Pay TV subscribers – 2007 – 2013
Chart 7 – Cable TV subscribers and penetration – 2008 – 2013
Chart 8 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 2003 – 2013
Chart 9 – Mobile operator market share by subscribers – 2003 – 2011
Chart 10 – Telenor financial data (mobile) – 2007 – 2012
Chart 11 – Telenor prepaid and postpaid ARPU and MOU – 2007 – 2012
Chart 12 – VIP Mobile financial data – 2007 – 2012

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