Serbia - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband and Digital Media - Statistics and Analyses
800MHz spectrum auction in November 2015 to stimulate mobile broadband use in 2016
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 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.S
erbia'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 2015 (e)
Penetration by service | Penetration
Fixed-line | 40%
Broadband | 20%
Mobile | 130%
Auction of spectrum in the 800MHz band in November 2015 to stimulate LTE development into 2016;
Telenor Serbia in extending 3G population coverage to 99% by March 2016.
Amendments to the Law on Electronic Communications stipulate the minimum set of Universal Service provisions. Several operators were designated as coming under US obligations. It also made greater emphasis on network neutrality.
Despite the government's buy-out of OTE's stake in the incumbent Telekom Serbia, there has been little interest from other players. The government in August 2015 started another initiative to sell the company.
DSL 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.
The investment firm acquired United Group in early 2014, including Serbia's SBB telecom and pay-TV provider.
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.
Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
Facts, figures and statistics;
Industry and regulatory issues;
Major players, revenues, subscribers, ARPU, MoU;
Internet, VoIP, IPTV;
Mobile voice and data markets;
Broadband (FttP, DSL, cable TV, wireless);
Convergence and digital media;
3G subscriber and mobile ARPU forecasts to 2015;
Broadband market forecasts for selective years to 2020.
Regulator licences three MNOs for spectrum in the 800MHz band; fixed-number portability introduced; simulcast analogue and digital TV broadcasts begin; KKR completes takeover of United Group; report update includes the regulator's market report for 2013, telcos' operating and financial data to Q3 2015; recent market developments.
Companies mentioned in this report:
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 FttP architecture;
Historical and current subscriber statistics and forecasts;
ARPU statistics and forecasts.
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