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Slovakia - Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts


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Slovakian FttX subscriber base shows steady growth as investment is channelled to NGNs

BuddeComm’s annual publication, Slovakia- Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts, provides a comprehensive overview of telecoms and digital media trends and developments in one of Central Europe’s key markets. The report includes the regulator’s market data to June 2012, telcos’ financial and operating data to September 2012, and market developments to the end of 2012.

Telecom market overview

Slovakia enjoyed strong economic growth after joining the European Union (EU) in mid-2004: from 2004 until 2009 real GDP grew by an average 7.4% while unemployment dropped significantly. With an export-dependent economy, the recent global economic turmoil has hit Slovakia’s exports to its principal trading partners Germany, the Czech Republic and France. It also softened domestic demand for goods due to falling consumer confidence and rising unemployment: the country entered its first recession since independence in 1993. Real GDP contracted 4.9% in 2009 before recovering since: although growth has slowed from 4.2% in 2010 to an estimated 2.3% for 2012, the country has fared better than many others in the European Union.

This quick recovery has also benefited the telecoms and IT services sectors, which have been less affected than areas such as such as manufacturing and finance. This is partly due to telecoms and IT being productivity enablers, and many services (particularly broadband and mobile telephony) are considered essential by most consumers who make use of them. However, it has exacerbated difficulties in securing funding for telecoms projects, while contributing to lower revenue among the major players. This is expected to continue through to the first half of 2013 at least before showing moderate growth thereafter largely on the back of the developing broadband and mobile telephony sectors.

Mobile market

The mobile market remains a triopoly of three MNOs (T-Mobile Slovakia, Orange Slovakia and Telefonica O2), and though several MVNOs operate their collective market share of subscribers is small. Operators have invested in network upgrades, while trial LTE services have also been launched. The key driver for future revenue growth will be in mobile broadband and data services, and so further investment and wide-scale deployment of LTE are anticipated during 2013 and 2014.

Key telecom parameters – 2010; 2012
Sector | 2010 | 2012 (e)
Subscribers to telecom services (thousand):
Fixed broadband | 876 | 1,040
Fixed-line telephony | 986 | 860
Mobile phone | 5,920 | 6,050
Penetration rate for telecoms services:
Fixed broadband | 16.1% | 18.9%
Fixed-line telephony | 18.1% | 15.6%
Mobile SIM (population) | 110% | 111%
(Source: BuddeComm)

Market Highlights

LTE trials have been underway since mid-2012 with a view to commercial launches in early 2013.

Although the public broadcaster switched off analogue signals in late 2011, DTTV has been slow to develop a strong viewer base. Nevertheless, a digital information campaign has focussed on DTT to develop consumer interest.

The DTH platform saw consolidation during 2012 with the merger of M7 Group’s two providers SkyLink and CS Link

About 40% of TV households subscribe to CATV services. The market is dominated by UPC, which has a digital offering including about 70 channels.

The FttX subscriber base is continuing to develop steadily, which is expected to lead to a slow-down and contraction of the DSL subscriber base by the end of 2013 as customers on copper-based networks are migrated to the new fibre infrastructure.

This report is essential reading for those needing high level strategic information and objective analysis on the telecom sector in Slovakia. 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.

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 Slovakia’s telecom market
3. Regulatory Environment
3.1 History
3.1.1 Electronic Communications Act 2003
3.1.2 Electronic Communications Act 2011
3.1.3 EU Regulatory Framework
3.1.4 Revised NFR
3.2 Regulatory authority
3.2.1 Telecommunications Office of the Slovak Republic (TUSR)
3.3 Telecom sector liberalisation in Slovakia
3.3.1 Privatisation of Slovak Telecom
3.3.2 Interconnection
3.3.3 Access
3.3.4 Number portability (NP)
3.3.5 Carrier selection and Carrier PreSelection (CPS)
4. Fixed network operators in Slovakia
4.1 Slovak Telecom
4.2 GTS Slovakia
4.3 Slovak Wireless Access Network (SWAN)
5. Telecommunications Infrastructure
5.1 National telecom network
5.1.1 Alternative operators
5.2 Wholesaling
5.2.1 Overview
5.3 Cloud services
6. Broadband Market
6.1 Overview
6.2 Slovakia’s emerging internet society
6.2.1 Legislation
6.2.2 Government support
6.2.3 E-government
6.2.4 Infrastructure
6.2.5 E-health
6.2.6 E-education
6.3 Broadband statistics
6.4 Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)
6.5 Cable modems
6.6 Fibre-to-the-Home (FttH) networks
6.7 Wireless broadband
6.7.1 WiFi
6.7.2 WiMAX
6.7.3 Satellite
6.7.4 Mobile broadband
7. Digital Media
7.1 Overview of digital media market
7.2 Digital TV (DTV)
7.2.1 Broadband TV (IPTV)
7.2.2 Cable TV (CATV)
7.2.3 Satellite-based pay TV developments
7.2.4 Digital Terrestrial TV (DTTV)
8. Mobile Communications
8.1 Overview of Slovakia’s mobile market
8.1.1 Mobile statistics
8.2 Regulatory issues
8.2.1 GSM licences
8.2.2 UMTS licences and third GSM licence
8.2.3 Fourth mobile network operator licence
8.2.4 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
8.2.5 Mobile Termination Rates (MTR)
8.2.6 Spectrum auctions
8.3 Mobile technologies
8.3.1 Digital
8.3.2 Third Generation (3G) mobile
8.4 Major mobile operators
8.4.1 T-Mobile Slovakia
8.4.2 Orange Slovakia
8.4.3 Telefónica O2
8.5 Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
8.6 Mobile voice services
8.6.1 Prepaid
8.7 Mobile data services
8.7.1 Enhanced Data for GSM Evolution (EDGE)
8.7.2 Evolved High Seed Packet Access (HSPA+)
8.7.3 Long-term Evolution (LTE)
8.7.4 Mobile TV
8.8 Mobile content and applications
9. Forecasts 2020
9.1 Forecasts – fixed broadband subscribers – 2010 - 2013; 2020
9.1.1 Scenario 1 – higher broadband subscriber growth
9.1.2 Scenario 2 – lower broadband subscriber growth
9.2 Notes on scenario forecasts
10. Glossary of Abbreviations
List of Tables, Charts and Exhibits
Table 1 – Country statistics Slovakia – 2012 (e)
Table 2 – Telephone network statistics – 2012 (e)
Table 3 – Internet user statistics – 2012 (e)
Table 4 – Internet subscriber statistics – 2012 (e)
Table 5 – Broadband subscriber statistics – 2012 (e)
Table 6 – Mobile statistics – 2012 (e)
Table 7 – National telecommunications authority
Table 8 – Investment in telecom market, by sector – 2005 - 2011
Table 9 – Telecom market revenue; Mobile, Fixed and total – 2005 - 2013
Table 10 – Market share of telecom revenue by operator – 2010
Table 11 – Annual fixed-number portings – 2007 - 2012
Table 12 – Carrier selection lines – 2007 - 2012
Table 13 – Slovak Telekom financial data – 2009 - 2012
Table 14 – Slovak Telekom subscribers – 2009 - 2012
Table 15 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 2000 - 2013
Table 16 – VoIP lines – 2000 - 2013
Table 17 – Total international internet bandwidth – 2000 - 2011
Table 18 – Cost of local loop unbundling and share access – 2006 - 2009
Table 19 – Online purchases by individuals – 2005 - 2012
Table 20 – Uptake of e-government services by businesses – 2004 - 2011
Table 21 – Uptake of e-government services by individuals – 2004 - 2011
Table 22 – E-education usage by individuals – 2007 - 2011
Table 23 – E-education usage by businesses – 2007 - 2011
Table 24 – Internet users, subscribers and penetration rate – 2000 - 2013
Table 25 – Dial-up internet subscribers – 2005 - 2013
Table 26 – Broadband subscribers and penetration rate – 2002 - 2013
Table 27 – Internet market revenue – 2005 - 2012
Table 28 – DSL subscribers and penetration – 2005 - 2013
Table 29 – Slovak Telekom retail DSL subscribers – 2005 - 2012
Table 30 – Cable broadband subscribers – 2005 - 2013
Table 31 – UPC broadband and voice subscribers – 2006 - 2012
Table 32 – FttH/B subscribers – 2005 - 2013
Table 33 – Orange Slovensko FttH homes connected – 2009 - 2012
Table 34 – Mobile internet subscribers by technology – 2005 - 2013
Table 35 – Mobile broadband subscribers and penetration – 2007 - 2013
Table 36 – Magio IPTV subscribers – 2008 - 2012
Table 37 – UPC – homes passed – 2003 - 2012
Table 38 – UPC TV subscribers by service type – 2003 - 2012
Table 39 – CATV market revenue – 2005 - 2012
Table 40 – Skylink DTH subscribers (Slovakia) – 2006 – 2011
Table 41 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 1998 - 2012
Table 42 – Mobile GSM/3G base stations in service – 2005 - 2012
Table 43 – Annual mobile portings – 2006 - 2012
Table 44 – T-Mobile subscribers – 2006 - 2012
Table 45 – T-Mobile mobile financial data – 2004 - 2012
Table 46 – T-Mobile mobile ARPU – 2004 - 2012
Table 47 – Orange subscribers – 2007 - 2012
Table 48 – Orange revenue – 2003 - 2012
Table 49 – Orange data ARPU proportion – 2008 - 2012
Table 50 – Telefónica O2 subscribers – 2007 - 2012
Table 51 – Ratio of prepaid to postpaid subscribers – 2000 - 2012
Table 52 – T-Mobile Slovakia prepaid users – 2004 - 2012
Table 53 – Telefónica O2 prepaid users – 2007 - 2012
Table 54 – Total SMS messages sent – 2003 - 2012
Table 55 – Forecast fixed broadband subscribers – higher growth scenario – 2010 - 2013; 2020
Table 56 – Forecast fixed broadband subscribers – lower growth scenario – 2010 - 2013; 2020
Chart 1 – Slovak Telekom financial data – 2009 – 2012
Chart 2 – Slovak Telekom subscribers – 2009 – 2012
Chart 3 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 2000 – 2013
Chart 4 – Broadband subscribers and penetration rate – 2004 – 2013
Chart 5 – UPC subscribers – 2006 – 2012
Chart 6 – UPC TV subscribers by service type – 2003 – 2011
Chart 7 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 2000 – 2012
Chart 8 – T-Mobile mobile financial data – 2004 – 2012
Chart 9 – Orange subscribers – 2007 – 2012
Exhibit 1 – The EU regulatory framework for communications
Exhibit 2 – Access, the local loop and unbundling – an overview
Exhibit 3 – 2G spectrum awarded in Slovakia

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