Slovakia - Telecoms, IP Networks and Digital Media
Government rekindles plan to sell its 49% stake in Slovak Telekom during 2015
Despite market liberalisation Slovakia’s incumbent telco Slovak Telekom maintains a near monopoly of the fixed-line market. The company also dominated the DSL broadband sector, though this can partly be attributed to a pricing strategy which effectively prevented competitors from making a profit through local loop unbundling. Price gauging resulted in the company being fined by the European Union in 2014.Market competition has forced a number of mergers and acquisitions in recent years, meaning that the market is largely in the hands of a few dominant players. Following numerous delays, the government in early 2015 again acted on its plans to sell its 49% stake in Slovak Telekom, either via an IPO or direct sale.
Slovakia’s broadband market has shown steady growth in recent years, with effective cross-platform competition. A fast-developing FttX infrastructure and wireless broadband options, particularly from the mobile network operators, add to the mix. Digital terrestrial TV has been launched, with the public service broadcaster STV the first to complete analogue switch-off.
The mobile market is served by three MNOs which each have a pan-European reach. Mobile penetration is relatively high, at about 119% in early 2015. The introduction of mobile number portability in 2006 has increased competition between players. All MNOs host MVNOs, and though the number of MVNOs is small the market is growing steadily. Mobile broadband access and content services are developing rapidly in line with operator investments in upgrading their networks with HSPA and LTE technologies.
Regulator auctions national 3.7GHz licenses for €1.7 million; DVB-T2 trialled, Slovak Telecom fined by competition authorities for imposing excessive wholesale access charges; UPC Slovakia’s Fibre Power service extended to ten cities; municipal FttP developments; Slovak Telekom launches a 300Mb/s fibre service; WiMAX Telecom bought by Slovanet; regulator calls for tenders for a fourth DTTV multiplex, tenders for FWA licences; M77 merges SkyLink and CS Link; STV ends analogue TV broadcasts; government proposes scheme for sale of its 49% stake in Slovak Telecom; GTS Nextra rebranded as BENESTRA; Slovakia connects to fibre DREAM cable; SWAN expected to launch LTE service by mid-2015; regulator concludes multi-band spectrum auction; Orange launches NFC-based contactless m-payment service; regulator’s market data to June 2014; telcos’ operating data to Q4 2014; recent market developments
Companies mentioned in this report
Slovak Telecom, UPC Slovakia, O2 Slovakia, BENESTRA (GTS Nextra), T-Mobile Slovakia, Orange Slovakia