Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts - Belarus
Economic conditions improve but inflation causing lingering revenue stress for operators
BuddeComm's publication, Belarus - Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts, provides a comprehensive overview of the trends and developments in the telecoms sector in one of Eastern Europe's largest emerging markets. It incorporates the latest Ministry of Communication's market data, telcos' operational and financial data to Q2 2014, and market developments into 2014. The report provides an overview of the telecoms market including the mobile voice and data, broadband and digital media sectors.
Belarus's economic growth was halted by the 2008 financial crisis. Although inflation has been brought down to more manageable levels since the hyper-inflationary year of 2011, inflation in 2014 was still running at about 20% while the value of the Rouble has fallen in relation to other currencies, including the Euro. This has impacted on operator revenue, particular for the subsidiaries of Turkcell and Telecom Austria. The ongoing economic difficulties have also reduced customer spend, contributing to lower revenue and investment.
Nevertheless, there remain many opportunities for growth in coming years, particularly in broadband segment where penetration is relatively low. Although the sector has been reformed in recent years, restructuring has not yet resulted in the privatisation of the incumbent Beltelecom, which has invested substantially in infrastructure and technologies. Although the government is keen to control these assets, there is greater pressure for it to sell state enterprises in a bid to reduce overall debt. Growth for Beltelecom is expected to be particularly strong in the FttP sector, where much of the company's capex is directed.
The mobile sector has experienced the strongest growth in telecoms, with a rapid rise in mobile penetration attributed to effective competition. Operators have concentrated on developing mobile broadband and data services with a view to capitalising on such services to increase ARPU. By early 2014 there were about 4.3 million active mobile broadband subscribers, giving a penetration rate of about 46%. Recent spectrum auctions will facilitate the development of mobile broadband access, particularly in rural areas. The government in early 2014 again failed to sell its 51% stake in MTS, with no bids having being filed.
Belarus - Key telecom parameters 2010; 2014
Sector | 2010 | 2014 (e)
Penetration of telecoms services
Fixed broadband | 14% | 34%
Mobile telephony | 108% | 123%
Fixed-line telephony | 42% | 48%
(Source: BuddeComm based on industry data)
Analogue switch off by 2015 may be brought forward though DTTV development has been stymied by the high cost of reception equipment. To help push ASO, the sale of TV sets without DTT tuners have been banned.
Future internet society development is guided by a development strategy for 2011-2015. Priorities include development to infrastructure, e-government, e-health, e-learning and human capital development.
LTE networks are expanding steadily as the subsidiaries of operators with considerable experience in other markets invest in LTE rollouts.
International transmission capacity has grown in line with rising internet usage. By early 2014 capacity had reached 540Gb/s.
ADN's Ethernet-based network, originally deployed in Minsk, now has over 100,000 customers.
Belcel in early 2014 failed to have its 450MHz license renewed.
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 Belarus'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 ($, DSL, cable TV, wireless);
Convergence and digital media;
3G subscriber and mobile ARPU forecasts to 2015;
Broadband market forecasts for selective years to 2020.
International bandwidth increases to 540Gb/s; Belcel fails to have its 450MHz license renewed; telcos taxed at 1.5% on revenue to help develop telecom networks; government fails to sell 51% stake in MTS despite reducing its asking price; government legislation restricts access to some foreign websites, obliges e-commerce to be made via site registered with the .by' domain name; Beltelecom reports having 200,000 customers on its GPON network; Yota launches commercial LTE services, expands network; regulator market data updates; telcos' operating and financial data updates to Q2 2014; market developments into 2014.
Companies covered in this report include:
Beltelecom, Cosmos TV, Minsk TV and Information Networks (MTIS), Teleradio, Belcel, MDC, MTS Belarus, BeST.This report is essential reading for those needing high level strategic information and objective analysis on the telecom sector in Belarus.
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 $ architecture;
Historical and current subscriber statistics and forecasts;
ARPU statistics and forecasts.
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