Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts - Belarus

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)

Market highlights:

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.

Subjects include:

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.

Key developments:

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.

1. Executive summary
2. Key statistics
3. Telecommunications market
3.1 Overview of Belarus's telecom market
4. Regulatory environment
4.1 History
4.2 Regulatory authority
4.2.1 Ministry of Communications and Informatization (MCI)
4.3 Telecom sector liberalisation in Belarus
4.3.1 Privatisation
4.3.2 Interconnection
4.3.3 Access
5. Fixed network operator in Belarus
5.1 Beltelecom
5.2 Alternative Digital Network (ADN)
6. Telecommunications infrastructure
6.1 National telecom network
6.2 International infrastructure
7. Internet market
7.1 Overview
7.1.1 Belarus's emerging internet society
7.1.2 Regulator issues
7.1.3 E-government
7.1.4 Internet statistics
8. Broadband market
8.1 Overview
8.1.1 Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)
8.1.2 Cable modems
8.1.3 Wireless broadband
8.1.4 Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP)
9. Overview of broadcasting market
9.1 Digital TV
9.1.1 Broadband TV (IPTV)
9.1.2 Cable TV
9.1.3 Digital Terrestrial TV (DTTV)
9.1.4 Video-on-Demand (VoD)
10. Mobile communications
10.1 Overview of Belarus's mobile market
10.1.1 Mobile statistics
10.2 Regulatory issues
10.2.1 First GSM licence awarded
10.2.2 Second GSM licence awarded
10.2.3 Third GSM licence awarded
10.2.4 CDMA licence awarded
10.2.5 Radio frequency usage fees introduced
10.2.6 3G licence
10.2.7 Mobile Termination Rates (MTRs)
10.2.8 Roaming
10.3 Mobile technologies
10.3.1 GSM
10.3.2 Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA)
10.3.3 Third generation mobile
10.4 Major mobile operators
10.4.1 Belcel/Diallog
10.4.2 Mobile Digital Communications (MDC)/Velcom
10.4.3 Mobile TeleSystems (MTS)
10.4.4 BeST/life :)
10.4.5 MVNOs
10.5 Mobile data services
10.5.1 Overview
10.5.2 Short Message Service (SMS)
10.5.3 GPRS, WAP and MMS
10.5.4 Enhanced Data for GSM Evolution (EDGE)
10.5.5 High Speed Packet Access (HSPA)
10.5.6 Long-term Evolution (LTE)
10.5.7 Mobile broadband
10.6 Mobile content and applications
11. Forecasts fixed broadband market 2010 - 2013; 2020
11.1 Scenario 1 higher fixed broadband subscriber growth
11.2 Scenario 2 lower fixed broadband subscriber growth
11.3 Notes on scenario forecasts
12. Related reports
Table 1 Country statistics Belarus 2014 (e)
Table 2 Telephone network statistics 2014 (e)
Table 3 Internet user statistics 2014 (e)
Table 4 Broadband subscriber statistics 2014 (e)
Table 5 Mobile statistics 2014 (e)
Table 6 National telecommunications authority
Table 7 Beltelecom subscribers by sector 2011 - 2013
Table 8 Historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity 1999 - 2004
Table 9 Fixed lines in service and teledensity 2005 - 2014
Table 10 Total international internet bandwidth 2000 - 2014
Table 11 Internet users, subscribers and penetration rates 2000 - 2015
Table 12 Fixed-line broadband subscribers and penetration rate 2005 - 2015
Table 13 ADSL subscribers 2004 - 2014
Table 14 Beltelecom DSL subscribers 2008 - 2013
Table 15 Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 1999 - 2004
Table 16 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 2005 - 2015
Table 17 MDC financial data 2007 2014
Table 18 MDC postpaid, prepaid and blended annualised ARPU 2007 2014
Table 19 MDC subscribers, monthly minutes of use (MOU) 2007 2014
Table 20 MDC prepaid users and share of total 2007 - 2014
Table 21 MDC mobile broadband subscribers 2012 2014
Table 22 MTS Belarus subscribers 2004 - 2014
Table 23 MTS Belarus operational data and ARPU ($) 2004 - 2009
Table 24 MTS Belarus operational data and ARPU (RUB) 2010 - 2014
Table 25 BeST financial data 2010 - 2014
Table 26 BeST mobile subscribers 2009 - 2014
Table 27 Active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration 2010 - 2015
Table 28 Forecast fixed broadband subscribers higher growth scenario 2010 - 2013; 2020
Table 29 Forecast fixed broadband subscribers lower growth scenario 2010 - 2013; 2020
Chart 1 Fixed lines in service and teledensity 2005 2014
Chart 2 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 2005 2015
Chart 3 MDC financial data 2007 2014
Chart 4 MDC postpaid, prepaid and blended annualised ARPU 2007 2014
Chart 5 MDC prepaid users and share of total 2007 2014

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