Ukraine - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media - Statistics and Analyses
Ukraine’s telcos retreat from contested eastern regions
Ukraine’s telecoms market is supported by a population of over 42 million. National telecom infrastructure is being modernised through considerable investment in both the mobile and fixed-broadband sectors. Competition is provided from a number of alternative operators, and although the incumbent Ukrtelecom remains the dominant player in the fixed-line market the regulatory environment is improving following the sale of Ukrtelecom to the local conglomerate SCM Group. In addition, Ukraine’s telecom market has attracted investors from Turkey and Russia, while Vodafone Group has partnered with MTS Ukraine to help develop mobile services under the Vodafone brand.
The political tension which erupted in late 2013, and which continues in a more violent form in eastern areas of the country, has brought focus to the vulnerability of the national telecom network, parts of which have been subjected to vandalism. A number of telcos operating in Crimea, annexed by Russia in 2014, left the peninsular after their licences were made over to Russian firms. More recently, telcos have retreated from the Donetsk region after armed gangs made it impossible for them to operate their networks and continue to offer services. The telecom regulator now assesses market statistics, including revenue, excluding data from Crimea and the separately administered city of Sevastopol, as well as from a number of contested regions in the east.
The competitive mobile market is dominated by the three network operators MTS Ukraine (which has operated under the Vodafone Ukraine moniker since mid-2015), VimpelCom’s Kyivstar and Lifecell, owned by Turkcell. The mobile subsidiary of the incumbent telco Ukrtelecom, trading as TriMob, has been considered for sale since SCM Group acquired Ukrtelecom in 2013: in January 2016 Vodafone Ukraine made a bid for the operator but this was withdrawn in the following October after the Antimonopoly Committee delayed making a decision of the deal.
Competition resulting from mobile number portability has also been stymied by the regulator having delayed its introduction: a contract to manage the system was not concluded until the very end of 2016.
Mobile broadband services present a significant growth opportunity for operators. Significant investment has been made in extending 3G (HSPA+) infrastructure to support customer demand for mobile data and broadband services. However, the launch of commercial LTE services has been put back to end of 2017, when the auction of suitable spectrum is scheduled. This processed was eased in March 2017 after Kyivstar reached an agreement with Vodafone Ukraine and Lifecell on the redistribution of spectrum in the 1800MHz band currently used for GSM services, and to reassigned for LTE. To this spectrum will be added 80MHz of spectrum in the 2600MHz band, to be issued under 15-year licenses.
Ukraine’s sizeable broadband market enjoys effective cross-platform competition. DSL remains the dominant access platform, though cable is widely available and there has been considerable investment in FttP and FttB in recent years. LAN and wireless platforms such as Wi-Fi and WiMAX exist on a smaller scale. Digital TV is accessible from the cable and satellite platforms, while DTTV has progressed, though not without controversy in the selection of broadcasters.
This report provides an overview of Ukraine’s telecom market, including profiles of the major operators and a review of telecom network infrastructure, regulatory measures, and emerging network developments. The report also covers the fixed-line and wireless broadband sectors as well as digital media developments. In addition the report details the mobile market, including statistics from the major operators and analyses on regulatory measures, spectrum auctions and the anticipated launch of services based on LTE technology.
Telcos forced to stop telecom services in Donetsk and other disputed regions;
Ukrtelecom begins three-year network upgrade project with Huawei,
Telecom revenue growth stagnates in 2016;
Fixed lines in services dip below 8.5 million;
Volia acquires the W-Fi operator Normatek;
DTTV switch-over set for June 2018;
MNO agreement paves the way for redistribution of 1800MHz spectrum for LTE use by end-2017;
MTS Ukraine pulls out of deal to acquire TriMob;
Regulator preps for 2600MHz auction for LTE services;
SI Center and Teletech awarded three–year contract to manage MNP;
MNOs vacate Crimea and Donetsk regions;
Lifecell retreats from all but five regions;
Report update includes the regulator market data, State Statistics data to December 2016, telcos’ operating and financial data to Q4 2016, recent market developments.
Companies mentioned in this report:
Kyivstar, Ukrainian Radio Systems, Lifecell (Astelit), Vodafone Ukraine (MTS Ukraine), Ukrtelecom, Beeline, Datagroup, Eurotranstelecom, Vega, Velton Telecom, Intertelecom, ITC, Telesystems, Golden Telecom, PAN Wireless, Volia Cable, VimpelCom.