Bulgaria - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Bulgaria - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

  • October 2019 •
  • 146 pages •
  • Report ID: 5193317 •
  • Format: PDF
Until recent years, Bulgaria’s telecoms market was affected by the country’s difficult macroeconomic climate, as well as by relatively high unemployment and a shrinking population.

These factors contributed to steadily declining revenue across the sector until strong recovery returned in 2018. There remains pressure on revenue growth, with consumers continuing to migrate from fixed-line voice telephony to mobile and VoIP alternatives, while the volume of SMS and MMS traffic has been affected by the growing use of alternative OTT messaging services.

The mature mobile market has effective competition between A1 Bulgaria, Telenor Bulgaria (sold to the PPF Group in August 2018) and the incumbent telco Vivacom. Competition intensified following the implementation of a streamlined mobile number portability process. In addition, customer preference for bundled services has put pressure on pricing and encouraged operators to offer generous voice and data packages. This in turn has impacted on operator revenue.

Vivacom is in the process of being sold, and the potential that a new owner will inject funds in network upgrades and develop services based on 5G should stimulate other market players to invest in their own service provision. A1 Bulgaria and Telenor Bulgaria are poised to launch commercial 5G services in 2020.

The broadband market in Bulgaria enjoys excellent cross-platform competition. The share of the market held by DSL has fallen steadily as a result of customers being migrated to fibre networks, particularly those operated by the incumbent telco Vivacom. By early 2019 about 65% of Vivacom’s fixed-line broadband subscribers were on fibre infrastructure.

This report provides an overview of Bulgaria’s fixed-line telecom market, including data on regulatory developments, the strategies of the major operators and an assessment of the evolution of fixed-line networks. The report also reviews the mobile voice and data segments; including a variety of statistics and analyses covering the major operators, market developments and services offered. In addition, the report covers the fixed-line and fixed-wireless broadband sectors, includes an assessment of technologies, the major players, market developments and statistics as well as subscriber forecasts.

Key developments:
Amended Electronic Communications Act focused on enhancing regulator’s powers;
Vestitel begins building second Greece-Bulgaria fibre link;
A1 Bulgaria and Telenor Bulgaria trial 5G;
Vivacom extends the reach of its LTE-A service;
Regulator awards additional spectrum in the 1800MHz band for LTE use;
Cooolbox launches 1Gb/s FttP service;
New cableco association launched;
Government investment program for broadband in rural areas;
Vivacom’s FiberNet offer passes 1.18 million premises
Report update includes the regulator’s market data for 2018, telcos’ operating and financial data to Q2 2019, Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:
Vivacom, Orbitel, Vestitel, A1 Bulgaria (MobilTel), Telenor Bulgaria, PPF Group, Trans Telecom, Blizoo, Max Telecom
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