2013-12-10 09:44:40 - Recently published research from Business Monitor International, "Serbia Telecommunications Report 2014", is now available at Fast Market Research
Serbia's telecommunications market lags behind the most developed in Central and Eastern Europe in terms of investment in next-generation networks and value-added services. The mobile market is one of the most penetrated in the region and experienced an overall decline in the number of subscribers in 2012, as a result of subscriber deactivations and slowing growth. Operators have identified this saturation and have made moves to migrate users from prepaid to postpaid contracts, as well as to 3G mobile broadband services. Telekom Srbija continues to have a strong presence in the telecommunications market, limiting growth opportunities in telephony and ADSL due to its dominance over the sectors. Pay-TV is on the rise, however, with a more liberalised market pushing up
subscriptions, ARPU and overall revenues. The rapid sale of Serbia Broadband, in comparison to the protracted saga of Telekom Srbija's privatisation process, highlights the former's strong presence in the pay-TV sector and the need for the latter to lower its valuation.
Full Report Details at
- www.fastmr.com/prod/752061_serbia_telecommunications_report_2014 ..
* The mobile market recorded its first year of decline, as the regulator changed its reporting practises, Telekom Srbija discounted inactive prepaid accounts and other operators saw slower growth.
* The mobile broadband market, however, grew rapidly in 2012, up by 43.6% y-o-y to reach 3.663mn 3G subscriptions.
* Vip Mobile continued to make the most gains in terms of market share by subscriptions, adding 217,000 net users in 2012.
* Pay-TV users grew by 8.3% to reach 1.44mn at end-2012, while monthly ARPU for IPTV also rose from RSD700 to RSD858.
Key Trends And Developments
In September 2013, it was reported Serbia will introduce a fourth mobile telephony provider that will be operated by cable company SBB. A source from the Agency for Electronic Communications (Ratel) said SBB received approval to launch an MVNO, making it the first such operator in Serbia. It will compete with Telekom Srbija's mt:s, Telenor and Vip Mobile. SBB confirmed it is completing the technical preparations to start the mobile telephony service. According to a company source, SBB has approval from Ratel, it has its numbering, as well as contracts with other operators. The source also indicated SBB is in the final phase of testing the system and expects to launch the service by end-2013.
In August 2013, Rasim Ljajic, Serbia's trade and communications minister, announced Serbia will be able to invite bids from mobile operators for spectrum freed up by the digital TV switchover in H114. According to an announcement made in August 2013 by Milan Jankovic of Serbia's Electronic Communications Agency (Ratel), Serbia is poised to launch 4G technology in 2014. Jankovic said currently 85 to 95% mobile coverage exists in Serbia, depending on whether the network in question is a 2G and 3G network. Finance and Economy Minister, Mladjan Dinkic, unveiled a programme of measures aimed at stabilising the state budget and reforming the public sector, which envisages possible additional revenues of EUR125-250mn from granting a 4G mobile telephony licence.
Serbian cable and satellite TV service provider SBB is expected to be sold by end-2013, according to local media reports. Foreign investors are highly keen to buy SBB from the current owners, UK-based Mid Europa Fund. In October, it emerged that private equity firm KKR was the winning bidder, for an undisclosed price.
Telekom Srbija was due to go on sale in September 2013, with privatisation plans expected to be published in late June 2013. The Serbian government is considering its options after the company improved its financial performance. The state could divest as much as 100% of its holding in the company, raising around EUR2bn (US$2.67bn) in the process. Negotiations with potential bidders have reportedly already gotten under way. However, the Serbian government is struggling to determine the valuation of the company due to conflicting views. The company is expected to sell for EUR2bn (US$2.64bn) as the government aims to reduce its rising financial deficit. The Serbian government expects the privatisation programme to be resolved by June 2014. However, it is looking increasingly unlikely a sale will meet this deadline.
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