2013-12-11 11:22:17 - New Fixed Networks market report from Business Monitor International: "Slovenia Telecommunications Report 2014"
The Slovenian mobile market is the regional leader in both ARPU levels and postpaid subscription mix in Central and Eastern Europe. This is due to its small geographic size and small population, which also limits the potential in the market. The market appears to have reached saturation at 110.1%, with growth slowing and occasional periods of subscriber losses reported by operators. The launch of 4G by two of the operators bodes well for the uptake of mobile broadband, which has been unimpressive thus far.
The government has been keen to shore up operator's spectrum reserves by releasing new frequencies, with further auctions planned for the end of 2013 and another in 2014. While positive for the likes of Si.mobil, Mobitel and
Tusmobil, this could bring unwelcome financial pressure. In the wireline market, incumbent Telekom Slovenije continues to dominate telephony and broadband internet. Smaller players such as Amis are finding themselves squeezed out, forced to put themselves up for sale. A shift towards VoIP, IPTV and converged services through fibre optics are benefitting Telemach and T-2, but the erosion of Telekom Slovenije's strong hold is slow.
Full Report Details at
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* The mobile market has continued to grow even as penetration reached 110.1% by the end of June 2013, with 3.1% year-on-year (y-o-y) growth to 2.251mn subscriptions. BMI forecasts growth will continue to slow in the medium term and total subscriptions will increase to 2.330mn by the end of 2017.
* The broadband market has shifted towards higher speed technologies such as cable and fibre-to-the-home (FTTH), allowing operators to offer IPTV and VoIP services in converged packages to supplement their revenues.
* Dedicated mobile broadband has seen sluggish growth compared to many markets in Central and Eastern Europe, although we believe the rollout of LTE services and additional spectrum could catalyse the market by offering speeds comparable to Slovenia's high quality wireline infrastructure.
Key Trends And Developments
* In September 2013 the country's parliament approved the government's privatisation plans for stakes in the company and 14 other enterprises, as part of the country's efforts to avoid the necessity of taking an EU bailout. A 62.54% stake in Telekom Slovenije is directly owned by the Republic of Slovenia, while another 9.84% is held by state investment funds. Reports suggest the government hopes to raise a minimum of EUR360mn on the stock exchange from a sale of its 74% stake in the company. The government expects Deutsche Telekom to be an interested bidder, with hopes that the fee could rise to EUR550mn.
* Telekom Slovenije, via its mobile unit Mobitel, launched LTE services in 27 localities in Slovenia as of March 2013, becoming the second operator to do so after Si.mobil in October 2012. The services are available via LTE data devices, including USB modems or MiFi routers with an internet LTE/4G or internet LTE/4G poslovni (business) data package worth EUR39 (US$50.4) a month. The operator plans to offer 4G services to nearly 40% of the Slovenian population by end-2013. By June 2013 it covered 42 towns and over 40% of the population. Telekom Slovenije said that subscribers to its Mobitel network can now choose from 15 LTE devices, including handsets, tablet computers, USB modems and 'MiFi' mobile Wi-Fi hotspots.
* The Agency for Post and Electronic Communications (APEK) awarded 1,800MHz and 2,100Mhz frequencies to three operators to be used for next generation LTE mobile broadband services. The three winning parties were announced on April 25 2013, as the main operators in the country, Telekom Slovenije, Si.mobil and Tusmobil. A price had not yet been specified for the frequencies at the time of writing. The regulator is also planning further auctions of 800MHz, 900Mhz and 2,600MHz frequencies, with the date estimated for around 2014. APEK has put out a public tender for consulting services regarding the use of the 800MHz band, to provide broadband to rural areas and to determine the costs of extra base stations.
* Alternative telecoms operator Amis is reportedly up for sale and could reach around EUR30mn, according to local news reports. The company was acquired in 2006 by Belgian based KBC Private Equity and the French firm Iris Capital for an undisclosed fee.
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