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New Report Available: Bulgaria Telecommunications Report Q1 2014

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2013-12-10 10:38:22 - New Fixed Networks research report from Business Monitor International is now available from Fast Market Research

The Bulgarian telecoms market has a mixed outlook, with a saturated mobile market and steep declines in ARPU set against rapid growth of data services and the opportunity for growth via bundled services. The pattern of slow subscription growth and price pressures in the mobile market is forecast to continue, driven by competition and regulatory policies such as MTR reduction. However, this trend will be less pronounced than in 2012, as operators face up to the reality of having to maintain margins. We remain upbeat about the broadband sector, which we expect to benefit from strong investments, next generation access networks and increasing take-up of internet-based services, such as IPTV.

Key data

Full Report Details at
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* The mobile

market contracted for a second successive quarter in Q213, a trend driven by subscription losses at market leader Mobitel. The Bulgarian mobile market is saturated, and BMI believes there are large numbers of inactive subscriptions.
* Mobile ARPU has fallen precipitously y-o-y to Q213, with the figures for Mobitel and Globul down 19.7% and 28.6% respectively. Price competition and cuts to mobile termination rates were the most important factors contributing to this sharp fall.
* European Commission data show the broadband market expanded rapidly in 2012, with growth driven by uptake of dedicated mobile broadband services, as well as higher speed fixed connections. Total subscriptions reached 2.222mn at end-2012, penetration of 30%.

Key Trends And Developments

The latest data from the European Commission show fixed broadband penetration remains low in Bulgaria, but more positively the data also show the high penetration of high-speed services in the mix of subscriptions. Bulgaria had above average share of 10Mbps+ and 30-100Mbps services at end-2012, while next generation access technologies (FTTx, VDSL and DOCSIS3.0) accounted for a 49% share of total fixed broadband subscriptions. This development has been driven by competition from alternative providers as well as the incumbent Vivacom, which in July 2013 announced that 3mn households were able to access potential speeds of 2.5Gbps over its infrastructure. It has invested in the expansion of fibre infrastructure since the start of 2011, and by mid-2013 had covered most major cities, enabling high-speed broadband and pay-TV services. Currently it offers a special package for internet and TV (DUO: FiberNet + TV) at a price of BGN15.80 (US$10.7) a month for the entire period of the contract.

In the mobile market the outlook continues to be shaped by changes in ownership and potential shifts in strategy. In July 2013 Telenor completed the acquisition of Cosmo Bulgaria Mobile (Cosmote) and integrated retailer Germanos from OTE after receiving European Commission approval. Telenor has not revealed its strategic approach to the new acquisition, but it looks likely to face new competition from a fourth operator. A mobile licence was awarded to satellite operator Bulsatcom in early 2013 and the new licensee intends to launch commercial services soon, a development we expect to increase the downward pressure on operators' ARPUs and operating margins in future. We expect Bulsatcom to pursue a value-led strategy in its bid to get a foothold in the market, bundling its mobile services with its existing satellite broadband and TV services.

Report Table of Contents:

BMI Industry View
- Mobile
- Wireline
- Political
- Economic
- Business Environment
Industry Forecast
- Mobile
- Table: Telecoms Sector - Mobile - Historical Data & Forecasts
- Table: Telecoms Sector - ARPU (BGN) - Historical Data & Forecast
- Fixed Line
- Table: Telecoms Sector - Fixed Line - Historical Data & Forecasts
- Broadband
- Table: Telecoms Sector - Internet - Historical Data & Forecasts
Industry Risk Reward Ratings
- Central And Eastern Europe Risk/Reward Ratings
- Industry Rewards
- Country Rewards
- Industry Risks
- Country Risks
- Table: Central And Eastern Europe Telecoms Risk/Rewards Ratings, Q114
Market Overview
- Mobile
- Table: Bulgaria Mobile Market Regional Comparisons, 2012
- Mobile Growth
- Table: Bulgaria Mobile Market, 2011-2013
- Subscriber Mix
- Usage (ARPU/MOU)
- Table: Bulgaria Mobile Market Overview
- Table: Mobiltel
- Table: Globul
- Table: Vivacom
- CEE Mobile Content
- Fixed Line
- Broadband
- Table: Wireline Developments (2010-2012)
Industry Trends And Developments
Regulatory Development
- Table: Bulgaria Regulatory Bodies And Responsibilities
- Regulatory Developments
Competitive Landscape
- Table: Key Players: Bulgaria Telecoms Sector
- Table: Selected Operators' Financial Indicators
Company Profile
- Vivacom
- Mobiltel (M-Tel)
Regional Overview
- Financial Results
Demographic Forecast
- Demographic Outlook
- Table: Bulgaria's Population By Age Group, 1990-2020 ('000)
- Table: Bulgaria's Population By Age Group, 1990-2020 (% of total)
- Table: Bulgaria's Key Population Ratios, 1990-2020
- Table: Bulgaria's Rural And Urban Population, 1990-2020
- Table: Glossary Of Terms
- Industry Forecast Methodology
- Sources
- Risk/Reward Ratings Methodology
- Table: Risk/Reward Ratings Indicators
- Table: Weighting Of Indicators

About Business Monitor International

Business Monitor International (BMI) offers a comprehensive range of products and services designed to help senior executives, analysts and researchers assess and better manage operating risks, and exploit business opportunities, across 175 markets. BMI offers three main areas of expertise: Country Risk BMI's country risk and macroeconomic forecast portfolio includes weekly financial market reports, monthly regional Monitors, and in-depth quarterly Business Forecast Reports. Industry Analysis BMI covers a total of 17 industry verticals through a portfolio of services, including in-depth quarterly Country Forecast Reports. View more research from Business Monitor International at

About Fast Market Research

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