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Market Research Report

Bulgaria - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Published by BuddeComm Product code 991697
Published Content info 186 Pages
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Bulgaria - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses
Published: January 20, 2021 Content info: 186 Pages
Description

Bulgaria and US agree to 5G network security pledge

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 was sold to United Group in April 2020, following European Commission approval. The company is investing in network upgrades and its development of services based on 5G have stimulated other market players to invest in their own service provision. A1 Bulgaria and Vivacom both launched 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 2020 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.

BuddeComm notes that the outbreak of the Coronavirus in 2020 is having a significant impact on production and supply chains globally. During the coming year the telecoms sector to various degrees is likely to experience a dtownturn in mobile device production, while it may also be difficult for network operators to manage workflows when maintaining and upgrading existing infrastructure. Overall progress towards 5G has been postponed or slowed down in some countries.

On the consumer side, spending on telecoms services and devices is under pressure from the financial effect of large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes. However, the crucial nature of telecom services, both for general communication as well as a tool for remote working, will offset such pressures. In many markets the net effect should be a steady though reduced increased in subscriber growth.

The Bulgarian mobile services market revenue continued to grow in the third quarter of 2020, despite the declining roaming revenues because of the Coronavirus pandemic. Fixed-line service revenues were again driven by upselling in the broadband segment, enriched TV content and remote working corporate solutions. Competition is increasing and consumers are reaping the benefits as operators enhance their offerings.

Although it is challenging to predict and interpret the long-term impacts of the crisis as it develops, these have been acknowledged in the industry forecasts contained in this report.

The report also covers the responses of the telecom operators as well as government agencies and regulators as they react to the crisis to ensure that citizens can continue to make optimum use of telecom services. This can be reflected in subsidy schemes and the promotion of e-health and e-education, among other solutions.

Key developments:

  • Vivacom Bulgaria acquired by United Group;
  • Bulgaria joins the U.S. State Department's Clean Network initiative in a bid to protect its 5G communications networks;
  • The BABTO proposes easing access for MVNOs to enter the market;
  • A1 Bulgaria deploys a NB-IoT platform in several cities;
  • Telenor Bulgaria releases smart monitoring platform for utilities;
  • Ministry of Education and Science launches e-learning platform to help students continue their studies during lockdown restrictions;
  • Report update includes the regulator's market data for 2019, telcos' operating and financial data to Q3 2020, Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses, assessment of the global impact of Covid-19 on the telecoms sector, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Vivacom, Orbitel, Vestitel, A1 Bulgaria (MobilTel), Telenor Bulgaria, PPF Group, Trans Telecom, Blizoo, Max Telecom, T.com, United Group.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Key statistics

Regional European Market Comparison

  • Europe Telecom Maturity Index by tier
    • Market Leaders
    • Market Challengers
    • Market Emergents
  • TMI versus GDP
  • Mobile and mobile broadband penetration
  • Fixed versus mobile broadband penetration

Country overview

Covid-19 and its impact on the telecom sector

  • Economic considerations and responses
  • Mobile devices
  • Subscribers
  • Infrastructure

Telecommunications market

  • Market analysis

Regulatory environment

  • Historical overview
  • Regulatory authority
  • Fixed line development
    • Telecom sector liberalisation
    • Privatisation
    • Interconnect
    • Access
    • Number Portability (NP)
    • Carrier selection/Carrier PreSelection
  • Mobile network developments
    • 5G
    • GSM licences
    • 3G licences
    • 800MHz
    • 1800MHz
    • 2.5-2.6GHz
    • Other spectrum
    • Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
    • Roaming
    • Mobile Termination Rates (MTR)

Mobile market

  • Market analysis
  • Mobile statistics
    • General statistics
  • Mobile infrastructure
    • 5G
    • 4G (LTE)
    • 3G
    • GSM
    • Mobile voice
    • Mobile data
    • Mobile broadband
  • Major mobile operators
    • Vivacom
    • A1 Bulgaria (MobilTel/M-Tel)
    • Telenor Bulgaria (Cosmo Bulgaria Mobile/GloBul)
    • Mobile content and applications
    • Mobile virtual network Operators (MVNOs)

Fixed-line broadband market

  • Introduction and statistical overview
    • Market analysis
    • Broadband statistics
  • Hybrid Fibre Coax (HFC) networks
  • Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks
  • Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP)
  • Other fixed broadband services
    • World Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX)
    • Satellite broadband

Digital economy

  • E-Entertainment
  • E-Learning
  • E-payments
  • E-government
  • E-health

Fixed network operators

  • Introduction
  • Vivacom/Bulgarian Telecommunications Company (BTC)
  • A1 Bulgaria

Telecommunications infrastructure

  • Overview of the national telecom network
  • International networks
  • Smart Grid

Appendix - Historic data

Glossary of abbreviations

Related reports

List of Tables

  • Table 1 - Top Level Country Statistics and Telco Authorities - Bulgaria - 2020 (e)
  • Table 2 - Telecom sector investment - 2015 - 2019
  • Table 3 - Investment in NGA - 2013 - 2019
  • Table 4 - Development of in telecom sector revenue, annual change - 2010 - 2020
  • Table 6 - Proportion of telecom sector revenue by service - 2010 - 2019
  • Table 7 - Change in the share of fixed-voice revenue by type - 2011 - 2019
  • Table 8 - Change in the number of fixed number portings - 2009 - 2019
  • Table 9 - Annual mobile number portings - 2008 - 2019
  • Table 10 - MTRs - 2014 - 2020
  • Table 11 - Growth in the number of mobile subscribers and penetration - 2010 - 2025
  • Table 12 - Decline in mobile sector revenue - 2010 - 2019
  • Table 13 - Change in the proportion of mobile revenue by service - 2010 - 2019
  • Table 14 - Change in mobile market share of subscribers by operator - 2010 - 2019
  • Table 15 - Change in mobile market share of revenue by operator - 2010- 2019
  • Table 16 - Change in mobile market revenue share by service - 2010 - 2019
  • Table 17 - Ratio of prepaid to postpaid subscribers - 2010 - 2019
  • Table 18 - Change in the number of A1 Bulgaria's prepaid subscribers - 2010 - 2020
  • Table 19 - Growth in the number of LTE subscribers - 2015 - 2019
  • Table 20 - Drop in SMS traffic - 2010 - 2019
  • Table 21 - Drop in MMS traffic - 2010 - 2019
  • Table 22 - Growth in the number of active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration - 2010 - 2025
  • Table 23 - Share of mobile broadband subscribers by operator - 2017 - 2018
  • Table 24 - Growth in the number of A1 Bulgaria' mobile broadband subscribers - 2008 - 2020
  • Table 25 - Change in the number of Vivacom's mobile subscribers - 2012 - 2019
  • Table 26 - Development of Vivacom's mobile revenue - 2009 - 2019
  • Table 27 - Vivacom annualised mobile ARPU - 2012 - 2019
  • Table 28 - A1 Bulgaria prepaid, postpaid and blended monthly ARPU - 2009 - 2020
  • Table 29 - Change in the number of A1 Bulgaria's mobile subscriber base - 2010 - 2020
  • Table 30 - Increase in A1 Bulgaria's Minutes of Use (MoU) - 2010 - 2020
  • Table 31 - Change in the number of Telenor Bulgaria's mobile subscribers - 2010 - 2020
  • Table 32 - Change in the share of fixed-line broadband subscribers by operator - 2017 - 2019
  • Table 33 - Change in fixed-line broadband market share by access type - 2010 - 2019
  • Table 34 - Increase in the total internet subscribers (fixed and mobile) and annual change - 2015 - 2019
  • Table 35 - Growth in the number of fixed broadband subscribers and penetration - 2010 - 2025
  • Table 36 - Change in the proportion of fixed broadband subscribers by data speed - 2010- 2019
  • Table 37 - Growth in total internet (retail and wholesale) revenue - 2008 - 2019
  • Table 38 - Retail and wholesale internet revenue - 2015 - 2019
  • Table 39 - Growth in the number of cable broadband subscribers - 2010 - 2019
  • Table 40 - Decline in the number of DSL subscribers - 2010 - 2019
  • Table 41 - Development of Vivacom's broadband subscriber base - 2012 - 2019
  • Table 42 - Evolution of A1 Bulgaria's fixed broadband subscribers -2011 - 2020
  • Table 43 - Increase in the number of Vivacom's fibre broadband connections and homes passed - 2013 - 2019
  • Table 44 - Growth in the number of FttP subscribers - 2008 - 2019
  • Table 45 - Development of Vivacom's financial data - 2009 - 2019
  • Table 46 - Development of Vivacom's financial data by sector - 2010 - 2019
  • Table 47 - Change in the number of Vivacom's subscribers by sector - 2012 - 2019
  • Table 48 - Change in the number of Vivacom's pay TV and IPTV subscribers - 2013 - 2019
  • Table 49 - Change in A1 Bulgaria's financial data - 2009 - 2020
  • Table 50 - Growth in the number of A1 Bulgaria's fixed RGUs - 2011 - 2020
  • Table 51 - Increase in the number of A1 Bulgaria's fixed access lines - 2011 - 2020
  • Table 52 - Decline in the number of fixed lines in service and teledensity - 2011 - 2025
  • Table 53 - Increase in international internet bandwidth - 2009 - 2019
  • Table 54 - Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration - 1995 - 2009
  • Table 55 - Historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 2000 - 2009
  • Table 56 - Historic - International bandwidth - 2000 - 2009
  • Table 57 - Historic - Ratio of prepaid to postpaid subscribers - 2002 - 2009
  • Table 58 - Historic - Total SMS messages sent - 2003 - 2009
  • Table 59 - Historic - Mobile base stations in service by technology - 2012 - 2016
  • Table 60 - Historic - Telenor Bulgaria's financial data (NOK) - 2013 - 2018
  • Table 61 - Historic - Fixed broadband subscribers and penetration - 2005 - 2009
  • Table 62- Historic- Change in mobile market share of subscribers by operator - 2006 - 2009
  • Table 63 - Historic- A1 Bulgaria's prepaid subscribers - 2004 - 2009
  • Table 64 - Historic- Total MMS messages sent - 2003 - 2009
  • Table 65 - Historic- Change in the number of A1 Bulgaria's mobile subscriber base - 2004 - 2009
  • Table 66 - Historic- Growth in the number of cable broadband subscribers - 2005 - 200
  • Table 67 - Historic- Decline in the number of DSL subscribers - 2005 - 2009
  • Table 68 - Historic- Increase in international internet bandwidth - 2000 - 2009
  • Table 69 - Historic- Development of in telecom sector revenue, annual change - 2006 - 2009
  • Table 70 - Historic- Change in mobile market share of revenue by operator - 2007- 2009
  • Table 71 - Historic -Increase in A1 Bulgaria's Minutes of Use (MOU) - 2007 - 2009
  • Table 72 - Historic -Telenor Bulgaria subscribers - 2007 - 2009

List of Charts

  • Chart 1 - Europe Telecoms Maturity Index - Market Leaders (top tier)
  • Chart 2 - Europe Telecoms Maturity Index - Market Challengers (middle tier)
  • Chart 3 - Europe Telecoms Maturity Index - Market Emergents (bottom tier)
  • Chart 4 - Overall view - Telecoms Maturity Index vs GDP per Capita
  • Chart 5 - Europe - mobile subscriber penetration vs mobile broadband penetration
  • Chart 6 - Scandinavia and Baltics: mobile subscriber penetration vs mobile broadband penetration
  • Chart 7 - Northern Europe -mobile subscriber penetration vs mobile broadband penetration
  • Chart 8 - Southern Europe mobile subscriber penetration vs mobile broadband penetration
  • Chart 9 - Eastern Europe mobile subscriber penetration vs mobile broadband penetration
  • Chart 10 - Scandinavia and Baltics fixed and mobile broadband penetration
  • Chart 11 - Northern Europe fixed and mobile broadband penetration
  • Chart 12 - Southern Europe fixed and mobile broadband penetration
  • Chart 13 - Eastern Europe fixed and mobile broadband penetration
  • Chart 14 - Investment in NGA - 2013 - 2019
  • Chart 15 - Development of in telecom sector revenue, annual change - 2010 - 2020
  • Chart 16 - Telecom sector revenue by service - 2008 - 2019
  • Chart 17 - Proportion of telecom sector revenue by service - 2010 - 2019
  • Chart 18 - Change in the share of fixed-voice revenue by type - 2011 - 2019
  • Chart 19 - Change in the number of fixed number portings - 2009 - 2019
  • Chart 20 - Annual mobile number portings - 2008 - 2019
  • Chart 21 - Growth in the number of mobile subscribers and penetration - 2010 - 2025
  • Chart 22 - Decline in mobile sector revenue - 2010 - 2019
  • Chart 23 - Change in the proportion of mobile revenue by service - 2010 - 2019
  • Chart 24 - Change in mobile market share of subscribers by operator - 2010- 2019
  • Chart 25 - Change in mobile market share of revenue by operator - 2010 - 2019
  • Chart 26 - Change in mobile market revenue share by service - 2009 - 2019
  • Chart 27 - Ratio of prepaid to postpaid subscribers - 2010 - 2019
  • Chart 28 - Change in the number of A1 Bulgaria's prepaid subscribers - 2010 - 2020
  • Chart 29 - Growth in the number of LTE subscribers - 2015 - 2019
  • Chart 30 - Drop in SMS traffic - 2010 - 2019
  • Chart 31 - Drop in MMS traffic - 2010 - 2019
  • Chart 32 - Growth in the number of active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration - 2010- 2025
  • Chart 33 - Growth in the number of A1 Bulgaria' mobile broadband subscribers - 2008 - 2020
  • Chart 34 - Change in the number of Vivacom's mobile subscribers - 2012 - 2019
  • Chart 35 - Vivacom mobile revenue - 2009 - 2019
  • Chart 36 - Vivacom annualised mobile ARPU - 2012 - 2019
  • Chart 37 - A1 Bulgaria prepaid, postpaid and blended monthly ARPU - 2009 - 2020
  • Chart 38 - Change in the number of A1 Bulgaria's mobile subscriber base - 2010 - 2020
  • Chart 39 - Increase in A1 Bulgaria's Minutes of Use (MoU) - 2010 - 2020
  • Chart 40 - Change in the number of Telenor Bulgaria's mobile subscribers - 2010 - 2020
  • Chart 41 - Change in the share of fixed-line broadband subscribers by operator - 2017 - 2019
  • Chart 42 - Change in fixed-line broadband market share by access type - 2010 - 2019
  • Chart 43 - Increase in the total internet subscribers (fixed and mobile) and annual change - 2015 - 2019
  • Chart 44 - Growth in the number of fixed broadband subscribers and penetration - 2010- 2025
  • Chart 45 - Change in the proportion of fixed broadband subscribers by data speed - 2010- 2019
  • Chart 46 - Growth in total internet (retail and wholesale) revenue - 2008 - 2019
  • Chart 47 - Retail and wholesale internet revenue - 2015 - 2019
  • Chart 48 - Growth in the number of cable broadband subscribers - 2010 - 2019
  • Chart 49 - Decline in the number of DSL subscribers - 2010 - 2019
  • Chart 50 - Development of Vivacom's broadband subscriber base - 2012 - 2019
  • Chart 51 - Evolution of A1 Bulgaria's fixed broadband subscribers -2011 - 2020
  • Chart 52 - Increase in the number of Vivacom's fibre broadband connections and homes passed - 2013 - 2019
  • Chart 53 - Growth in the number of FttP subscribers - 2008 - 2019
  • Chart 54 - Development of Vivacom's financial data - 2009 - 2019
  • Chart 55 - Development of Vivacom's financial data by sector - 2010 - 2019
  • Chart 56 - Change in the number of Vivacom's subscribers by sector - 2012 - 2019
  • Chart 57 - Change in the number of Vivacom's pay TV and IPTV subscribers - 2013 - 2019
  • Chart 58 - Change in A1 Bulgaria's financial data - 2009 - 2020
  • Chart 59 - Growth in the number of A1 Bulgaria's fixed RGUs - 2011 - 2020
  • Chart 60 - Increase in the number of A1 Bulgaria's fixed access lines - 2011 - 2020
  • Chart 61 - Decline in the number of fixed lines in service and teledensity - 2010 - 2025
  • Chart 62 - Increase in international internet bandwidth - 2009 - 2019

List of Exhibits

  • Exhibit 1 - Generalised Market Characteristics by Market Segment
  • Exhibit 2 - Access, the local loop and unbundling - an overview
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