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Bulgaria - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

January 2021 | 186 pages | ID: BB5FFB9218E7EN
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The Bulgaria - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses report includes all relevant BuddeComm research data and analysis. Covering trends and developments in telecommunications, mobile, internet, broadband, infrastructure and regulation. Please review the Executive Summary and Table of Contents for more details.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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.
1 KEY STATISTICS

2 REGIONAL EUROPEAN MARKET COMPARISON

2.1 Europe Telecom Maturity Index by tier
2.2 TMI versus GDP
2.3 Mobile and mobile broadband penetration
2.4 Fixed versus mobile broadband penetration

3 COUNTRY OVERVIEW

4 COVID-19 AND ITS IMPACT ON THE TELECOM SECTOR

4.1 Economic considerations and responses
4.2 Mobile devices
4.3 Subscribers
4.4 Infrastructure

5 TELECOMMUNICATIONS MARKET

5.1 Market analysis

6 REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT

6.1 Historical overview
6.2 Regulatory authority
6.3 Fixed line development
6.4 Mobile network developments

7 MOBILE MARKET

7.1 Market analysis
7.2 Mobile statistics
7.3 Mobile infrastructure
7.4 Major mobile operators

8 FIXED-LINE BROADBAND MARKET

8.1 Introduction and statistical overview
8.2 Hybrid Fibre Coax (HFC) networks
8.3 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks
8.4 Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP)
8.5 Other fixed broadband services

9 DIGITAL ECONOMY

9.1 E-Entertainment
9.2 E-Learning
9.3 E-payments
9.4 E-government
9.5 E-health

10 FIXED NETWORK OPERATORS

10.1 Introduction
10.2 Vivacom/Bulgarian Telecommunications Company (BTC)
10.3 A1 Bulgaria

11 TELECOMMUNICATIONS INFRASTRUCTURE

11.1 Overview of the national telecom network
11.2 International networks
11.3 Smart Grid

12 APPENDIX HISTORIC DATA

13 GLOSSARY OF ABBREVIATIONS

14 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
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
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
Exhibit 1 Generalised Market Characteristics by Market Segment
Exhibit 2 Access, the local loop and unbundling an overview


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