Includes 3 FREE quarterly updates
BMI View: The Romanian telecoms market contains a number of major international players, such as
Cosmote, backed by OTE and Deutsche Telekom, Orange, and Vodafone in the mobile sector, as well as
Liberty Global-owned UPC in the wireline sector. While the mobile subscriber market has witnessed
declines in total subscriber numbers in recent quarters, the latest data from operators show a return to
growth in Q212. Romania is at a crossroads in terms of market development: the recent spectrum auction
sees five operators being awarded LTE-capable bandwidth, and Vodafone had already begun trials of its
4G network at the time of writing. But faster download speeds require investment in LTE technology and
4G-capable infrastructure, and regular cuts to mobile termination rates (most recently in September
2012) have had a negative impact on operators' profits. The question remains: will the potential returns
of 4G encourage operators' shareholders to approve new capital expenditure in a country where growth
has been sluggish, and regulatory measures and weak economic conditions are hitting the market hard?
- Inactive subscription discounting was repeated this quarter, but even despite these losses, the
market has grown overall. The mobile market climbed to 27.183mn subscriptions in Q212; it
gained 151,000 subscribers from Q112.
- The broadband market has seen a sharp slowdown in growth, falling from 19.1% growth in 2010
to 9.7% growth in 2011.
- The fixed-line market saw subscription growth in 2011, which we believe to be the result of the
increasing popularity of bundled services.
Key Trends And Developments
Five operators won a total of 485MHz of spectrum in the 800MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz and 2600MHz
bands. Cosmote, Orange, Vodafone, RCS&RDS and 2K Telecom all acquired spectrum, and are obliged
to host MVNOs as part of the terms of the agreement.
Following the successful allocation of 4G-capable spectrum, Romania's mobile operators are keen to
launch LTE services. Vodafone began LTE trials at the end of October 2012, Orange aims to begin its
LTE pilot before the end of 2012 and Cosmote plans to launch LTE services in 2013.
From 2 September 2012, mobile and fixed-line subscribers can request number portability, and operators
are obliged to activate numbers in the new network with a day, and for the porting process to be
completed in three days.