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Bulgaria - Telecoms Infrastructure, Operators, Regulations - Statistics and Analyses

  • December 2016
  • -
  • Paul Budde Communication Pty Ltd
  • -
  • 20 pages

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Bulgaria's telecoms market in recent years has been affected by the country's poor macroeconomic climate, which has contributed to steadily declining revenue across the sector since 2008. This has been exacerbated by consumer trends which have seen the continuing decline in the fixed-line sector as voice is replaced by mobile and VoIP alternatives. In addition, SMS and MMS services are being pressed by the growing use of alternative OTT messaging, so eroding an important revenue stream for mobile network operators. These can also now expect a further reduction in roaming revenue following the decision by the European commission to bring international roaming rates in line with domestic rates. Nevertheless, there are considerable opportunities for telcos further to develop popular bundled packages.

The telecom sector has nevertheless benefitted from Bulgaria's adoption of EU regulatory measures, which has encouraged investment in the sector from other telcos as well as private equity firms. The incumbent Vivacom has been privatised, and the government no longer holds the golden share' which had enabled it to veto certain key decisions. In August 2016 Viva Telecom (Luxembourg) completed the acquisition of InterV Investment, which indirectly owns Vivacom, for 330 million. Although the liberalised market has attracted new market entrants, Vivacom remains the dominant player.
This report provides an overview of Bulgaria's fixed-line telecom market, including data on regulatory developments, the strategies and performances of the major operators and an assessment of the evolution of fixed-line networks.

Key developments:

Regulator to introduce IP interconnection from the beginning of 2017; Viva Telecom (Luxembourg) acquires Vivacom for 330 million; Bulgaria planning to join the Trans-Eurasian Information Super Highway (TASIM) project; regulator signs MoU with Montenegrin telecom regulator to cooperate on reducing cost of telecom services; MobilTel covers one million households with fixed network; steady growth in new entrant fixed-lines; amended Electronic Communications Act focused on enhancing regulator's powers; Vestitel begins building second Greece-Bulgaria fibre link; regulator's market data updates for 2015; telcos' operating and financial data to Q3 2016; recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Vivacom, Orbitel, Vestitel, MobilTel.

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