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Tele2 Latvia to provide LTE-A nationally by end-2016
Latvia's telecom market has been shaped by the European Union, with the EU's 2002 regulatory policies and the revised 2009 New Regulatory Framework being adopted as core components of the sector's regulatory measures. The country is as also a member of the Economic and Monetary Union of the EU. At the beginning of 2014 Latvia became the 18th country to adopt the euro as its national currency, and by the end of the year the incumbent telco, Lattelecom, transitioned to the euro for all of its businesses in both Latvia and Lithuania. The former currency, the Lat, had joined the Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM II) in May 2005. Latvia became a member of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD in June 2016.
Latvia's broadband market continues to suffer from inadequate progress on local loop unbundling, though the government has stepped up its efforts to build a national fibre broadband network, part-funded by the European Commission (EC).
Four mobile network operators compete in the market. LTE services have been launched commercially, while operators including Tele2 have expanded their LTE-A services into 2016. The recent auction of 2.6GHz spectrum has enabled operators to improve the capabilities of their LTE services. A significant auction of digital dividend spectrum held at the end of 2013 saw three operators secure licenses to 2030.
Government rejects TeliaSonera's proposal to merge LMT with Lattelecom; regulator reports on mobile broadband quality of service into 2016; Mid Europa sells Bité Group to Providence Equity Partners; MNOs expand LTE-A deployments; Lattelecom launches VDSL vectoring program; fixed-line call termination rates reduced by 89%; fibre rollouts providing broadband access at up to 600Mb/s; EC funding for fibre networks supporting the government' program to build a national network; report update includes the regulator's market data, telcos' operating and financial data to Q2 2016, recent market developments.
Market penetration rates in Latvia's telecoms sector 2016 (e)
Penetration of telecoms services: | Penetration
Fixed-line telephony | 19%
Fixed broadband | 25.8%
Mobile SIM (population) | 127%
Companies mentioned in this report:
Lattelecom, Baltcom TV, Izzi, Viasat, Latvia Mobilais Telefons, Bité, Telekom Baltija, Zetcom, Tele2, Latvenergo.
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