Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 04/12/2013 -- BMI View: Croatia has one of the more developed telecommunications markets in the Central and Eastern Europe region. It has managed to maintain relatively high ARPUs, given the high usage of value-added services. Croatia has one of the highest proportions of non-voice services as a % of ARPU, demonstrating that the Croatian population is relatively receptive to new technology and data services.
- The mobile market lost approximately 204,000 subscribers in Q412 and further losses are expected in Q113. The 90-day active subscriber counting initiative means that thousands of SIMs bought by foreign holidaymakers in the summer need to be deactivated in the winter. Underlying mobile growth is being driven by customer migration to postpaid plans, despite the cooling economic growth outlook weighing on discretionary spending. Usage of smartphones and tablet computers is rising, pushing up revenues from non-voice services at mobile operators.
- The fixed and mobile broadband market grew faster than expected in Q312 (latest data), up by 6.2% y-oy as a result of a resurgence of interest in mobile broadband services. We have raised slightly our forecast for the broadband market, but reined-in our forecasts for the broader mobile market.
- The fixed-line market contracted by 8.6% q-o-q in Q312, reversing the positive growth of H112. We now forecast a decline in fixed-lines through to 2017.
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T-Mobile and VIPnet secured 2x10MHz of 800MHz spectrum in Q412, enabling them to offer 4G LTE services in Croatia. T-Mobile had already begun piloting LTE services in 2011, as had VIPnet, under trial licences issued by the regulator, HAKOM. Tele2 did not apply for 800MHz spectrum, despite seeing the potential for 4G to differentiate its offering. In February 2013, it emerged that Telenor Serbia was considering buying Tele2 Croatia.
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