Fast Market Research recommends "Estonia Telecommunications Report 2014" from Business Monitor International, now available
Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 12/12/2013 -- We have mixed views with respect to the Estonian telecoms market. On one hand, it is one of the region's most developed broadband economies, with large strides having been made in the rollout of next-generation access technologies such as fibre and mobile broadband, However, it is also a very small market and operators have few organic growth opportunities before them, pushing them into aggressive price competition and pre- to postpaid migration strategies that have yet to deliver enhanced revenue-creation.
There are few alternative operators actively challenging incumbent Elion on anything other than the mobile services front and the government continues to wield undue influence over the market through policy-making, regulatory and service provider bodies. The European Commission is understandably alarmed. That said, as Estonian real private final consumption growth continues to outstrip most other countries in the region, the country continues to appeal to opportunistic investors and we expect consolidation in the fragmented cable sector soon.
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Second-ranked mobile network operator Elisa Eesti generally outperforms rivals EMT and Tele2 in terms of subscriber acquisitions, but the challenging environment and EMT's ability to leverage its parent's fixed broadband assets for bundled products means the market leader will continue to dominate with its 45% market share. The mobile subscription base grew by 5.7% to 1.952mn in the year to June 2013. New regulatory data confirm that broadband subscriptions are driving market growth, with the number of accesses growing by 9.0% to 537,500 during 2012 (latest data). Within this market, fibre (+19.3%) and mobile broadband (+45.1%) are the fastest-growing components.
During the first nine months of 2013 EMT and Elisa Eesti secured 800MHz spectrum from the Estonian authorities, enabling them to reach into rural and underserved regions with their nascent 4G LTE mobile broadband services. Tele2, now the smallest mobile operator on the market, is unlikely to gain access to this spectrum while its 4G infrastructure serves only limited parts of the country. With its high postpaid user base, EMT should be in a good position to exploit growing demand for broadband services, particularly in areas where fixed broadband facilities are lacking.
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