Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/10/2013 -- BMI View: Lithuania's mobile operators face considerable challenges in 2013 as they continue their 3G/3.5G network buildouts and begin developing their 4G networks and encouraging customers to switch to postpaid and mobile broadband services. Usage of non-voice services - which will be key to growing revenues - remains muted, owing to pressures on consumer spending as well as the near ubiquity of higher-capacity fixed broadband services. There is, however, growing interest in multi-play packages and operators that offer mobile as part of those packages should do well. However, current scenarios suggest continued ARPU erosion for at least another three years and operators may be justified in considering where and when to invest in 4G.
- Tele2's focus on low prices are helping it to add customers at a time when its rivals are recording negative or nominal growth. Market saturation means that organic growth opportunities will be limited in the long term.
- Broadband growth continues within expectations, driven by demand for fibre connectivity, rather than mobile broadband, while wireless and WiMAX are also fuelling expansion in the fixed arena.
- Mobile data services continue to account for a disappointingly small proportion of overall revenues, despite the widespread proliferation of smartphones and operators' focus on the more lucrative enterprise market. Our ARPU forecasts have been downgraded accordingly.
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Key Trends & Developments
Tele2, Omnitel and Bite were all awarded 4G spectrum in H112, although Omnitel was already offering limited services using its 1,800MHz spectrum and has a well-established footprint covering key cities. Tele2 planned to launch before the end of 2012, encouraged by relatively strong revenue and customer growth.
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