Fast Market Research recommends "Bulgaria Telecommunications Report Q4 2013" from Business Monitor International, now available
Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 09/09/2013 -- The Bulgarian market had a mixed 2012, with mobile subscriptions continuing to increase even at penetration rates in excess of 165%, but monthly blended ARPU declined rapidly. We believe this pattern was the result of aggressive promotional activities by operators to retain existing customers and attract new ones. The pattern of subscription growth and price pressures is forecast to continue, driven by competition and regulatory policies such as MTR reduction. However, this trend will be less pronounced than in 2012 as operators face up to the reality of having to maintain margins. Meanwhile, we remain upbeat about the broadband sector, which we expect to benefit from strong investments, next generation access networks and increasing take-up of internet-based services, such as IPTV.
- Mobile ARPU continued to fall in Q113 after declining by 25.3% in 2012, with the market share weighted average falling to BGN10.3 in Q412. Price competition and cuts to mobile termination rates were the most important factors contributing to this sharp fall.
- The mobile sector grew contracted by 67,000 subscriptions in Q113 as market leader Mobitel reported a net loss of 172,000 subscriptions due to inactive subscription discounting.
- We revised our broadband market forecast in the Q4 2013 update, and now estimate a total of 1.9mn broadband subscriptions at the end of 2012, up by 29.5% over the year.
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Key Trends And Developments
In July 2013 the European Commission approved the acquisition of Cosmo Bulgaria Mobile (Cosmote) and integrated retailer Germanos from OTE by Norwegian telecoms group Telenor. Telenor agreed the acquisition for EUR717mn (US$946mn) in May 2013, beating interest from Turkcell, Turk Telekom and Deutsche Telekom. The deal is expected to yield greater opportunities for Telenor to engage in regional cross-border collaboration with its operations in Hungary, Serbia and Montenegro; increase operational efficiencies; and address untapped demand for mobile value-added services, including mobile broadband and internet access.
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