Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 12/28/2012 -- BMI View: The Romanian telecoms market contains a number of major international players, such as Cosmote, backed by OTE and Deutsche Telekom, Orange, and Vodafone in mobile, as well as Liberty Global-owned UPC in the wireline sector. Although the market has a strong competitive dynamic, which has helped to drive down prices and promote service uptake, in recent years it has been hit hard by regulatory measures and economic conditions. Mobile subscriptions have declined in each of the nine quarters to the end of June 2012, while ARPU has also generally been declining, albeit with a small uptick based on inactive subscription discounting. With economic conditions set to remain difficult in H212 and 2013, the sector operators will continue to face significant challenges.
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- Inactive subscription discounting has continued to result in subscription losses. The mobile market has lost 2.947mn subscriptions from Q210 to Q212.
- The broadband market has seen a sharp slowdown in growth, falling from 19.1% growth in 2011 to 9.7% growth in 2012.
- The fixed-line market saw subscription growth in 2011, which we believe to be the result of the increasing popularity of bundled services.
Key Trends And Developments
As the traditional mobile market has been hit by recession and market saturation, operators are turning to wireless data as their strategic focus. In recent months, both market leader Orange and Vodafone announced upgrades to wireless data infrastructure. In July 2012, Vodafone upgraded mobile internet speeds for its highest tariffs to 43.2/5.76Mbps in the Bucharest region, Constanta and the Black Seas resort Mamaia. Vodafone also expanded its HSPA+ coverage to 30 cities, enabling speeds of up to 21.6Mbps. Meanwhile, in June 2012 it was reported that Orange increased 3G coverage from 55% to 98% in 2011. This increase in coverage cost the firm US$137.6mn and included upgrading 2,000 stations from 2G to 3G.
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