Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 12/13/2012 -- The Russian telecoms market is the largest in Central and Eastern Europe, with high levels of penetration in mobile, fixed-line and increasingly broadband services. There are major international operators in mobile and fixed line including MTS, VimpelCom, MegaFon, Rostelecom and Tele2 - as well as competition in the wireline segment from ER Telecom. Competition between these operators has helped to expand the reach of telecoms services and drive down prices. Meanwhile, competition has also contributed to advances in technology, with higher capacity broadband (both wireless and wireline) a key developmental trend in the market as operators roll out LTE, fibre and associated pay-TV services.
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- Growth in the Russia mobile market has slowed considerably, falling to 2.1% y-o-y to Q212, down from 5.6% y-o-y to Q211. Total subscriptions reached 227.5mn at the end of June 2012, equating to a penetration rate of 161.7%.
- As a result of slowing subscription growth, and the potential for inactive subscription discounting, we have revised our five-year forecast to 2016 downwards. We now forecast total subscription to reach 242.3mn at YE16, giving penetration of 170.6%.
Key Trends And Developments
The key developments have come in the mobile segment, most notably the July 2012 announcement by Roskomnadzor that it awarded 4G LTE licences to the 'big four' telecoms firms - MTS, VimpelCom, MegaFon and Rostelecom - as expected. It also announced roll-out requirements with all licence winners required to begin to offer LTE services by June 1 2013 and cover all Russian regions by 2019, with services accessible in all communities with populations of more than 50,000. Each operator must invest a minimum of RUB15bn (US$457mn) annually until the construction of a federal LTE network is completed. This will be a major catalyst of mobile data service development across Russia's regions in the medium term.
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