Recent Study: Belarus Telecommunications Report 2013

New Fixed Networks market report from Business Monitor International: "Belarus Telecommunications Report 2013"


Boston, MA -- (SBWire) -- 03/06/2013 --BMI View: The Belarusian telecoms sector remains underdeveloped compared to the majority of markets in Central and Eastern Europe. Furthermore, development remains hamstrung by the extent of state ownership of key players in the market, including wireline incumbent Beltelecom and mobile market leader MTS Belarus. The state's control of backbone infrastructure has also stymied development of the value added services sector. However, there are signs of liberalisation, such as the ongoing effort to divest the government stake in MTS, as well as infrastructure investment by the incumbent - including the expansion of international gateways and the roll-out of FTTH networks. If momentum towards liberalisation accelerates, the Belarusian market holds among the greatest potential in the region considering the strong consumer outlook over the medium term.

Key data

- Mobile subscriptions contracted y-o-y to Q312, with a net loss of 420,000 subscriptions, as the penetration rate declined to 114.3%. This was the result of extensive subscription discounting by Turkcell owned BeST and was the first y-o-y decline to have occurred in the mobile market.
- Fixed-line subscriptions declined for the first time in 2011, after a decade of growth as Beltelecom expanded its network. Subscriptions declined by 1% in 2011 as a consequence of market saturation, but also the economic crisis.

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Key Trends And Developments

As already noted above, ownership issues remain central in Belarus. The government has persisted with attempts to sell its 51% stake in MTS Belarus. However it is unwilling to compromise on the US$1bn asking price - a fact that has deterred investors since 2011. However, in October 2012 it was announced the government would make another presentation to potential buyers in early November 2012. In late November 2012 it was reported that the majority of investors had baulked at the US$1bn asking price, including MTS (which did not attend the presentation). However, local Kazakh investors retained interest.

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