Moldova – Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband
Moldova amends Communications Act to improve competition The Moldovan telecom market saw several years of solid growth, particularly in the fixed-line and mobile broadband sectors.
However, a combination of high unemployment and economic difficulties have led to constraints on consumer spend, resulting in telecom revenue having fallen 2.9% in 2016.
This decline has continued into 2017, with a 2.4% fall in revenue in the second quarter of the year. However, many areas of the economy (as well as the telecom market) remain relatively under-developed and so there is considerable room for growth in coming years.
In addition, Moldova’s aspirations to join the European Union (EU) have encouraged the government and regulator to adopt a range of measures to bring the country’s telecoms sector into line with EU principles and standards.
In July 2017 the Electronic Communications Act was amended in line with the 2009 European regulatory framework.
Moldova’s internet market is developing rapidly, and though the penetration rate is well below the average for many European countries there are many opportunities for further development.
The market is highly competitive, with about 80 ISPs active, though Moldtelecom and Starnet between them account for most connections. The number of cable broadband subscribers is increasing steadily, though fibre is now by far the strongest sector.
The mobile market has also grown rapidly, and the sector accounts for the majority of total telecoms revenue.
A triopoly of operators is dominated by Orange Moldova, while the launch of LTE services has opened up a new revenue growth opportunity centred on mobile broadband.
The near comprehensive geographical reach of their mobile networks, market brand recognition and existing customer relationships will make for steady subscriber growth into 2018.
Key developments: Government amends 2007 Electronic Communications Act;
Orange Group acquires the cableco Sun Communications;
Orange secures additional licences in the in the 800MHz and 900MHz bands;
Moldcell expands the reach of LTE services;
Regulator suspends 3.4GHz auction after no bids offered;
Technology neutral 15-year licences in the 800MHz, 900MHz and 1800MHz bands synchronised;
Report update includes telcos’ operating and financial data to Q3 2017, regulator’s market data to June 2017, recent market developments.
Companies mentioned in this report:
Moldtelecom, Orange Moldova; Moldcell