Market Report, "Greece Telecommunications Report Q3 2013", published

From: Fast Market Research, Inc.
Published: Tue May 14 2013

There are few developments to report with regards to the Greek telecommunications market. The country remains under pressure on numerous fronts, with consumer spending being reined-in as a result of the government's latest austerity measures. Were the market less reliant on prepaid services, this would seep through to the telecoms sector only gradually. However, this is not the case and we have already seen mobile ARPUs contract sharply in H212. Demand for broadband connections appears undimmed and around half of new handsets sold in Q412 were, reportedly, smartphones. It would seem that mobile and broadband services are more of a necessity for cash-strapped Greeks than might have been expected.

Full Report Details at

Key Data

* Mobile growth was more buoyant in Q412 than expected, although this was down to a relatively strong performance by Vodafone, which only just offset subscriber losses recorded by its rivals. The launch of 4G LTE services could provide a degree of lift over the next couple of years.
* Vodafone's ARPU dropped sharply in 2012 as further MTR reductions took effect and fewer postpaid subscribers resulted in lower contributions from non-basic services.

Key Trends & Developments

Alternative operators are rolling out very high-speed broadband services based on incumbent OTE's VDSL network. Higher-speed services and the proliferation of bundled services and converged products should help the broadband market to continue growing despite the chilly economic conditions. Whether the operators can turn a profit from these activities still remains to be seen. Meanwhile, tentative plans for the construction of an FTTx network remain on hold.

Cyprus' sovereign debt crisis must surely put in doubt CYTA Hellas' ambitious plans to expand its VDSL2 offering across Greece and start an MVNO business in 2014 and it is possible that the Cypriot government might consider selling the unit or its parent in order to deal with its debt problems. This could give Vodafone the opportunity it needs to enter the fixed-line market after an earlier deal to acquire WIND Hellas collapsed. WIND, meanwhile, has debt restructuring problems of its own and failed to progress with a putative deal to acquire fixed broadband operator Forthnet announced in late 2012.

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