Operators' Focus on Multiplay Paired with Fixed and Mobile Broadband Rollouts Will Drive Growth
[ClickPress, Thu May 26 2016] In 2016, Bulgaria will generate telecom services revenue of US$1.1bn (Lv2.0bn), or 2.3% of the country's nominal GDP, a 0.9% decline in local currency from 2015. Going forward, market revenue is expected to return to growth in 2017 after several years of revenue decline, mainly driven by fixed broadband and mobile data revenue growth, enabled by wider next-generation fixed and mobile networks coverage and the upsell of multiplay offers by Bulgarian operators. Pyramid Research expects to see overall service revenue grow at a 2.4% CAGR (0.5% in local currency) over the 2015-2020 period. The mobile segment will continue to dominate the telecom market during the 2016-2020 period, stimulated by increasing demand for fast mobile broadband Internet, intensive development of 3G and 4G networks, and growing adoption of smartphones, supported with device subsidization offers. Continued decline in fixed circuit-switched will negatively impact the fixed segment, as fixed voice services will be gradually substituted by mobile voice and VoIP services.
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* The top two operators, Mobiltel and Vivacom, which both provide mobile, fixed and pay-TV, will account for 59.4% of total telecom service revenue in Bulgaria, or $0.6bn in 2016. Mobiltel will lead the mobile market, while Vivacom will dominate the fixed-line segment.
* Operators' focus on converged offerings and 4G expansion plans will further intensify the competitiveness in the country's heavily fragmented telecom market.
* Adoption of 3G technologies will reach 53.5% of the mobile subscription base in 2016 and will continue to increase in forthcoming years; Pyramid Research projects this will lose ground starting in 2019 owing to increasing availability of LTE networks and devices. LTE subscriptions will reach 4.1m, 34.9% of all mobile subscriptions in Bulgaria by 2020, compared with 0.8m (8%) in 2016.
* The total number of fixed access lines will decline by an estimated 3.7% in 2016 to 2.3m and further to 2.0m by year-end 2020 owing to the continuous decline in circuit-switched lines.
* FTTH/B will account for the largest share of broadband lines by 2020 and will grow by 0.2m lines from 2016 to 2020, to account for 41.8% of the total access lines - thanks to the operators' investments in expansion of fiber networks. The share of cable lines will increase from 11.1% in 2016 to 14.3% in 2020, thanks to DOCSIS 3.0 network upgrades and multiplay offers.
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