Romania sees more telecom market consolidation

Romania sees more telecom market consolidation

Romania’s telecom market has undergone several significant changes in recent years.

Vodafone Group in July 2019 acquired Liberty Global’s local unit UPC Romania, thus enabling Vodafone Romania to compete more effectively in offering bundled services.

Orange Romania more recently acquired the fixed-line assets of Telekom Romania from Deutsche Telekom’s subsidiary OTE. The deal, which requires regulatory clearances and could be completed by the end of 2021, was prompted by competition in the fixed-line segment, particularly from Digi, which would have compelled Telekom Romania to invest more heavily in fixed-line infrastructure.

The mobile market is served by network operators supported by pan-European players, including Vodafone Group and Orange Group. All have extensive LTE networks in place, while services based on 5G have been offered under their existing spectrum concessions since 2019. The delayed multi-spectrum auction, expected to be completed later in 2021, will enable the operators to expand 5G network capacity and enable consumers to make far greater use of the technology’s potential. However, in line with legislation passed in July 2021 the MNOs will have to replace equipment provided by vendors deemed to be a security risk, essentially meaning that they will have up to seven years to replace core and non-core kit provided by Huawei.

This report provides an overview of Romania’s fast-developing telecommunications market, covering regulatory developments, major players and fixed-line infrastructure, and offering a variety of operational and financial statistics as well as a range of subscriber forecasts. The report also covers the mobile voice and data markets, including profiles of the major operators, updates on spectrum auctions and regulatory developments. In addition, the report provides insights into the growing broadband market, covering technologies, the major players and market developments.

BuddeComm notes that the Coronavirus pandemic is having a significant impact on production and supply chains globally. During the coming year, the telecoms sector to various degrees is likely to experience a downturn in mobile device production, while it may also be difficult for network operators to manage workflows when maintaining and upgrading existing infrastructure.

Overall progress towards 5G may be postponed or slowed down in some countries.

On the consumer side, spending on telecoms services and devices is under pressure from the financial effect of large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes. However, the crucial nature of telecom services, both for general communication as well as a tool for home-working, will offset such pressures. In many markets the net effect should be a steady though reduced increased in subscriber growth.

Although it is challenging to predict and interpret the long-term impacts of the crisis as it develops, these have been acknowledged in the industry forecasts contained in this report.

The report also covers the responses of the telecom operators as well as government agencies and regulators as they react to the crisis to ensure that citizens can continue to make optimum use of telecom services. This can be reflected in subsidy schemes and the promotion of tele-health and tele-education, among other solutions.

Key developments:

  • Multi-spectrum auction delayed to late 2021;
  • Orange Romania continues building its own fibre network;
  • Vodafone Romania transfers passive infrastructure to Vodafone Towers;
  • Romania issues law banning Chinese vendors from 5G networks;
  • Regulator reduces MTR on a glidepath through to 2024, identifies 2,342 locations without fixed broadband coverage;
  • Orange Romania extends 5G to 15 cities, providing data at up to 1.2Gb/s;
  • Regulator again fines the MNOs for failing to provide sufficient mobile voice coverage as per their licence obligations;
  • About 79% of fixed broadband connections accessing 100Mb/s or above;
  • Report update includes the regulator's market data to December 2020, State Statistics data for 2020, telcos' operating and financial data to Q1 2021, Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses, recent market developments.

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Developing Telecoms market report summaries are produced in partnership with BuddeComm, the world’s largest continually updated online telecommunications research service.

The above article is a summary of the following BuddeCom report:

Report title: Romania - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Edition: July 2021

Analyst: Henry Lancaster

Number of pages: 228

Companies mentioned in this report: UPC Romania, RCS&RDS, Telekom Romania, Vodafone Romania, Orange Romania, Digi Mobil

Single User PDF Licence Price: US$1390

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