Bulgaria - Mobile Infrastructure, Broadband, Operators - Statistics and Analyses

Synopsis

Bulgaria has a mature mobile market with effective competition provided by Telekom Austria’s A1 Bulgaria, Telenor Bulgaria (sold to the PPF Group in August 2018) and the incumbent telco Vivacom. A new entrant, Max Telecom (often known simply as MAX), provided additional competition though the company fell into financial difficulty and stopped providing services at the beginning of 2017. Competition among network operators has intensified following the recent implementation of a streamlined mobile number portability process. In addition, customer preference for bundled services has put pressure on pricing and encouraged them to offer generous voice and data packages. This in turn has impacted on operator revenue, compounded by a steady decline in the number of subscribers.

The regulator has responded to the paucity of available spectrum by providing a number of trial licences, and in late 2017 it opened a consultation regarding the allocation of an additional 580MHz of spectrum in several bands.

This report presents an overview of Bulgaria’s mobile market, including a variety of statistics and analyses covering the major operators, market developments and services offered.

Key developments:

  • Telenor Bulgaria and Vivacom launch VoLTE services;
  • A1 Bulgaria trials 5G;
  • Regulator proposes auction of up to 580MHz of additional spectrum;
  • Vivacom extends the reach of its LTE-A service;
  • Regulator awards additional spectrum in the 1800MHz band for LTE use;
  • Regulator’s tender for spectrum in the 2.5-2.6GHz band fails to find bidders;
  • MNP takes off under new regulatory measures;
  • Report update includes the regulator’s market data for 2017, telcos’ operating and financial data to Q2 2018, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Vivacom, A1 Bulgaria (MobilTel), Telenor Bulgaria.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Synopsis
  • 2. Market analysis
  • 3. Mobile statistics
    • 3.1 General statistics
  • 4. Mobile infrastructure
    • 4.1.1 5G
    • 4.1.2 4G (LTE)
    • 4.1.3 3G
    • 4.1.4 GSM
      • 4.2 Mobile voice
      • 4.3 Mobile data
        • 4.3.1 SMS and MMS
      • 4.4 Mobile broadband
    • 5. Regulatory issues
      • 5.1 GSM licences
      • 5.2 Third generation (3G) licences
      • 5.3 800MHz
      • 5.4 1800MHz
      • 5.5 2.5-2.6GHz
      • 5.6 Other spectrum
      • 5.7 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
      • 5.8 Roaming
      • 5.9 Mobile Termination Rates (MTR)
    • 6. Major mobile operators
      • 6.1 Vivacom
      • 6.2 A1 Bulgaria (MobilTel/M-Tel)
      • 6.3 Telenor Bulgaria (Cosmo Bulgaria Mobile/GloBul)
      • 6.4 Mobile content and applications
      • 6.5 Mobile virtual network Operators (MVNOs)
        • 6.5.1 M-commerce
    • 7. Related reports
    • Table 1 – Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration – 1995 - 2009
    • Table 2 – Mobile subscribers and penetration – 2010 - 2018
    • Table 3 – Mobile base stations in service by technology – 2012 - 2016
    • Table 4 – Mobile sector revenue – 2009 - 2018
    • Table 5 – Proportion of mobile revenue by service – 2010 - 2017
    • Table 6 – Mobile market share of subscribers by operator – 2006 - 2017
    • Table 7 – Mobile market share of revenue by operator – 2007- 2016
    • Table 8 – Mobile market revenue share by service – 2008 - 2017
    • Table 9 – Ratio of prepaid to postpaid subscribers – 2002 - 2017
    • Table 10 – A1 Bulgaria prepaid subscribers – 2004 - 2018
    • Table 11 – LTE subscribers – 2015 - 2017
    • Table 12 – Total SMS messages sent – 2003 - 2017
    • Table 13 – Total MMS messages sent – 2003 - 2017
    • Table 14 – Active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration – 2009 - 2018
    • Table 15 – A1 Bulgaria mobile broadband subscribers – 2008 - 2018
    • Table 16 – Annual mobile number portings – 2008 - 2016
    • Table 17 – European roaming charges – 2007 – 2016
    • Table 18 – European data roaming charges – 2014 - 2017
    • Table 19 – MTRs – 2014 - 2018
    • Table 20 – Vivacom mobile subscribers – 2012 - 2018
    • Table 21 – Vivacom mobile revenue – 2009 - 2017
    • Table 22 – Vivacom annualised mobile ARPU – 2015 – 2017
    • Table 23 – A1 Bulgaria financial data – 2005 - 2018
    • Table 24 – A1 Bulgaria prepaid, postpaid and blended monthly ARPU – 2004 - 2018
    • Table 25 – A1 Bulgaria mobile subscribers – 2007 - 2018
    • Table 26 – A1 Bulgaria Minutes of Use (MOU) – 2007 - 2018
    • Table 27 – Historic - Telenor Bulgaria financial data (€) – 2009 - 2013
    • Table 28 – Historic - Telenor Bulgaria mobile services revenue (€) – 2011 - 2013
    • Table 29 – Telenor Bulgaria financial data (NOK) – 2013 - 2018
    • Table 30 – Telenor Bulgaria subscribers – 2007 - 2018
    • Chart 1 – Mobile subscribers and penetration – 2002 - 2018
    • Chart 2 – Mobile base stations in service by technology – 2012 – 2016
    • Chart 3 – Mobile market share of subscribers by operator – 2006 - 2017
    • Chart 4– Mobile market revenue share by service – 2008 – 2017
    • Chart 5 – A1 Bulgaria financial data – 2005 - 2018
    • Chart 6 – A1 Bulgaria prepaid, postpaid and blended monthly ARPU – 2004 - 2018
    • Chart 7 – Telenor Bulgaria financial data (NOK) – 2013 – 2018
    • Chart 8 – Telenor Bulgaria subscribers – 2007 – 2018

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