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

Synopsis

Bulgaria has a rapidly developing mobile market, with effective competition provided by Telekom Austria’s MobilTel, Telenor Bulgaria and the incumbent Vivacom. A new entrant, Max Telecom (often known simply as MAX), provides additional competition though the company has been in financial difficulty and has only a small market presence. Competition among network operators has intensified following the recent implementation of a streamlined mobile number portability process.

Some changes are expected in the market further into 2018, with the prospect of the country’s first MVNO offering services. In addition, Telenor Group agreed to sell its operations in Central and Eastern Europe, including its GloBul unit in Bulgaria, as part of an effort to concentrate on its Scandinavian and Asian businesses.

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:

  • ISPs and pay-TV providers combine to form Bulgaria’s first MVNO;
  • Telenor sells its GloBul mobile unit;
  • MobilTel trials 5G;
  • Regulator proposes auction of up to 580MHz of additional spectrum;
  • Vivacom extends the reach of its LTE-A service;
  • Telenor Bulgaria trails LTE-A CA technology using temporary licenses;
  • Telekom Austria rebrands MobilTel as A1 Bulgaria;
  • Regulator awards additional spectrum in the 1800MHz band for LTE use;
  • MobilTel completes merger with Blizoo;
  • 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 2016, telcos’ operating and financial data to Q1 2018, recent market developments.
  • Companies mentioned in this report:

Vivacom, MobilTel, Telenor Bulgaria.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Synopsis
  • 2. Market analysis
  • 3. Mobile statistics
    • 3.1 General statistics
    • 3.2 Mobile data
      • 3.2.1 SMS and MMS
    • 3.3 Mobile broadband
  • 4. Regulatory issues
    • 4.1 GSM licences
    • 4.2 Third generation (3G) licences
    • 4.3 800MHz
    • 4.4 1800MHz
    • 4.5 2.5-2.6GHz
    • 4.6 Other spectrum
    • 4.7 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
    • 4.8 Roaming
    • 4.9 Mobile Termination Rates (MTR)
  • 5. Mobile infrastructure
    • 5.1 Digital networks
      • 5.1.1 GSM
      • 5.1.2 Third Generation mobile (3G)
      • 5.1.3 Long-term Evolution (LTE)
      • 5.1.4 5G
  • 6. Major mobile operators
    • 6.1 Vivacom
    • 6.2 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 - 2016
  • Table 6 – Mobile market share of subscribers by operator – 2006 - 2016
  • Table 7 – Mobile market share of revenue by operator – 2007- 2016
  • Table 8 – Mobile market revenue share by service – 2008 - 2016
  • Table 9 – Ratio of prepaid to postpaid subscribers – 2002 - 2016
  • Table 10 – MobilTel prepaid subscribers – 2004 - 2017
  • Table 11 – Total SMS messages sent – 2003 - 2017
  • Table 12 – Total MMS messages sent – 2003 - 2017
  • Table 13 – Active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration – 2009 - 2016
  • Table 14 – MobilTel mobile broadband subscribers – 2008 - 2018
  • Table 15 – Annual mobile number portings – 2008 - 2016
  • Table 16 – European roaming charges – 2007 – 2016
  • Table 17 – European data roaming charges – 2014 - 2017
  • Table 18 – MTRs – 2014 - 2018
  • Table 19 – Vivacom mobile subscribers – 2012 - 2018
  • Table 20 – Vivacom mobile revenue – 2009 - 2017
  • Table 21 – Vivacom annualised mobile ARPU – 2015 – 2017
  • Table 22 – MobilTel financial data – 2005 - 2018
  • Table 23 – MobilTel prepaid, postpaid and blended monthly ARPU – 2004 - 2018
  • Table 24 – MobilTel mobile subscribers – 2007 - 2018
  • Table 25 – MobilTel Minutes of Use (MOU) – 2007 - 2018
  • Table 26 – Historic - Telenor Bulgaria financial data (€) – 2009 - 2013
  • Table 27 – Historic - Telenor Bulgaria mobile services revenue (€) – 2011 - 2013
  • Table 28 – Telenor Bulgaria financial data (NOK) – 2013 - 2018
  • Table 29 – 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 - 2016
  • Chart 4– Mobile market revenue share by service – 2008 – 2016
  • Chart 5 – MobilTel financial data – 2005 - 2018
  • Chart 6 – MobilTel 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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