Economic recession and restrict market regulators' policies, especially in terms of mobile termination rate (MTR) cuts, have been the most negative factors affecting the mobile telecommunications market in the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) region. Mobile telecom operators facing revenue decline from traditional mobile services started to focus more on mobile broadband development. Although CEE markets differ considerably in terms of mobile broadband penetration, technologies, and network coverage, the common point would be significant market growth expected within the next five years.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (wireless.frost.com), Mobile Broadband in Central and Eastern Europe, notes that the market earned revenues of €1.1 billion in 2009 and forecasts this to reach €5.2 billion in 2014. The service penetration is expected to grow from 2 per cent to 10 per cent within the forecast period.
"Due to relatively low overall broadband penetration, mobile broadband will be a complementary rather than supplementary service to fixed broadband in CEE countries," says Frost & Sullivan ICT Research Analyst Edyta Kosowska. "Therefore, mobile broadband operators should initially focus on improving the service quality through sufficient network upgrades as customers expect the same download speed and data download limits as from fixed broadband internet. Only when achieved that, the operators should follow Western European players' strategies and concentrate on developing wider range of value-added services (VAS)."
The Frost & Sullivan study assesses the status of mobile broadband in five CEE key markets: the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Russia and Slovakia. The analysis is based on key performance indicators and looks at the way different mobile broadband technologies are evolving on those markets. The technologies considered are: code division multiple access (CDMA) revision A and revision B; flash orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (Flash OFDM), high speed downlink packet access (HSDPA), high speed packet access plus (HSPA+), mobile worldwide interoperability for microwave access (Mobile WiMAX) and long-term evolution (LTE).
"Most of the market participants start mobile broadband service development from large cities' centres, where they can count on relatively quick return on investment," states Edyta Kosowska. This move is still economically justified, as the highest demand comes from people with increased mobility needs such as company workers and students. "However, in the near future, growth potential will be mainly visible within rural areas, where overall broadband penetration remains relatively low. Therefore, focusing on this target group can be a worthwhile consideration," adds Kosowska.
Targeting population from the rural areas is a very good solution especially in the EU countries. "First of all, companies implementing this strategy can count on market regulators' favour, as it links directly with the 'preventing digital exclusion' policy. Additionally, part of the investment might be financed by EU funds," concludes Kosowska.
If you are interested in more information about this study, please send an email to Joanna Lewandowska, Corporate Communications, at joanna.lewandowska[.]frost.com, with your full name, company name, title and contact details.
Mobile broadband in Central and Eastern Europe is a part of the Market Insights - Mobile Communications subscription, which also includes research on Sustainability in Telecoms - Returns on Environmental Investments, An Insight into the U.S. Mobile Video Content Services Markets, Exploring the Use of Social Network Analysis (SNA) in the Telecommunications Industry, European Content Delivery Networks, Multiple Options but no Clear Winner for Voice and SMS over LTE, Mobile Communication Services in Healthcare - A CIO Perspective, An Insight into the U.S. Mobile Financial Services Markets, among others. These Market Insights are part of Frost & Sullivan Growth Partnership Service.
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