Value of Romania’s communications market doubles since 2003

The Romanian communications market reached a value of RON 15 billion (some EUR 3.4 billion) in 2016, double the level of RON 7.4 billion (EUR 1.7 billion) in 2003, according to data from the local Communications Authority ANCOM.

Moreover, the structure of the mobile services market also went through important changes in this period. If in 2003 there were four operators in the market, namely Mobifon, Mobil Rom, Cosmorom, and Telemobil, three big international groups – Vodafone, Orange and Deutsche Telekom are now competing with a local operator, RCS & RDS and a virtual operator, Lycamobile.

“After steady increases in the number of active providers, the fixed telephony, internet, re-transmission of TV programs and postal services have experienced a consolidation process in recent years. Thus, the number of providers of electronic communications services and postal services active at the end of 2016 was over 1,100,” reads an ANCOM report.

Over 27 million connections of fixed and mobile telephony services were reported in Romania in 2016, 137% more than the 11.4 million registered in 2003. The increase was mainly registered due to the mobile telephony, which has expended rapidly in Romania. The number of mobile phone users (active SIM cards) amounted to 22.9 million at the end of 2016, more than 3 times higher than in 2003, when there were 7 million users.

Meanwhile, amid a higher use of mobile telephony and alternative services through Internet apps, the number of fixed line telephony services went down by 6%, from 4.4 million access lines at the end of 2003, to 4.1 million lines at the end of 2016. On the other hand, the number of subscribers to audiovisual program retransmission services has grown considerably, more than two and a half times, from 2.7 million subscribers in 2003 to 7.2 million subscribers at the end of 2016. The growth was registered mainly due to the appearance of the DTH technology, which attracted 2.4 million subscribers by December 31, 2016, especially from rural areas.

The number of fixed broadband Internet access connections increased from 14,000 in 2003 to 4.4 million at the end of 2016. Meanwhile, the number of Internet access connections at mobile points went up from 181,000 in 2003 to more than 20 million at the end of last year.

Population penetration rates for mobile services have increased from 33% at the end of 2003 to 116% by the end of 2016 (“active” SIM cards). Instead, the penetration rate of fixed telephony services at household level decreased by 10 percentage points, to 44%, while the penetration rate at the population level remained at 21%.

Meanwhile, the total voice traffic increased 16 times in this period, from 4.4 billion minutes in 2003 to 70.6 billion minutes in 2016, amid the growth of nearly 5 times (from 56 minutes to 257 minutes) of the average monthly voice traffic made by a user, and the number of users.

Find the full report here (in Romanian).

Average Internet download speed in Romania goes up 45% in H1

Irina Marica, [email protected]

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