BMI View: Mobile subscriptions growth is stagnating in Bosnia's telecoms market, a development we expect to drive operators towards the largely underdeveloped broadband market. BMI sees significant growth opportunities in mobile data services, although we caution that uptake is likely to be hindered in the short- to medium term by the country's weak economic and private consumption growth outlook. In the fixed-line sector, the three incumbent operators' expansion also provides opportunities for investments in next generation access networks, which could boost multiplay offerings amid slow growth in single mobile and fixed-line subscriptions.
- BMI estimates mobile growth in the first nine months of 2012 added 66,000 new subscribers as strong recovery in Q212and Q312 offset the negative growth recorded in Q112.
- New data from the regulator, CRA, showed Bosnia's fixed-line market to be declining faster in 2011 than 2010, with the rate of decline accelerating to 4.5%.
- However, CRA data for the fixed broadband market showed strong growth, with total subscriptions increasing 39.2% to reach 430,247 at YE11.
Key Trends & Developments
Mobile number portability (MNP) was finally introduced on January 2013 after many months of delay. The service has sparked another round of promotional activities in the mobile markets, with network operators seeking to attract customers away from rival networks, while retaining their existing client base. We expect this development to boost competition and drive service quality improvement among operators on the one hand, but also increase downward pressure on ARPUs on the other hand.
Despite the weak economic outlook in the country, service providers continue to invest in network infrastructure development for fixed and mobile services. Most new investments are geared towards highspeed data services and multiplay offerings. BMI expects the multiplay offerings to sustain growth in the fixed broadband market, which faces intense competition from wireless broadband technologies. This view is supported by the rapid expansion of IPTV services in terms of available channels and coverage, as well as the launch of promotional activities akin to the price competition in the mobile market.