The Czech Republic telecoms market contains a number of major international players such as Telefonica O2, T-Mobile and Vodafone in mobile, and Telefonica and UPC in wireline. The market has been under many of the same pressures as markets throughout the region with market saturation, regulatory factors such as cuts to mobile termination rates and the impact of the eurozone crisis on macroeconomic performance acting as drags on performance. However, while subscription growth may have slowed, significant opportunities remain, not least in the booming wireless data market and VAS opportunities arising from the rapid proliferation of smartphone ownership.
- The mobile market saw a growth spurt in H212, with the largest number of net additions since H209. This growth rate should be sustained into 2013 with the arrival of MVNOs boosting subscription growth.
- The latest data from the OECD and European Commission show the broadband market continued solid, if slowing, growth into H112. The fastest growth was in higher capacity services such as cable and fibre.
- The Czech Republic sits in first position in BMI's Risk/Rewards Ratings for Central and Eastern Europe in Q3 2013, narrowly ahead of Poland and Turkey.
Key Trends And Developments
In March 2013 excessive financial bidding forced the CTU to abort its auction of spectrum in the key 800MHz, 1,800MHz and 2,600MHz bands - delaying the start of widespread development of LTE services. The decision was taken after bidding passed the CZK20bn (US$1bn) mark and appeared set to rise further. The auction is set to be restarted later in 2013 after the CTU made changes to the rules in April 2013 to avoid a repeat of the excessive bidding. The CTU announced a newly reserved block of 2x10MHz in the 800MHz band for a new entrant into the market and raising the block in the 1,800MHz band from 2x15.6MHz to 2x15.8MHz
After the first MVNO launched in the Czech Republic in Q412, with publisher Ringier Axel Springer using its distribution network of news agents to launch a low-end service, there have been several other MVNO announcements. In March 2013 UK-based retailer Tesco and O2 Czech Republic were reported to be establishing an MVNO service, with the launch set for June 2013. Meanwhile, in February 2013 alternative fixed and broadband provider GTS Czech signed an MVNO deal with T-Mobile to offer mobile services to its corporate clients.