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Estonia Telecommunications Report 2009
[May 28, 2009]

Estonia Telecommunications Report 2009

(M2 PressWIRE Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) adds new report: Estonia Telecommunications Report 2009 BMI's 2009 report on Estonia's telecommunications market contains updated and extended forecasts, which predict how the country's fixed-line, internet, broadband and mobile sectors will develop through to the end of 2013. Our new forecasts reflect Q308 data published by Estonia's fixed-line incumbent operator Elion (which is part of the Eesti Telekom Group), as well as the country's three mobile operators, Eesti Mobilitelefon (EMT) (also an Eesti Telekom business), Elisa Eesti, which is part of Finland's Elisa Oyj, and Tele2 Eesti, the Estonian arm of Swedish carrier Tele2 AB. Notable developments in recent months within the Estonian telecoms market include the ongoing expansion of the country's fixed-line sector, which has resulted from the sale of triple-play packages offered by Elion and cable TV operator Starman. However, although traditional fixed voice services continue to be sold as part of triple-play offerings, it is also notable that the use of fixed voice services continues to decline, as such services become replaced by mobile and voice over IP (VoIP) alternatives.

In the mobile market, data from Estonia's three wireless operators show that cellular subscriber growth in the first nine months of 2008 was actually higher than the growth rate recorded for the whole of 2007.

Although Estonia's two leading mobile operators, EMT and Tele2, continue to periodically deduct inactive customers from their books, the faster growth rate in 2008, together with a penetration rate which has already reached 118%, leads us to believe that the sector contains a reasonable number of multiple SIM owners and inactive prepaid users. We predict a slower growth of just 1.6% in 2009. The slower growth rate for 2009 takes into account further efforts by the operators to deduct inactive customers from their registered subscriber totals. By the end of 2013, we anticipate almost 1.77mn mobile subscribers in Estonia, which is equivalent to over 131% penetration. Meanwhile, evidence suggests that 3G customer growth has been strong in recent months, and is starting to make an important contribution to mobile operator revenues. We estimate the 3G subscribers accounted for 13.5% of the total mobile customer base at the end of 2008; this percentage has potential to rise to 48% by the end of 2013.

Estonia's broadband market continues to expand at an impressive rate. The latest regulatory data suggest that there were 278,000 broadband connections at the end of 2007, which is equivalent to 20.7% of the population and 44.0% of household and business premises. BMI estimates that penetration had expanded to 22.7% by the end of 2008. Although the market continues to be mainly driven by asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL), cable and fibre services, a growing number of companies are launching WiMAX service offerings, and this market segment is beginning to contribute to overall growth in the sector. BMI expects the number of broadband connections to reach 331,000 connections by the end of 2009; this is equivalent to almost 25% penetration. By the end of 2013, we predict that broadband penetration will reach almost 30%. ((Comments on this story may be sent to [email protected])) (c) 2009 M2 COMMUNICATIONS

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