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Market and regulatory situation in Albania ALBAN KARAPICI (Board member of AKEP) Regional Conference for Europe Regulatory Activity in Electronic Communication.

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Presentation on theme: "Market and regulatory situation in Albania ALBAN KARAPICI (Board member of AKEP) Regional Conference for Europe Regulatory Activity in Electronic Communication."— Presentation transcript:

1 Market and regulatory situation in Albania ALBAN KARAPICI (Board member of AKEP) Regional Conference for Europe Regulatory Activity in Electronic Communication Sector 29-30 September 2014, Budva, MONTENEGRO

2 Market overview in Albania 2 During 2013, the electronic communications market has increased regarding the use of mobile networks services and broadband Internet access. On the other hand, the fixed telephony segment has suffered a decrease. This is a trend similar to that of the recent years where the fixed telephony has been decreasing and being replaced by the mobile telephony. The broadband access has grown in both its segments: from fixed and mobile networks.

3 Background 3 Mobile operators significant investment in 3G networks:  Coverage: 85% of territory / 92% of population Albtelecom significant investment in NGN/NGA:  100% of subscribers connected to NGA (MSAN) Albtelecom/AO: significant investment in backbone networks in the last 2-3 years Mobile broadband subscribers and traffic are growing.

4 Fixed telephony (2013) 4 281 thousands subscribers  10% lower than end 2012  Reduction of Albtelecom and the largest alt.net Penetration level: 10% population/ 38% HH Albtelecom: 75% market share AlbtelecomAbcomASCNisatel AMC Fixed Other AO Total Fixed 2010277,76319,9757,4085,900-20,456331,502 2011258,94327,16710,1294,9507,56530,090338,844 2012230,39733,0007,6495,5006,11928,996311,661 2013210,38213,68015,0477,1666,95027,975281,200 Difference 2013/2012 -9%-59%97%30%14%-4%-10%

5 Mobile Telephony (2013) 5

6 Broadband Access (2013) 6 Broadband Access (fixed and Mobile 3G modem/USB):  294,000 subscribers:  182,000: fixed broadband  111,000: Mobile Broadband 3G USB/modem  Penetration 10 % (7 % 2012) Number of subscribers Penetration PopulationFamily Total Fixed Total 3G Total Fixed + 3G Fixed3G Fixed +3G Fixed Fixed +3G 2011139,69734,493174,1904.9%1.2%6.2%17%22% 2012160,08855,405215,4935.7%2.0%7.6%20%27% 2013182,556111,367293,9236.4%3.9%10.4%22%37% Difference 2013/2012 14%101%36%

7 Fixed broadband (2013) 7 The most used access speed: 2-4 Mbps. Main operators offers for 4-20 Mbps, but with limited take up. Total Installed optical fibre: 3.235 km. International Internet Connectivity: 44 Gbps. AlbtelecomAbcomAbissnetASCOther AO Total Fixed Broadband 201070,59713,5757,0005,66623,162120,000 201160,05529,32115,32110,12924,871139,697 201266,75735,87017,71911,77727,965160,088 201373,24243,43020,56215,43229,890182,556 Difference 2013/2012 10%21%16%31%7%14%

8 Mobile Broadband (2013) 8 The number of mobile broadband users (3G with USB cards/modem for use on a PC) by the end of 2013 reached about 111 thousand, compared with 55 thousand by the end of 2012, which constitutes a duplication of this number or an increase by 101%. A considerable increase is marked in the number of 3G broadband users from mobile phones, reaching to about 1.1 million by the end of 2013 compared with 594 thousand in 2012. The total number of 3G broadband users (mobile phones and USB cards) in 2013 reached to 1.2 million. AMCVodafoneEMTotal USB/ Modem Mobile phone USB/ Modem Mobile phone USB/ Modem Mobile phone USB/ Modem Mobile phone 20119,000 46,00025,493202,756N/A 34,493248,756 201217,833222,88237,572371,426N/A 55,405594,308 201332,138279,42866,086568,20713,143272,257111,3671,119,892 Difference 2013/2012 80%25%76%53%N/A 101%88%

9 9 Market overview Broadband services (Internet, social networking, high quality IP TV, work from home, etc.) require adequate transmission capacities (more than 20 Mbit/s) that can be achieved through optical access infrastructure and corresponding next-generation wireless technologies. Accordingly, it is necessary to create appropriate incentives for the investment in wire and wireless networks of new generation.

10 Infrastructure for Internet/Broadband 10 Broadband access services may be provided through a variety of electronic communications networks. The most important electronic communications networks through which services of broadband access are provided are as follows:  Cable networks:  The existing telephone networks (xDSL - networks based on copper cables)  Next generation networks (FTTx - networks based on optical fiber cables)  Cable operators networks (networks based on coaxial cables)  Hybrid optical-coaxial networks (HFC).  Wireless networks:  GSM/GPRS/EDGE - second generation mobile networks,  UMTS / HSDPA / HSPA + - third generation mobile networks,  Wi-Fi - wireless local area networks,  WiMAX - Fixed Wireless Access,  LTE - fourth generation mobile networks.

11 Mobile Networks 11 A wide range of mobile communications services in Albania is provided through four terrestrial mobile communications networks. All four networks are based on the harmonized standards of the second generation (GSM, including its improvements in GPRS and EDGE) and third generation (UMTS, including HSDPA and HSPA +). In all three operators, 2G and 3G networks operate integrally with an integrated core of network and shared transmission network.

12 Spectrum licenses 12 In Albania, all four mobile operators have similar spectrum assignments in the 900 MHz and 1800 MHz bands, but three of them, Vodafone, AMC and Eagle Mobile have been awarded spectrum in the 2100 MHz. Pursuant to the process on granting for use the frequency band IMT-2100 MHz, with Decision No. 2491, dated 17/07/2014, AKEP approved the public Tender document, with the object: “On granting the rights to use frequencies in the band 1965 – 1980 MHz paired with 2155- 2170 MHz and 5 MHz unpaired spectrum 1915 – 1920 MHz”. The bids were open on September 15, 2014.

13 On-going spectrum licenses 13 The national frequency plan was amended in early 2013 to allow the use of 3G and 4G in the 900 MHz and 1800 MHz bands. AKEP has been working for a national spectrum policy for 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz. In January 2014 AKEP published for consultation a draft proposal to amend the current spectrum authorizations of the four mobile operators allowing the use of 3G and 4G technologies in both bands. The process for the renewal of the Individual Authorization for the use of frequencies in the GSM 900/1800 MHz granted to Albanian Mobile Communications sh.a. has initiated. The Report for Meeting the Conditions for the use of frequencies GSM900 and GSM1800 by Albanian Mobile Communications sh.a. is currently under approval. The remaining spectrum assignment in the 1800 MHz is planned to be awarded in fourth quarter of 2014. The proposal is sent to the Government this month.

14 Spectrum management for mobile operators 14 Different types of mobile devices such as tablets, smartphones and datacards as well as new types of applications such as Web 2.0 cause a drastic increase in mobile data traffic. Unfortunately spectrum is not an infinite resource. In this context Spectrum Re-farming is the most cost effective way to increase network capacity. Re-farming is a spectrum management tool, which can be used to increase spectrum efficiency or work towards international harmonization of spectrum usage.

15 Re-farming Process 15 Spectrum re-farming is the process of re-deploying spectrum from available users and re-allocating it to others. A very good candidate for re-farming to LTE is GSM 1800 MHz band, which is presently commonly used for voice communication. With government pressure for universal access to broadband re-farming is a key issue for governments and regulators. Well done re-farming optimizes overall network resources utilization without impacting legacy users while providing an operator with a possibility to deploy LTE services.

16 Digital Dividend 16 At WRC-07, the band 790–862 MHz was allocated to the mobile service in Region 1 (Africa and Europe), Transfer to the digital TV frees up one very important radio-broadcasting frequency spectrum between 790- 862MHz -> digital dividend. Completion of digitalization of radio-broadcasting, which is in Albania is scheduled for 17 June of 2015, in the UHF band a total of 72 MHz of spectrum (range 790-862 MHz) of very good advertizing characteristics (“digital dividend”) will be released. The frequency band of 790-862 MHz is going to be assigned to mobile network operators

17 Advantages of 4G/LTE networks 17 Most significantly, 4G offers:  Higher bandwidth – increasing the speed of data transfer  Lower latency – providing faster response times from the network  Improved spectrum efficiency – which increases overall network capacity An LTE network provides a data rate of up to 100Mbps in the downlink and 50Mbps in the uplink.

18 Future Spectrum Usage? 18 470-862 900 200 1,800 2,000 2,500 MHz DVB-T VHF LTE 3G GSM/LTE GSM/3G DVB - T VHF LTE 3G/LTE LTE 3G/LTE 2013 2015 2020 Analog TV VHF GSM 3G GSM/3G LTE

19 NGN migration in Albania 19 Albtelecom (the incumbent operator) has completed the migration from PSTN to NGN, The Regulator should recognized that there are fundamental differences in regulating NGN and the traditional PSTN, AKEP is at an early stage for this regulation.

20 Growth in National Broadband Plans, 2005-2013 Referenca: “ITU/UNESCO Broadband Commission dhe ITU Telecommunication/ICT Regulatory Database”. 20

21 Targets for Albanian Broadband Plan 21 Referenca: Cullen International, Shkurt 2014.

22 Challenges for the future 22 It is widely recognized that in the future networks will be mostly based on fiber and wireless technologies rather than cooper. Therefore the rules should be technologically neutral in order to support any technological development suitable for broadband provision. Liberalization of access to spectrum. Liberalization refers to the removal of technology restrictions on spectrum, to enable more flexible use.

23 alban.karapici@akep.al www.akep.al


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