Presentation on theme: "Market and regulatory situation in Albania"— Presentation transcript:
1 Market and regulatory situation in Albania Regional Conference for EuropeRegulatory Activity in Electronic Communication Sectoralban karapici (Board member of AKEP)Market and regulatory situation in Albania29-30 September 2014, Budva, MONTENEGRO
2 Market overview in Albania 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.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, and the broadband access has grown in both its segments: from fixed and mobile networks.
3 Background Mobile operators significant investment in 3G networks: Coverage: 85% of territory / 92% of populationAlbtelecom significant investment in NGN/NGA:100% of subscribers connected to NGA (MSAN)Albtelecom/AO: significant investment in backbone networks in the last 2-3 yearsMobile broadband subscribers and traffic are growing.
4 Fixed telephony (2013) 281 thousands subscribers 10% lower than end 2012Reduction of Albtelecom and the largest alt.netPenetration level: 10% population/ 38% HHAlbtelecom: 75% market shareAlbtelecomAbcomASCNisatelAMC FixedOther AOTotal Fixed2010277,76319,9757,4085,900-20,456331,5022011258,94327,16710,1294,9507,56530,090338,8442012230,39733,0007,6495,5006,11928,996311,6612013210,38213,68015,0477,1666,95027,975281,200Difference 2013/2012-9%-59%97%30%14%-4%-10%FIXED TELEPHONYDuring 2013 the fixed telephony continued its falling trend of the recent years, whose tendency although in line with the falling trend in the EU countries, is much lower than in the EU countries with a penetration rate of 10%.The number of fixed telephony subscribers by the end of 2013 reached about 281 thousand compared with about 311 thousand by the end of 2012, thus with a reduction of 10%. The reduction came as a result of the continuous reduction in the number of Albtelecom subscribers with 9% and the reduction of alternative operators' subscribers with 13%.The table displays the trend in the number of fixed telephony subscribers of the main operators during the period
5 Mobile Telephony (2013) Number of mobile users The number of active mobile users by the end of 2013 reached 3.7 million, compared with 3.5 million by the end of This constitutes an annual growth by 4% for the four operators, whereas the growth rate differs per operator: Plus Communication and Vodafone Albania have an increase by 9% and 11% respectively, whereas Albtelecom (Eagle Mobile) and AMC have seen a reduction by 2% and 3% respectively.Figure shows the performance of the number of active mobile users during the period
6 Broadband Access (2013)Broadband Access (fixed and Mobile 3G modem/USB):294,000 subscribers:182,000: fixed broadband111,000: Mobile Broadband 3G USB/modemPenetration 10 % (7 % 2012)Number of subscribersPenetrationPopulationFamilyTotal FixedTotal 3GTotal Fixed + 3GFixed3GFixed +3G2011139,69734,493174,1904.9%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%37%Difference 2013/201214%101%36%The number of subscribers with fixed and mobile (3G with USB cards/modem) broadband access by the end of 2013 reached about 294 thousand, constituting a growth of 36% compared with 2012.The following table shows the number of fixed and 3G broadband subscribers and the number of subscribers as a percentage of population and the number of households (penetration rate).In 2013, both segments of access, the fixed and the 3G (with USB cards/modem) have increased by 14% and 101% respectively.The penetration rate for both types of access together is 10.4% per population and 37% per household.
7 Fixed broadband (2013) The most used access speed: 2-4 Mbps. Main operators offers for 4-20 Mbps, but with limited take up.Total Installed optical fibre: km.International Internet Connectivity: 44 Gbps.AlbtelecomAbcomAbissnetASCOther AOTotal Fixed Broadband201070,59713,5757,0005,66623,162120,000201160,05529,32115,32110,12924,871139,697201266,75735,87017,71911,77727,965160,088201373,24243,43020,56215,43229,890182,556Difference 2013/201210%21%16%31%7%14%The number of fixed network broadband subscribers increased by 14% with most of the operators seeing an increase in the number of their subscribers.In 2013 Albtelecom broadband subscribers increased by 10%.Among alternative operators, Abcom continues to be the operator having the biggest number of broadband connections with about 43 thousand by the end of 2013, which constitutes a growth by 21% compared with 2012.A considerable increase is seen with Abissnet and ASC as the other two largest alternative operators by 16% and 31% respectively.
8 Mobile Broadband (2013)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.AMCVodafoneEMTotalUSB/ ModemMobile phone20119,00046,00025,493202,756N/A34,493248,756201217,833222,88237,572371,42655,405594,308201332,138279,42866,086568,20713,143272,257111,3671,119,892Difference 2013/201280%25%76%53%101%88%The number of mobile broadband users (3G with USB cards/modem for use on a PS) 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%.The two mobile operators Vodafone and AMC have increased significantly by 76% and 80% respectively, and Eagle Mobile, as the newest operator to provide 3G services in 2013 reached about 13 thousand subscribers during 2013.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.
9 Market overviewBroadband 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 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 NetworksA 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 licensesIn 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 MHz and 5 MHz unpaired spectrum 1915 – 1920 MHz”. The bids were open on September 15, 2014.
13 On-going spectrum licenses 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 The proposal is sent to the Government this month.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.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 remaining spectrum assignment in the 1800 MHz (6 licenses of 2 x 6Mhz each) is planned to be awarded in fourth quarter of The proposal is sent to the Government this month.For the mobile broadband (such as LTE/LTE-Advanced) new spectrum is needed to support broadband mobile services, but it is also very important that such spectrum is allocated in technology neutral way (meaning to all mobile standards in the IMT groups, including IMT-2000, which defines 3G, and IMT-Advanced, which defines 4G)...
14 Spectrum management for mobile operators 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 ProcessSpectrum 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 DividendAt 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 MHz -> 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 MHz) of very good advertizing characteristics (“digital dividend”) will be released.The frequency band of MHz is going to be assigned to mobile network operators
17 Advantages of 4G/LTE networks Most significantly, 4G offers:Higher bandwidth – increasing the speed of data transferLower latency – providing faster response times from the networkImproved spectrum efficiency – which increases overall network capacityAn LTE network provides a data rate of up to 100Mbps in the downlink and 50Mbps in the uplink.
19 NGN migration in Albania 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 By mid-2013, some 134 or 69% of all countries had a national plan, strategy, or policy in place to promote broadband, and a further 12 countries or 6% were planning to introduce such measures in the near future. However, some 47 countries (or nearly a quarter of all countries) still do not have any plan, strategy or policy in place.Referenca: “ITU/UNESCO Broadband Commission dhe ITUTelecommunication/ICT Regulatory Database”.
21 Targets for Albanian Broadband Plan Referenca: Cullen International, Shkurt 2014.
22 Challenges for the future 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.