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CEE Weather Report - Telecom


Poor landline penetration and comparatively high costs for the consumer are delaying the triumphal march of broadband in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). Little more than a quarter of all households in this region have broadband access and only seven percent surf mobile. This low level of fixed line penetration means that comparatively high growth rates can be expected here in the field of mobile broadband access in the coming years. But, rapidly growing customer numbers and the constantly increasing demand for bigger bandwidths are proving to be a technical challenge for mobile telephony providers. The second edition of the "CEE Weather Report – Telecom" by Roland Berger Strategy Consultants and UniCredit CAIB shows how these challenges can be met.

Around 60% of all households in Western Europe have broadband and 50% use mobile broadband. This compares to only 27.2% of households in CEE with fixed line broadband and a mere 7% that go online with mobile broadband. "In the field of conventional telephone networks, the growth potential in this region is limited by the lack of infrastructure. High growth rates are more likely to be attainable with mobile broadband and in urban regions," explains Dr. Florian Potyka, telecommunications expert in the M&A unit of UniCredit CAIB in Vienna.

The leaders in the field of fixed line broadband in Central and Eastern Europe are the Czech Republic (42.6%) followed by Hungary (39.1%) and Turkey (37.4%). At the other end of the spectrum we find Ukraine with 7.1%. Romania leads the mobile market (13.8%) ahead of Poland (10.6%) and Hungary (7.4%). There are virtually no mobile broadband connections in Ukraine (0.04%).

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