Albanias mobile subscriptions grow 15% to 5.2mn in 2011.

By bne IntelliNews February 29, 2012
The number of mobile subscriptions in Albania rose 15% to approximately 5.2mn at end-2011, local daily Panorama reported, citing data from the Electronic and Postal Communications Authority (AKEP). The expansion rate speeded up from a 10% rise to 4.5mn users in 2010. The mobile penetration per 100 inhabitants rate reached 185% in 2011, up from 140% a year earlier. All four mobile phone operators generated combined revenue of USD 419mn in 2011. We note that Albanian Mobile Communications (AMC), a unit of Greek OTE, reported 1.819mn subscribers at end-2011. The number of subscribers of its closest rival, Vodafone Albania, was slightly lower at 1.809mn. Turkish-owned Eagle Mobile and youngest mobile company Plus Communications have not reported annual data yet. In our view, the rising number of subscriptions on the local telecommunications market resulted from the implementation of a number of reforms last year. They included the introduction of lower termination and network fees in September, as these fees are due to be cut further in September 2012 and in 2013. Vodafone was the first GSM company that launched 3G services in early 2011, followed by AMC at end-2011. The mobile number portability, which was launched in May 2011, has also boosted competition on local market.

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