Romania Telecommunications Market 2006-2007

Romanian Telecommunication Market
Successful 2006, High Hopes for 2007
Nine O’Clock 2006-12-29

Orange Romania, Romtelecom, Vodafone, Cosmote Zapp (not covered)

The Romanian telecommunications market is a market in transition, reflecting the country’s economic aspirations. Initiatives have been influenced by the country’s bid to join the European Union, resulting in a liberalised market. The development of the Romanian telecom sector continued in 2006 mostly in the mobile telephony segment and will keep this ascendant trend in 2007, also, the competitors promised.

The total number of users of telephony services exceeded 19 million in mid-2006, as compared to 15.6 million on June 30, 2005, while the total voice traffic in public networks increased by 27 per cent as compared to the corresponding period of 2005, to 10.6 billion minutes, reads the “Report on the Romanian electronic communication sector, January 1 – June 30, 2006” drawn up by the National Communication Regulatory Authority (ANRC).

Here are presented some company’s main achievements of this year and what are their expectations with regard to 2007, anticipated enhanced competition on the Romanian Telecommunication market.

A fantastic year for Orange Romania

Concept Store – an innovative communication campaign based on ”share” and “play” concepts

2006 is proving to be a fantastic year for Orange Romania, said Richard Moat, CEO Orange Romania.

“Despite predictions that foreseen a slower development of the market, Orange Romania again posted strong gains in both customer numbers and revenue growth cementing its market leading position. The company had 7.5m customers at the end of Q3, up 20.5 per cent from 6.2m subscribers a year earlier. This strong rise in customers drove the 21.8 per cent pro forma rise in revenues to EUR 284 M in Q3. Considering these excellent results we expect to reach 8 million customers and revenues of over EUR 1bln by the end of the year”, said also Moat.

One of the Orange’s main achievements of this year is the rebranding with Equant into Orange business services in September. As part of the France Telecom integrated operator strategy (NExT programme) to deliver simple, convergent products, Orange Business Services became the new banner for all business communications solutions and services. Orange Business Services is present in 166 countries and territories and serves customers in 220.

“We have extended our shop network and as achievement for this year we can mention also the launch in our dealers network of certain services that were available up to now only on the Orange shops: after sale assistance, SIM changes and by the end of the year our customers will be able to pay their bills also in our partners shops”, mentioned Moat.

On the other hand, the word representitive for Orange this year is innovation.

“Innovation is the name of the game in business, now more than ever. In line with our idea of innovation this year we launched the Concept Store on Calea Victoriei, refreshed our shop image, and made a innovative communication campaign based on ”share” and “play” concepts that has been very well received by the Romanian public. In 2006, we were the 1st operator to launch Music Store and the first to broadcast live concerts, football games or car traffic on the mobile phone”, said CEO Orange Romania.

In 2007, Orange’s investments will be focused on launching new technologies, extending the network, developing innovative products and services and extending the Orange shop network, according to the officials of the company. Despite increased competition, Orange anticipate further strong growth during 2007, and to maintain their market and value share leadership.

“On the Romanain Telecommunication market there is still room for other service providers in what concerns integrated services or very specialized niche services. Next year we will see a new entrant on the mobile market and current operators diversifying their portofolios”, mentioned Richard Moat. He also added that Orange is going to pass to Euro starting with 8th of January, we will develop the HSDPA network next year and to exploit as much as possible our convergent services under the brand Orange Business Services.

A full one year for Romtelecom

A new digital television service – Dolce The officials of Romtelecom admits that this year has been a full one.

First of all, the company went on developing the new business started last year when the operator took the first daring step on a totally new field of activity, the Internet market, at the same time producing the first mass consume of the ADSL technology in Romania – expecting to reach 100,000 ADSL customers by the end of 2006.

“This year we have continuously improved our Internet offer, we launched the first combined packages of Internet and voice, and we accomplished another premier: the company entered the elitist and sophisticated IT services market, by launching Cyber Host, the largest data hosting centre in Romania dedicated to our business clients”, said the Romtelecom’s officials.

But the most important event for the company, this year, is most probably the launch of a new digital television service, under the special brand called Dolce.

“With the launch of Dolce, Romtelecom entered the multimedia content services area in addition to its voice and Internet services. The company invested 15 million euros until now in order to bring the clients the most advanced technology for digital television and give them the best alternative to the analogue television that still dominates the Romanian market”, stated James Hubley, on Nov 29, at the launching event.

The expectations with regard to 2007 are very optimistic for Romtelecom, orientated on the growth of the company in two directions: the Internet and data market and the entertainment and content area.

“Romtelecom’s future is orientated on the growth of the company in two directions: the Internet and data market and the entertainment and content area. The clients’ interest for the integrated packages (telephony, internet, television) will grow, these packages actually being a solution for a person’s/family’s/company’s communications needs”, said the officials of Romtelecom.

In the near future, Romtelecom will increasingly concentrate on content offers.

Vodafone Romania: – a year of consistent growth and outstanding results

Vodafone’s brand launching

For Vodafone Romania, 2006 was a year of consistent growth and outstanding results, said the officials. “We have increased the customer base by 48% during April – September, which leveraged our position as the fastest growing operator during the last six months. Over the past 12 months, we increased our services revenues by more than 30 per cent”, said Liliana Solomon, CEO Vodafone Romania.

2006 is also the year of Vodafone’s brand launching on the Romanian market, “a decisive step for leveraging customer experience”. Vodafone Romania focused also on the launch of new products and services.

“In this respect, we are the only operator to offer the HSDPA services launched in October this year. It is still early days, but the 3G broadband services have been very well received by the business customers”, said Solomon.

For 2007, Vodafone Romania is very optimistic.

“We have good reasons to believe that 2007 will bring significant opportunities for the growth of our business. Speaking about objectives, we’ll continue to further leverage the Vodafone brand on the local market place and to provide the best products and services to meet our customers’ communication needs. In this respect, we’ll continue to focus on developing our distribution network through our own stores and exclusive distribution channels. For the next year, one of our main objectives is to strengthen our market leadership by offering products and services that address all communication needs for both consumers and our business customers”, mentioned the CEO of Vodafone Romania.

The toughest year for the new entrant, Cosmote

1 million clients after one years of operation

The first year of operation is also the toughest for a company that enters an extremely competitive market. In only one year, COSMOTE has become an important player on the telecom market, generating a significant change, exceeding 1 million clients after one years of operation.

“The fact that Cosmote Romania exceeded 1 million customers in only one year of operations is a clear indicator of the increasing market responsiveness, the growing consumers’ preference as well as confidence in our company and our brand name”, said Tereza Valcan, Corporate Affairs Manager Cosmote Romania.

According to company’s results, the Cosmote network covers 95% of the population, while the company’s revenues and ARPU are posting significant increases. At the same time, the retail network has reached almost 600 stores. In 2006, the company ranked among the top 10 investors in Romania and we will continue with the investment plan initially announced as Cosmote’s objective is to establish a strong, successful business on the long term.

“One year ago, Cosmote made a commitment to bring change to the Romanian mobile telecommunications market. And the market has proved us right. One year later, Cosmote is better, stronger, with an ever growing presence and even more ready to face the challenges of the future for the benefit of the consumer”, said Tereza Valcan.

Cosmote as a new entrant on the Romanian telecom market, celebrated many achievements for its first year of operations, according to company’ officials. As example is the acquisition of Germanos which will bring significant benefits to Cosmote Romania as well, further enhancing its subscriber reach and accelerating its targets to gain market momentum and share.

“Cosmote Romania managed to conquer the third position on the market in record time and became a company Romanians trust”, announced Valcan.

Cosmote will continue in 2007 its aggressive policy as well as the launch of relevant and accessible offers for the Romanian consumers. The company will also continue its EUR 450 M investment plan announced for the first three years of presence in Romania and the expansion of the network coverage up to some 98 per cent population and 85 per cent of the territory, thus exceeding other operators’ coverage. Cosmote Romania is expected to post profit in 2008 as a result of the positive feedback from the market and the purchase of telecom retail chain Germanos. In 2007, the company plans to continue its investment in building its brand, offering innovative and competitive services, and attracting an increasing number of users. The company will capitalize on the acquisition of Germanos, which will further enhance its subscriber reach and accelerate the accomplishment of its targets to gain market momentum and share.

“Based on CosmoteGroup’s strategy of offering the most advanced technologies, Cosmote Romania will introduce i-mode services in Romania starting in 2007, offering its customers easy and high speed access to an extensive variety of thematic content and applications, such as e-mail, at affordable prices, via mobile phone”, mentioned Tereza Valcan.

by Nine oClock