Mobile penetration hits 95%, regulator to cut retail MTRs

16 Aug 2010

According to data published by Macedonia’s national telecoms regulator, the Electronic Communications Agency (AEC), the number of registered mobile users in the country reached 1.947 million at the end of March this year, a cellular penetration of 95%. The watchdog said that of the total, T-Mobile Macedonia controls the lion’s share, with 61.2% of the market, followed by ONE (Cosmofon) with 21.8% and VIP Mobile with 17.0%.

The AEC’s head of market analysis division, Vaska Petrova, told reporters: ‘The citizens spend 91 minutes per month talking to people of their own network and 11 minutes talking with people subscribed to other mobile operator. They spend 135 minutes talking on their land-line phone and 42 minutes talking on land-line phones of other operators.’ The official went on to say that around 41% of households use broadband internet, of which 65% use ADSL and 30% use cable broadband.

In separate news, the AEC says that a reduction in retail prices of mobile telephony services will come into effect from September this year as a result of rules compelling incumbent operators to cut their wholesale interconnection rates by 15%. In May this year TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate reported that the AEC cut the wholesale prices that domestic cellcos pay for the use of each other’s networks, paving the way for a reduction in retail prices. AEC head Petar Ivanovski said at the time that analysis carried out by the watchdog found there to be room to cut the wholesale rates for T-Mobile, Cosmofon (ONE) and VIP Mobile by between 10% to 15%. In addition, the AEC is ushering in another condition for domestic cellcos, under which they will have to rent out their infrastructure under previously determined prices. It is thought the move is designed to make the market more attractive to a fourth mobile operator – something the government has been pursuing for more than 18 months.