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The number of fixed broadband connections in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) reached 78.95 million in 2017, showing an increase of 5.2% year over year, according to the Worldwide Telecom Services Database published by International Data Corporation (IDC). For 2018, IDC predicts a slightly lower growth rate of 4.7% year on year, thus totaling 82.66 million fixed broadband connections. The market is forecast to continue this trajectory over the five-year forecast period (2018-2022) at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.9%.
The CEE fixed broadband market is expected to continue its rapid pace of development, as the household penetration stood at 43.7% in 2017, compared to the Western Europe percentage of around 72.0%, proof that there is still a lot of room for growth. “Increasing content consumption is driving the need for higher broadband speeds, and operators will invest more in next-generation access (NGA) technologies to increase their revenues," says Madalin Lazarescu, program manager with CEMA Telecoms and Networking at IDC. "The EU's ambitious initiatives to provide half of European households with at least 100Mbps by 2020 and Gigabit connectivity for all of the main socio-economic drivers (research centers, universities, main providers of public services, etc.) by 2025, will also contribute to the advancement of the fixed broadband market in CEE.”
Russia remains the largest CEE market for fixed broadband, followed by Poland and Romania. The three countries together represented 58.8% of the total connections in the region in 2017. The fastest growing markets were Montenegro, with 12.3% growth in connections year on year, followed by Albania with 11.2% growth.
Spending on fixed broadband in CEE follows the same trend as connections — growing, but at a slower pace, due to the decrease in subscription fees resulting from competition and the bundling of services pushed by most operators. In 2017, spending on fixed broadband in CEE reached $7.78 billion, representing a 3.7% year on year increase. IDC believes that spending on fixed broadband in CEE over the 2018-2022 forecast period will post a CAGR of 2.0%. "Having recently invested in NGA, most operators are now reaping the benefits, as they are able to deliver high speed broadband to their customers while protecting their revenues," says Lazarescu. "While older broadband technologies are undergoing price cuts to make them attractive, just upping the speed for NGA connections will suffice to stoke demand."
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International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. With more than 1,100 analysts worldwide, IDC offers global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. IDC's analysis and insight helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based technology decisions and to achieve their key business objectives. Founded in 1964, IDC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of International Data Group (IDG), the world's leading media, data and marketing services company that activates and engages the most influential technology buyers.