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In 2017, the number of users that accessed the mobile Internet, based on 4G technology, increased by 83.7% over 2016 and exceeded 692.3 thousand. Of those, about 610 thousand accessed the Internet from their smartphone, and over 82.3 thousand – by means of dedicated global network access (via modems/cards/USB). The total number of broadband mobile users (3G, 4G and dedicated access technologies) increased by 28.3% and reached more than 2 million 430 thousand, according to the data of the National Regulatory Agency for Electronic Communications and Information Technology (ANRCETI) regarding the evolution of this market in 2017.
According to the statistics provided to ANRCETI by the three mobile providers (Orange Moldova, Moldcell and Moldtelecom - Unite), in 2017, the mobile broadband penetration rate per 100 inhabitants of the country increased by 15.1 percentage points and amounted to 68.4%.
The same data show that the traffic generated by mobile Internet users from smartphone increased by 77.4% to 22 million 376.9 thousand GB, while the traffic generated by users of dedicated Internet access increased by 12.2% and reached 43 million 726.3 thousand GB. In 2017, a user who accessed the mobile Internet from his phone generated an average monthly traffic of one GB (1049 MB), while a user of dedicated Internet access – a monthly traffic of 11.8 GB.
As a result of the increase in the number of users and the traffic generated by them, the total volume of revenues from broadband Internet access services grew by 27.4% compared to 2016 and reached more than 908.5 million lei. This evolution is partly due to the increases registered by Orange Moldova and Moldcell: by 32.7% to 557.1 million lei and by 29.8% to 253.8 million lei, accordingly. Moldtelecom's revenues dropped slightly (-0.3%) and equaled 97.5 million lei. As a result, the average monthly revenue (ARPU) per mobile broadband user increased by 19% and reached 28.5 lei, while the revenue per mobile Internet user of dedicated access increased by 1.5% up to 78.3 lei.
According to ANRCETI estimates, at the end of 2017, the three mobile broadband providers had the following market shares by revenues: Orange Moldova - 61.32, Moldcell - 27.94 and Moldtelecom - 10.74%.
4G mobile services were launched in November 2012. They offer Internet access from mobile devices and browsing the Internet at high data transfer speeds of up to 300 Mbps. At the end of 2017, the coverage of the population and territory of the Republic of Moldova with 4G networks was 97% and 94%, respectively, meaning that virtually all smart phone or tablet holders can use high speed Internet access.
March 5, 2018