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Statistical data on the evolution of the mobile telephony market in the first quarter of 2018, aggregated by the National Regulatory Agency for Electronic Communications and Information Technology (ANRCETI), show that during this timeframe the total number of users dropped, compared to the end of 2017, by 28,5 thousand (-0,6%) and was estimated at 4 million 431,4 thousand, the volume of voice traffic decreased by 1,5% compared to the same period of 2017 and was 1 billion 496,2 million minutes, the total revenues of mobile telephony services decreased by 5,4% and to over 749,1 million lei.
According to the data provided to ANRCETI by the three mobile communications service providers (Orange Moldova, Moldcell and Moldtelecom - Unite), the decrease of the total number of users was driven by the decrease of the subscriber base of Orange Moldova (-29,1 thousand) and Moldcell (-8 thousand). At the same time, the Moldtelecom subscriber base grew by more than 8,6 thousand. As a result of this evolution, the penetration rate of mobile telephony services per 100 inhabitants was 124.8%, decreased by 0,8 percentage points.
The decrease in the total volume of voice traffic was caused, mainly, by the traffic decrease in the networks of the three mobile communications providers and the traffic directed to other mobile networks. At the same time, the decrease in the number of users produced a slight increase in average monthly traffic per user, compared with the same period of last year, by 3,1% to 262 minutes (four hours and 22 minutes). In the first quarter of this year, an Orange Moldova customer consumed on average 299 minutes monthly, a customer of Moldtelecom – 285 minutes and a customer of Moldcell – 194 minutes.
The decrease of total revenues on the mobile telephony market was caused by the decrease of revenues of Moldcell and Orange Moldova. Moldcell's revenues dropped by 8,9% and to more than 227,2 million lei, and revenues of Orange Moldova decreased by 5,2% to 481,6 million lei. At the same time, revenues from mobile telephony services by Moldtelecom increased by 15,8% and exceeded 40,2 million lei. As a result, the average monthly revenue per mobile user (ARPU) was 68,7 lei, which is a decrease of 1,9%. Moldtelecom had 83,5 lei ARPU, Orange Moldova – 72,3 lei and Moldcell – 60,5 lei.
The negative trend of the main indicators of the mobile telephony market is mainly caused by the change in users' preferences shifting from mobile telephony to alternative Internet communication services – OTT applications: Skype, Viber, WhatsApp, etc. – which are cheaper or offered free of charge.
At the end of the first quarter of 2018, the market shares of the three mobile service providers, according to their turnover, did not suffer any significant changes. Orange Moldova continues to hold its biggest market share – 64,28%, and Moldcell and Moldtelecom – market shares of 30,36% and 5,36%, accordingly.
May 25, 2018