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In nine months of 2016, the total revenue from mobile services fell slightly against the slight increase in the number of users and the sharp decrease of voice traffic they generated. The statistical data aggregated by the National Regulatory Agency for Electronic Communications and Information Technology (ANRCETI) show that in nine months the number of mobile users grew by over 42 thousand (+1%) up to a total of 4 million 365,5 thousand. The volume of voice traffic dropped compared to the same timeframe of 2015, by 106,4 million minutes (-2,3%) to a total of 4 billion 629,2 million minutes, while the turnover on these market segments decreased by 74,6 million lei (-2,8%) to about 2 billion 639,7 million lei.
The decrease of voice traffic on mobile networks and the total volume of sales on the mobile service market occurred largely due to the fact that an increasing number of users of smartphones prefer to communicate via the internet using Skype, Viber, etc.
According to the data provided by the three mobile service providers (Orange Moldova, Moldcell and Moldtelecom (Unite), the decrease of the total mobile service revenues was driven by the decreased revenues from those services of Orange Moldova, by 5,3% (98,2 million lei), equaling 1,75 billion lei. However, the revenues of Moldtelecom increased 3,4% (3,4 million lei) and exceeded 104,9 million lei, the revenues of Moldcell – by 2,7% up to a total of about 779,6 million lei. As a result, the average monthly revenue per user (ARPU) dropped 2,2%, making 79,1 lei. Orange Moldova ARPU was 89,6 lei, Moldtelecom – 80,6 lei and Moldcell – 62,5 lei.
The slight increase in the total number of mobile users was driven by the evolution of different customer bases of the three service providers. Thus, Moldtelecom expanded its customer base by 22,1 thousand (+6,9%) to 343,3 thousand, Moldcell – 18,6 thousand (+1,3%) to 1,5 million and Orange Moldova – by 1,3 thousand (+0,05%) to 2,5 million. Following this development, the penetration rate of mobile telephony services per 100 inhabitants of the country increased by 1,3% up to 122,9%.
The negative dynamics of the total volume of voice traffic in mobile networks was mainly caused by the decrease of this indicator with Orange Moldova. The volume of traffic in the network of this provider dropped by 199,7 million minutes (-6,1%) and totaled over 3 billion minutes. However, the voice traffic in Moldcell and Moldtelecom networks increased by 91,6 million minutes (+7,5%), and accordingly, 1,4 million minutes (+0,6%) and totaled 1,3 billion minutes and accordingly 235,7 million minutes. This has led to slight decrease of the average monthly traffic (-0,7%) per user to 261 minutes (four hours and 21 minutes).
By the end of September 2016, the three mobile providers market shares by revenues were as follows: Orange Moldova – 66,5%, Moldcell – 29,5% and Moldtelecom – 4%.
November 25, 2016