Saturday, May 17, 2008

Internet in Romania

ANRCTI, the Romanian National Regulatory Authority for Communications and Information Technology, reports that the total number of Internet access connections reached almost 5.8 million, registering a 76% increase in 2007 compared to 2006, whereas the number of broadband Internet dedicated access connections (excluding dial up and mobile access) reached 2.1 million, thus doubling the penetration rate (10% compared to 5% by end-2006).

The report shows that the most significant share (almost 55%) within the broadband Internet dedicated access connections is still held by the UTP/FTP cable connections, followed by the coaxial cable connections (22%) and by the xDSL connections (17%), which actually registered the most significant annual growth, by more than 270% compared to end-2006.

The fixed telephony registered a slight increase as well. Thus, in comparison with the previous year, as of December 31, 2007, the total number of access lines to fixed telephone services grew by 1.4%, reaching a total of 4.26 million lines, of which 1.22 million lines were installed by the alternative providers. In 2007, the lines installed by the alternative providers increased by 50%, and, therefore, their market shares reached almost 29% by the end of 2007.

Furthermore, the traffic volume achieved by the alternative providers’ users grew by 44%, in the context of a 2% increase of the total voice traffic originated in the public fixed telephone networks, up to approximately 8.5 billion minutes in 2007 compared to 8.3 billions in 2006.

The ANRCTI statistical data report indicates that the mobile telephony penetration rate reached 106.2% by the end of 2007, registering 22.9 million “users” (active SIM cards). 67% of these use prepaid cards, whereas approximately 33% (7.5 million) pay a monthly subscription. 67% (5.1 million) of the subscribers are natural persons and approximately one third (2.4 million) are legal persons.

The ANRCTI President remarked the significant growth (+87% in 2007 compared to 2006) of the roaming voice traffic achieved by the customers of the Romanian mobile telephony providers and appreciated that the introduction of the European maximum tariff in September 2006 represented one of the key-factors that encouraged the Romanians to use more the mobile telephone when travelling in the European Union’s Member States.

According to the statistical data report, as of December 31, 2007, the total number of subscribers to audio-visual retransmission programme services grew by 19%, mainly due to the consolidation of the level of use of the cable alternative solutions – the “direct-to-home” with satellite digital transmission registered a 177% annual increase – which attracted part of the customers living in the rural and urban areas without access to means enabling the reception of commercial television programme services.

The penetration rate of the audio-visual retransmission programme services per households reached 71.7%, increasing by 9.3 percentage points compared to half-2007, and respectively by 11.6% compared to end-2006.

The statistical data report was laid down based on the data reported by 99% of the authorised providers of electronic communications networks or services, who carried commercial activities between January 1 – June 30, 2007 and, respectively, July 1 – December 30, 2007.

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