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Cyta privatisation promises major shift in Cyprus’s telecom market
Saturday, September 3, 2016 5:40:57 AM America/New_York
Despite the liberalisation of Cyprus’s telecom sector, the market overall continues to be dominated by the incumbent, Cyta, which is still fully-owned by the state. The government has rekindled plans to privatise Cyta as part of a wider financial bailout package. The process is expected to be completed sometime in 2016, with legislation to this effect having been before parliament in December 2015. Improved regulatory conditions, particularly in relation to network interconnection and access, has given competing operators the confidence to invest in network infrastructure, unbundle local loops and launch competing services.
The broadband market in Cyprus is developing steadily following a few years of low growth. DSL remains the most popular access platform, with cable broadband restricted to a single operator with a network concentrated in a few key towns. The fibre infrastructure is still comparatively in its infancy, with the incumbent telco Cyta having lacked the resources to invest in a fibre network, although it has made progress on building an all-IP infrastructure. The anticipated privatisation of the company could also create a separate operator to manage networks resources and attract investors. This could in turn be a catalyst for future progress in the sector.
Alternative DSL operators have taken advantage of regulated wholesale network access, resulting in a steady fall in the incumbent’s broadband market share. Growing broadband usage, supported by government policy, is also shaping Cyprus’s emerging internet society and encouraging developments in e-commerce.
The mobile market is served by three mobile network operators, including the two established players Cytamobile-Vodafone and MTN Cyprus which were joined by a third operator, PrimeTel, in 2015 soon after the company secured mobile spectrum. Having served as an MVNO since 2011, PrimeTel became a full MNO, launching 3G services by March 2015 and LTE services in the following May. Thus far the operator has only a small market share, but it has placed greater competitive pressure on other players.
For more information see –Cyprus - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media - Statistics and Analyses