Greece’s telecoms market has suffered from some very tough economic conditions in recent years, leading to lower sector revenue and investment. Operators across the board have seen gross profits tumble year after year, and given the continuing economic turmoil market conditions are expected to remain particularly hard during the next few years. This will likely lead to a degree of musical-chairs among the smaller players, with some unable to compete and so exiting the market, while others may become subject to take-overs.

The dominant market player remains the incumbent telco Cosmote (OTE), which has itself experienced significant challenges despite being supported by the organisational ability and financial clout of its parent Deutsche Telekom.
The telecom regulator, EETT, has shown some success in promoting competition, with local loop unbundling well utilised to deliver competing fixed-line services. The promoting of effective competition has been one of the EC’s conditions for Greece’s financial bailouts over the years.

Greece has a well-developed mobile market characterised by high SIM card penetration. The market is dominated by the three mobile network operators Wind Hellas, Vodafone Greece and Cosmote. Tariffs have fallen in recent years as a result of competition and regulatory mandated reductions in MTRs. The recent auction for renewed licences in the 900MHz and 1800MHz bands provided €380 million for the cash-strapped government as well as additional capabilities for MNOs to expand mobile broadband and develop spectrum assets to launch and expand the reach of services based on LTE-A technologies. These developments will help operators grow revenue at a time when mobile service revenue continues to fall sharply The search for growth has also led Cosmote to pursue merger and acquisition activities in lesser-developed markets within the Balkans region.
Broadband penetration in Greece is developing slowly despite the difficult economic conditions which have prevailed in recent years. These conditions have lowered consumer spend on services, and so reduced the ability of operators to invest in network upgrades. As a result, Greece has some of the highest prices for broadband connectivity in Europe, as also some of the lowest data rates. Nevertheless, the incumbent’s dominance of the DSL platform is waning, with improved competition having followed the telecom regulator’s mandated network access regime. The increasing consumer take up of broadband and a steady if slow deployment of faster ADSL2+ and VDSL infrastructure has in turn encouraged the development of IP services such as broadband TV and streaming video services.

Broadband penetration in Greece is developing slowly despite the difficult economic conditions which have reduced consumer spend on services, and so reduced the ability of operators to invest in network upgrades. As a result, Greece has some of the highest prices for broadband connectivity in Europe, as also some of the slowest data rates. Nevertheless, increasing consumer take up of broadband and a steady if slow deployment of faster ADSL2+ and VDSL infrastructure has in turn encouraged the development of IP services such as broadband TV and streaming video services.

For more information see - Greece - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media - Statistics and Analyses