Lithuania’s small telecoms market is among the more developed in Europe. A number of alternative operators offer services although the incumbent TEO, owed by TeliaSonera, remains the dominant operator in the fixed-line and broadband sectors. The number of fixed-line voice subscribers is in steady decline, attributed to fixed-to-mobile substitution.

The cable and DSL broadband sectors remain vibrant, offering effective competition in urban areas, though the focus among telcos as well as the government has been on investing in fibre networks, with an emphasis on delivering gigabyte data speeds. By early 2016 fibre accounted for the majority of new broadband connections. As a result of these efforts, Lithuania has one of the highest fibre broadband penetration rates globally. Regulatory measures have ensured that there is effective competition to TEO, while the government has also committed to providing €1 billion for fibre-based national broadband infrastructure. Widespread internet usage has also resulted in a fast-emerging internet society, with a range of ICT services improving social and economic development, and with various e-commerce, e-government, e-education and e-health services increasingly available and used.

A burgeoning digital TV market is evident as a consequence of the transition to digital-only broadcasting. TEO is well positioned to develop the sector due to the company’s involvement in both videostreaming services and digital terrestrial TV.

The mobile market is served by Omnitel, Bité and Tele2, as well as by a number of MVNOs. In addition, the state-owned broadcaster Telecentras has become the fourth mobile operator, with an extensive LTE infrastructure using spectrum formerly assigned to its WiMAX offering.

SIM card penetration is high for the region, and while the prepaid sector accounts for the majority of subscribers the proportion of postpaid services is increasing. With dwindling new subscriber acquisition opportunities, mobile operators are heavily marketing mobile broadband services, made possible from past investments in 3G and HSPA networks and ongoing upgrades with LTE technology. By early 2016 services based on LTE networks were available to more than 90% of the population.

The recent acquisition by TEO of the remaining shares in Omnitel, the second largest player in the mobile market, has also provided the company with a secure presence in the market for convergent services and bundled offerings.

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