The impact of broadband in Eastern and Southeast Europe

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1 The impact of broadband in Eastern and Southeast Europe A REPORT PREPARED FOR TELEKOM AUSTRIA GROUP May 2010 Frontier Economics Ltd, London.

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3 Confidential May 2010 Frontier Economics i The impact of broadband in Eastern and Southeast Europe 1 Executive Summary Scope of the study Current state of broadband provision in the ESE region Potential benefits from increased broadband provision Achieving broadband growth Key obstacles and enablers Summary conclusions and recommendation Introduction Scope of the study Current state of broadband provision in the ESE region Regional overview Individual country overviews Austria Bulgaria Croatia Macedonia Serbia Slovenia Potential benefits from increased broadband service provision Empirical evidence Methodology for calculating broadband benefits Estimated economic benefits Achieving broadband growth Key obstacles and enablers The role of public authorities in achieving broadband growth Key obstacles in ESE countries Summary and recommendations 73 Contents

4 ii Frontier Economics May 2010 Confidential Annexe 1: Coverage Maps 75 Annexe 2: Empirical estimation of broadband benefits 81 Annexe 3: Empirical literature references 87 Contents

5 Confidential May 2010 Frontier Economics iii The impact of broadband in Eastern and Southeast Europe Figure 1. Weighed average fixed broadband penetration (% of population), Figure 2. Weighed average 3G mobile broadband penetration (% of population), Figure 3. Dedicated mobile data service penetration rate (% of population) - dedicated mobile data cards, July Figure 4. Fixed broadband penetration Vs GDP per capita, Figure 5. Fixed broadband penetration Vs PC penetration, Figure 6. Recent trends in GPD p.c. and penetration gaps between TAG region and Western Europe, Figure 7. Geographic scope of this study 16 Figure 8. Total fixed broadband connections in ESE region, Western Europe and TAG footprint, Figure 9. Weighted average fixed broadband penetration in ESE region, Western Europe and TAG footprint (% of population), Figure 10. Broadband (fixed) penetration in Eastern and Southeast Europe (% of population), Figure 11. Percentage of (fixed) broadband connections by technology, Figure 12. Geographic coverage of 3G networks, Figure 13. Weighted average 3G mobile penetration trends ESE region, Western Europe and TAG footprint (% of population), Figure 14. Mobile broadband penetration rate (% of population) - dedicated data services, July Figure 15. Fixed broadband penetration (% of population) vs. GDP per capita, Figure 16. Total fixed broadband penetration vs. number of PCs per 100 inhabitants 31 Figure 17. DSL Coverage as % of population, Figure 18. Recent trends in GDP p.c. and penetration gaps between TAG footprint and Western Europe, Figure 19. Austria Fixed broadband take-up, Figure 20. Bulgaria - Fixed broadband take-up, Tables & Figures

6 iv Frontier Economics May 2010 Confidential Figure 21. Croatia - Fixed broadband take-up, Figure 22. Macedonia - Fixed broadband take-up, Figure 23. Serbia - Fixed broadband take-up, Figure 24. Slovenia - Fixed broadband take-up, Figure 25. Growth effects of a 10% increase in penetration rates (% of population) 50 Table 1. Potential benefits of increased broadband take-up (Conservative Scenario) in billion of Euros, Table 2. Potential increase in fixed broadband subscriptions given GDP per capita (PPP adjusted), Table 3. Percentage of impact of broadband infrastructure on growth for each country, Koutroumpis (2009) 52 Table 4. Overview of job creation 53 Table 5. Overview of further empirical studies 54 Table 6. Summary of demand forecast across the TAG countries, , in millions of Euros 60 Table 7. Total direct and indirect benefits from increased fixed and mobile broadband penetration, in billions of Euros 62 Table 8. Total direct benefits of fixed and mobile broadband for in billions of Euros 63 Table 9. Estimated cost savings by the use of egovernment from , in million Euro 64 Table 10. Total indirect benefits of teleworking between 2010 to 2019, in millions of Euros 65 Table 11. 3G coverage maps - Bulgaria 75 Table 12. 3G coverage maps - Croatia 76 Table 13. 3G coverage maps - Serbia 76 Table 14. 3G coverage maps - Slovenia 77 Table 15. 3G coverage maps - Austria 78 Table 16. 3G coverage maps - France 79 Table 17. 3G coverage maps - United Kingdom 80 Table 18. Causality between investment and growth 82 Table 19. Overview of job creation 84 Tables & Figures

7 May 2010 Frontier Economics 1 1 Executive Summary Demand for broadband services has increased significantly in most countries across Europe in recent years. This growth has been particularly marked in Western European jurisdictions. Whilst broadband demand in other European jurisdictions has also been growing, the current take-up levels still remain below those experienced across Western Europe. There is a growing literature on the economic benefits from broadband provision, both on a macro-economic level as well as for individual end-users. There is further an ongoing debate on the role of public authorities in facilitating future rollout of broadband infrastructure. In light of these developments, Frontier Economics has been retained by Telekom Austria Group (TAG) to conduct a study on the impact of broadband provision in Eastern and Southeast Europe with a focus on the countries where TAG is currently present. This note presents a summary of our findings Scope of the study The scope of our study can be summarised as follows. Geographic scope. The study focuses on Eastern and Southeast Europe (ESE) 2 and Austria. We have further defined a Western European region 3 to facilitate our review of recent trends in the broadband market in the ESE region and Austria. Furthermore, some parts of our analysis focus on jurisdictions where TAG currently has a presence. 4 Product scope. Within the study we aim to reflect both fixed and mobile broadband services for end-users. Unless stated otherwise, we refer to fixed broadband services as retail offerings with speeds of at least 256kbps in either direction, delivered via xdsl, cable, fibre (FTTx), or fixed wireless 1 The views expressed in this report represent the views of Frontier Economics, and not necessarily those of TAG or any other stakeholders which may have contributed to the study. 2 The Eastern and Southeast Europe (ESE) region includes: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, and Slovenia. 3 The Western European region includes: Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom. 4 TAG currently operates in eight countries (Austria, Belarus, Bulgaria, Croatia, Liechtenstein Macedonia, Serbia, and Slovenia.). For consistency, we have excluded Liechtenstein and Belarus from the analysis. Austria is primarily reported as a benchmark for the remaining countries. Executive Summary

8 May 2010 Frontier Economics 2 access platforms. We further report on the provision of mobile broadband services, which we define as retail mobile offerings using dedicated mobile data cards only (i.e. access via, for example, data modems, data cards and USB keys). 5 Benefits estimated within the study. The study aims to illustrate the potential benefits of broadband provision in the countries within TAG s current footprint. There is a considerable range of potential benefits associated with broadband services. Estimating all these potential benefits, in general, and for relevant countries in particular, is constrained by the availability of the required information. As such, we have focused on illustrating the potential benefits by providing a high-level assessment of the possible overall macro-economic impact of increasing broadband connections. This is then accompanied by an assessment of a range of benefits, such as the direct benefits to broadband users and indirect benefits, such as those arising from enhanced egovernment rollout. Where possible, we have aimed to apply conservative assumptions within our analysis. As such, the benefit values presented in this report represent a lower bound estimate of the possible scale of benefits likely to arise from broadband service provision in the relevant countries. 1.2 Current state of broadband provision in the ESE region Current fixed broadband take-up levels lag behind Western Europe Despite continuous growth in fixed broadband connections and penetration rates, current broadband take-up levels across the ESE region remain significantly lower than those across Western Europe. In 2009, the weighted average fixed broadband penetration rate (in terms of population) across the entire ESE region was 13.1% and 11.6% in TAG s footprint countries within the region. This compares to 27.6% across Western Europe. 5 This report focuses on mobile broadband that is provided via dedicated data cards, which follows the definition of mobile broadband of the 14th EU Implementation report lreports/14threport/annex2.pdf Executive Summary

9 May 2010 Frontier Economics 3 Figure 1. Weighed average fixed broadband penetration (% of population), Weighted average fixed broadband penetration 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% Western Europe Eastern and Southeast Europe TAG footprint in ESE region Source Frontier Economics Fixed broadband penetration levels vary significantly across the ESE region, ranging from 28.2% in Estonia to less than 10.0% in Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Albania. Within TAG s regional footprint, Slovenia reported the highest penetration rate (23.5%) followed by Croatia (15.9%), Macedonia (12.0%), Bulgaria (10.0%) and Serbia (6.9%) Mobile broadband is likely to contribute significantly to future growth Mobile broadband is a relatively new technology in many countries, especially within the ESE region. Although, current take-up levels are likely to be low, it is expected that mobile broadband will play an important role in future broadband provision. There are a range of definitions for mobile broadband services, including, amongst others, a wider definition of 3G mobile services and a more narrow definition of dedicated mobile data services only (We have used the more narrow definition in this report to estimate broadband benefits). The penetration rates of 3G mobile services reached 37.6% in Western Europe, 18.1% within the TAG footprint and 15.1% in the ESE region by 2009 (see graph below). Executive Summary

10 May 2010 Frontier Economics 4 Figure 2. Weighed average 3G mobile broadband penetration (% of population), % Weighted average 3G mobile penetration 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% Western Europe Eastern and Southeast Europe TAG footprint in ESE region Source: Frontier Economics A similar picture emerges for the narrower definition of dedicated mobile data services, with current take-up levels being higher across Western European countries, compared to those in the ESE region (see graph below). For example, Austria and Sweden exhibit take-up levels of 13.0% 6 and 12.6% in 2009, respectively. 7 This compares to, for example, 3.25% in Croatia 8, 2.5% in Slovenia and 1% in Bulgaria. Despite this current take-up gap, the longer-term potential for mobile broadband services is likely to be larger in ESE countries due to the more limited network coverage of the fixed networks in many of these countries. 6 The EU study egovernment Benchmark Survey 2009: Smarter, Faster, Better, egovernment Broadband access in the EU: situation at 1 July 2009 was published with a penetration rate for Austria of 13.8%. However, the currently available version on the website refers to 13.0%. 7 egovernment Benchmark Survey 2009: Smarter, Faster, Better, egovernment Broadband access in the EU: situation at 1 July Mobile broadband users are defined as users using broadband dedicated data services via data modems/cards/keys in last 90 days. 8 For Croatia, we had two possible figures for the mobile broadband penetration (% of population), which ranged from TAG s internal estimate of 2% to the 4.5% quoted in Cullen International s (March 2010): Enlargement Countries Monitoring Report III. We have therefore used an average of 3.25%. Executive Summary

11 May 2010 Frontier Economics 5 Figure 3. Dedicated mobile data service penetration rate (% of population) - dedicated mobile data cards, July % 12.6% 10.8% 8.3% 7.6% 4.9% 4.7% 4.7% 4.5% 4.4% 3.8% 3.3% 3.2% 3.2% 3.2% Average 2.5% 2.1% 1.9% 1.8% 1.6% 1.6% 1.5% 1.4% 1.4% 1.0% 0.8% 0.5% Austria Sweden Portugal Ireland Denmark United Kingdom Italy Poland Slovakia Lithuania Hungary Croatia Czech Republic Spain Germany Slovenia Romania France Malta Greece Belgium Netherlands Estonia Luxembourg Bulgaria Latvia Cyprus Source: Frontier Economics with EU Communications Committee Working document: Broadband access in the EU: situation at 1 July 2009.The countries included in the chart encompass all EU 27 countries Potential drivers of current take-up levels There are several potential drivers of current broadband take-up levels, which may influence future take-up levels across the region, including, amongst others the following demand side and supply side drivers. Average income levels. Our study finds evidence in support of the hypothesis that countries with higher GDP per capita also tend to exhibit a higher broadband service take-up than lower income countries (see Figure 4). However, most countries within TAG s footprint exhibit below average levels of broadband penetration compared to their level of GDP per capita. PC penetration. There is further evidence for a positive relationship between current fixed broadband penetration and the number of PCs per 100 inhabitants (see Figure 5). The prevailing low levels of PC penetration ( which could also be seen as an indicator of the overall e-literacy and e- preparedness of consumers) in many of the countries within the ESE region (relative to some European countries) could have further contributed to the observed low fixed broadband penetration rates across the region. Executive Summary

12 May 2010 Frontier Economics 6 Smart phone penetration. Smart mobile phone devices 9, enabling the use of internet services have become a widespread alternative mean to access the internet in recent years. For example, in Western Europe, approximately 18% of total mobile handsets were smart phones in We further understand that the actual smart phone share of total customers across TAG s subsidiaries in the ESE region ranged from 1.6% to 10.2% in As such, smart phones are expected to become a further important driver of mobile broadband demand across the ESE region. Network coverage. Recent studies 11 have shown that current DSL network coverage levels (in terms of share of total population that could have access to DSL based broadband) are significantly lower in ESE countries than those experienced, on average, across Western Europe. A similar picture emerges for current 3G mobile network coverage. According to information published by the GSM Association 12, there is currently a significant gap in 3G mobile coverage between ESE countries and those in Western Europe. 9 Including, for example, Blackberries, iphones and Android phones 10 Arthur D Little (2009), Mobile internet: blessing or curse? 11 Europe's Digital Competitiveness Report Volume 1: i2010 Annual Information Society Report 2009 Benchmarking i2010: Trends and main achievements Executive Summary

13 May 2010 Frontier Economics 7 Figure 4. Fixed broadband penetration Vs GDP per capita, % 35% Fixed broadband penetration (% of population) 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% Macedonia Eastern and Southeast Europe Average Bulgaria Serbia Croatia Slovenia Western European Average Austria 0% 0 5,000 10,000 15,000 20,000 25,000 30,000 35,000 40,000 45,000 GDP per capita (US dollars PPP adjusted) Source: Globalcomms, IMF Executive Summary

14 May 2010 Frontier Economics 8 Figure 5. Fixed broadband penetration Vs PC penetration, % Fixed broadband penetration in 2006 (% of population) 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% Bulgaria Eastern and Southeast Europe Average Western European Average Slovenia Austria Serbia Macedonia 0% Numbers of PCs per 100 inhabitants (2006) Source: Globalcomms, World Bank. Data for Austria and Bulgaria are from 2005 and 2007 respectively Summary conclusions on take-up trends Both fixed broadband and 3G mobile broadband take-up levels across the ESE region have increased substantially in recent years, however they remain significantly lower than those across Western Europe. The prevailing differences in average income across the two regions may explain some of these differences. However, whereas average incomes appear to have followed a convergence path, the gap in penetration rates, especially for 3G mobile services, has continued to increase. This is illustrated in the graph below. Executive Summary

15 May 2010 Frontier Economics 9 Figure 6. Recent trends in GPD p.c. and penetration gaps between TAG region and Western Europe, % % 80% 0.25 GDP p.c. gap (%) 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 9% 11% 12% 11% 12% 15% 11% 18% Penetration gap (ppt) 20% 5% % 2% 0% Fixed broadband penetration gap 3G Penetration gap GDP p.c. gap 0.00 Source: Frontier analysis based on Globalcomms, IMF and TAG data This implies that whereas income growth can be expected to play a role in future broadband take-up, there are other drivers of broadband that governments and policy makers need to consider. The evidence from the chart suggests that these could have an even more important role to play in enabling the narrowing of the broadband gap compared to income. 1.3 Potential benefits from increased broadband provision Over recent years there has been a growing academic literature on the economic and employment impact of telecommunication investment in general, and more recently on broadband investment in particular. The vast majority of these papers show an unambiguous positive effect of investment on both economic growth and employment. For example, Koutroumpis (2009) and Qiang (2009) undertook two large scale studies to estimate the impact of an increase in broadband penetration in different jurisdictions Koutroumpis, Pantelis (2009). The economic impact of broadband on growth: A simultaneous approach. Telecommunications policy 33(9) and Qiang, Christine Zhen-Wei (2009) Telecommunications and Economic Growth. Unpublished working paper. World Bank. Executive Summary

16 May 2010 Frontier Economics Estimated economic benefits In this study we have focused on estimating the direct and selected indirect economic benefits from an increase in broadband provision in six countries where TAG currently operates in 14. We derive these expected future benefits (on a present value basis) for the period Direct benefits assess the value of using broadband to end users. These benefits are reflected in an end user s willingness to pay for a broadband connection. As an estimate for customers willingness to pay we apply the average revenue a customer pays, which is likely to lead to a conservative direct benefit estimates. Indirect benefits encompass all other benefits that are not covered by direct benefits, include, amongst others, any positive externalities, cost savings to end-users and/or service providers and productivity gains from broadband provision. Within this study we focus on two indirect benefits: Positive external effects from egovernment. We estimate the value arising from time saved by end users from the online provision of government services, relative to the conventional way of providing these services, taking into account the expected share of people likely to use these services in each year over the forecast period. This approach is again likely to lead to conservative indirect benefit estimates, since we not take into account potential further benefits arising from, for example, a reduction in travel times or postage requirements. Reduced external cost of transport from teleworking. Broadband connections allow people to work from home ( teleworking ) which reduces commuting and thereby the external effects of travel. We estimate the possible reduction in kilometres travelled due to the predicted take-up of teleworking to calculate the benefits from teleworking for each of the TAG countries over the ten year forecast period. The resulting potential total direct and indirect benefits for the six TAG countries are summarised in Table Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia and Slovenia. 15 The estimated economic benefits do not include the wider economic benefits from broadband provision, such as higher economic growth. Our estimated economic benefits should therefore be seen as cautious. Executive Summary

17 May 2010 Frontier Economics 11 Table 1. Potential benefits of increased broadband take-up (Conservative Scenario) in billion of Euros, Direct Benefits Indirect Benefits Total Present Value Bulgaria Croatia Macedonia Serbia Slovenia Total TAG footprint in ESE region Austria Source: Frontier Economics. The benefits are based on a 5% discount rate applied to future benefits The table above reveals that, even under conservative assumptions, potential total benefits in the next ten years could be close to 9.2 billion (in present value terms) across the five Eastern and Southeast European countries. These benefit estimates are likely to represent conservative values of the total benefits from broadband provision due to the limited scope of benefits captured in our analysis and the application, where possible, of conservative assumptions within the calculations. However, to support the projected future broadband growth, it is pivotal for public authorities to ensure that they create an enabling operating environment within each country. 1.4 Achieving broadband growth Key obstacles and enablers As indicated above, the available evidence suggests that the broadband gap between Western Europe and the ESE region has increased, despite the convergence in income especially in mobile broadband. The economic and operating environment in any country will affect the further growth in broadband provision within that country. Public authorities can support (and actively create) a broadband friendly environment that will foster further broadband infrastructure deployment and thus service take-up and thereby generating the potential benefits associated with broadband provision. As part of our study we have undertaken stakeholder interviews to develop an Executive Summary

18 May 2010 Frontier Economics 12 understanding of the obstacles to further broadband provision across six countries within TAG s footprint. The main obstacles are summarised below. Administrative barriers for rapid infrastructure deployment appear to remain a common obstacle across several countries. In particular, when erecting new mobile sites, operators are often confronted with significant administrative procedures and face long approval processes. This may in the long run constrain the deployment of mobile broadband infrastructure. Spectrum availability of frequencies to provide mobile broadband services in the future was also stated as a potential obstacle for future mobile broadband provision. However, there are commonly two options for further spectrum provision for mobile (broadband) services across the region: refarming frequency bands formerly reserved for GSM technologies; and releasing spectrum bands from the planned switchover from analogue to digital terrestrial TV. A timely decision to permit the usage of these frequency bands for mobile broadband provision would reduce the regulatory uncertainty for operators and thereby strengthen investment incentives in mobile broadband. Barriers to infrastructure sharing amongst operators remain in place. Allowing for more consideration of active infrastructure arrangements (subject to compliance with general competition rules) may reduce the cost of rolling out broadband services to less densely populated areas, currently not covered by any broadband technology. The public support of demand side drivers of broadband demand is limited in TAG countries. The level of e-readiness and e-literacy, as proxied by the level of PC penetration, is relatively low in the TAG countries. From our interviews, we understand that demand side measures supporting the take-up of broadband in already covered areas could also be expected to result in higher benefits. Possible measures could, for example, focus on increasing PC penetration and improving the population s IT literacy. The above issues were common across all TAG countries. Selected further country-specific issues to consider are presented in the main part of our report. 1.5 Summary conclusions and recommendation Our study has identified significant potential for further growth in broadband provision across Eastern and Southeast Europe. This also holds for countries within TAG s current footprint. If these countries were to achieve conservative Executive Summary

19 May 2010 Frontier Economics 13 estimates of further broadband take-up, then this may generate total benefits of 18.8 billion (in present value terms) across all six TAG countries (i.e. including Austria) over a ten year period (or 9.2 billion excluding Austria). However, to support future take-up, public authorities need to design policy measures aimed at reducing prevailing obstacles whilst implementing further enablers of future broadband growth. Based on insights gained from stakeholder interviews, we recommend that policymakers consider: 1. encouraging future deployment of mobile and fixed broadband infrastructure by: a. reducing and removing all unnecessary administrative procedures to deploy mobile and fixed broadband; and b. developing investment friendly policy guidelines (including, for example, transparency, enforceability and incentives for investment); 2. taking a timely decision on the refarming of GSM and analogous TV spectrum, where still appropriate, to reduce investment uncertainty for mobile operators and facilitate future provision of mobile broadband; 3. active infrastructure sharing amongst operators, subject to competition rules; 4. assessing the merits of demand side policies that support broadband take-up in already covered areas by, for example: a. increasing PC penetration and/or by improving peoples IT skills; and b. minimising and/or removing any telecoms-specific taxation (in particular, consumption taxes). Our analysis suggests also that any extra mobile or telecoms-specific taxes could actually have detrimental effects, if by increasing the cost of providing broadband, they delay broadband take-up and rollout. Executive Summary

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21 May 2010 Frontier Economics 15 2 Introduction Demand for broadband services has increased significantly in most countries across Europe in recent years. This growth has been particular marked in Western European jurisdictions (e.g. EU 15 Member States). Whilst broadband demand in other European jurisdictions has also been growing, the current takeup levels still remain below those experienced in Western Europe. There is a growing literature on the economic benefits from broadband provision, both on a macro-economic level as well as for individual end users. In light of these developments, Frontier Economics has been retained by Telekom Austria Group (TAG) to conduct a study on the impact of broadband in Eastern and Southeast Europe with a focus on the countries where TAG is present. This report presents our findings. The views expressed in this report represent the views of Frontier Economics, and not necessarily those of TAG or any other stakeholders which may have contributed to the study. 2.1 Scope of the study Geographic scope of the study The study focuses on Eastern and Southeast Europe (ESE) and Austria as a benchmark country. We have defined the ESE region to include the following jurisdictions: Albania Bosnia and Herzegovina Bulgaria Croatia Czech Republic Estonia Hungary Latvia Lithuania Macedonia Montenegro Poland Romania Serbia Slovakia Slovenia We have further defined a Western European region 16 to facilitate our review of recent trends in the broadband market across the ESE region, presented in Section 3.1. Furthermore, some parts of our analysis focus particularly on 16 The Western European region includes: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom. Introduction

22 May 2010 Frontier Economics 16 jurisdictions within the ESE region and Austria where TAG currently has a presence (TAG footprint). 17 The compositions of each of these three geographic regions are illustrated in the graph below. Figure 7. Geographic scope of this study Eastern and Southeast Europe TAG presence* Western Europe Source: Frontier Economics *excluding Belarus and Liechtenstein Our definition of broadband services The study focuses on end users. Unless stated otherwise, we refer to fixed broadband services as retail offerings with speeds of at least 256kbps in either direction, delivered via xdsl, cable, fibre (FTTx), or fixed wireless access platforms. Where data was available, we further report on the provision of mobile broadband services, which we define as retail mobile offerings using dedicated mobile broadband devices, unless stated otherwise TAG currently operates in eight countries (Austria, Belarus, Bulgaria, Croatia, Liechtenstein Macedonia, Serbia, and Slovenia.). For consistency, we have excluded Liechtenstein and Belarus from the analysis. Austria is primarily reported as a benchmark for the remaining countries. Introduction

23 May 2010 Frontier Economics Overview of benefits estimated within the study The study aims to illustrate the potential benefits of broadband provision within the TAG footprint. There is a considerable range of potential benefits associated with broadband services, as discussed in greater detail in Section 5. Estimating all these potential benefits, in general and for the TAG footprint in particular, is constrained by the availability of the required information. As such, we have focused on illustrating the potential benefits by providing a high-level assessment of the possible overall macro-economic impact of increasing broadband penetration rates. This is then accompanied by a quantitative or qualitative assessment of a range of benefits, such as the direct benefits to broadband users and indirect benefits, such as those arising from enhanced egovernment rollout. Where possible, we have aimed to apply conservative assumptions within our analysis. As such, the benefit estimates presented in this study represent a lower bound estimate of the possible scale of benefits likely to arise from broadband service provision in the relevant countries Research methodology This study has been prepared using a range of primary and secondary research methodologies: Desk based research. As an initial step, we conducted research into the current status of the broadband markets across the ESE region as a whole and in each of the jurisdictions, where TAG is currently active. This research was aimed at developing an understanding of the current trends in each market as well as the likely enablers and constraints for future growth in broadband take-up in each market. Jurisdiction-specific information requests. The insights gained from the desk based research were then enhanced by detailed information requests sent to each TAG subsidiary. Stakeholder interviews. The information requests were then followed-up with further stakeholder interviews to foster our understanding of the current operating environments in each country where TAG is currently present. 18 We apply the EC implementation report (2009) definition for mobile dedicated data services. That encompasses all mobile broadband services that were used via data modems/cards/keys in last 90 days. Introduction

24 May 2010 Frontier Economics 18 Literature review. As part of our benefit analysis, we have conducted a literature review of the empirical evidence on the impact of broadband on productivity, economic growth and employment Structure of this report In light of the objectives of the study, the remainder of this report is structured as follows. Section 3 provides an overview of the current state of the broadband provision in the ESE region. Section 4 analyses the current state of broadband in the individual TAG footprint countries. Section 5 sets out the potential benefits from increasing broadband penetration within the TAG footprint. Section 6 presents an assessment of key obstacles to further broadband growth. Section 7 summarizes our findings and presents our recommendations. Introduction

25 May 2010 Frontier Economics 19 3 Current state of broadband provision in the ESE region This section provides an overview of the recent trends in broadband markets across the ESE region and compares these trends to those experienced across the Western European region. 19 This is followed by a more detailed review of the current state of the broadband markets in five ESE countries where TAG currently has a presence (i.e., Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia and Slovenia) in addition to Austria. By outlining the current state and potential scope for future developments in the broadband markets across the ESE region, we aim to set the scene for the potential benefits associated with these developments, presented in Section Regional overview ESE countries are lagging behind Western Europe when it comes to broadband connections 20. Even within ESE there are large differences in broadband take-up, with Estonia leading the way The current market position for fixed broadband services The graph below compares recent trends in total fixed broadband connections in Western Europe and the ESE region. Fixed broadband connections have been growing considerably in both regions over the past eight years. For example, in Western Europe fixed broadband connections increased from less than 13 million in 2002 to approximately 109 million in 2009, representing an average annual compound growth of 35.0% per year. This compares to a growth from less than 400,000 to just below 16 million fixed broadband connections in the ESE region, representing an average annual compound growth of 71.5%. In the TAG footprint fixed penetration increased from 34,000 in 2002 to 2.7 million (which corresponds to an average annual growth rate of 87%). 19 Please see Section 2.1 for a definition of both geographic regions. 20 In order to ensure comparability of the information provided, the main analysis presented in this section is based on fixed broadband connections, although we cover also in summary form the state of development of mobile broadband. However, the analysis of benefits in the next section is based on both fixed and mobile broadband connections. Current state of broadband provision in the ESE region

26 May 2010 Frontier Economics 20 Figure 8. Total fixed broadband connections in ESE region, Western Europe and TAG footprint, Total fixed broadband connections (in millions) Western Europe Eastern and Southeast Europe TAG footprint in ESE region Source: Frontier Economics based on Globalcomms data Figure 9 below compares the development of average fixed broadband penetration rates (as share of total population) across both regions during the period 2002 to In 2002, average fixed broadband penetration was less than 5% in both regions. However, in line with connection growth discussed above, fixed broadband penetration increased much faster, in level terms, in Western Europe, reaching 27.6% in Fixed broadband take-up across the ESE region was significantly slower, with average penetration rates currently standing at about 13%. Current state of broadband provision in the ESE region

27 May 2010 Frontier Economics 21 Figure 9. Weighted average fixed broadband penetration in ESE region, Western Europe and TAG footprint (% of population) 21, Weighted average fixed broadband penetration 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% Western Europe Eastern and Southeast Europe TAG footprint in ESE region Source: Frontier Economics based on Globalcomms data A breakdown of the average penetration rate across the ESE region for 2009 is presented in Figure 10. The graph reveals that fixed broadband penetration levels vary significantly across the ESE region, ranging from 28% in Estonia to less than 10% in Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Albania. Penetration rates also vary within the countries in which TAG operates. Slovenia is the best performing TAG country with a penetration rate of 24%, which is significantly greater than Serbia s penetration rate of 7%. For comparison Austria had a fixed broadband penetration of 22% in To generate an aggregate figure for the two country groups, we weighted penetration rates by population. Thereby heavily populated countries have a relatively higher weight in the aggregate number. Current state of broadband provision in the ESE region

28 May 2010 Frontier Economics 22 Figure 10. Broadband (fixed) penetration in Eastern and Southeast Europe (% of population), % 28% Fixed broadband penetration 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 24% 20% 19% 19% 17% 16% 14% 13% 13% 12% 11% 11% 10% 7% 6% 2% 0% Estonia Slovenia Latvia Czech Republic Lithuania Hungary Croatia Romania Weighted Average Slovakia Macedonia (FYROM) Poland Montenegro Bulgaria Serbia Bosnia and Herzegovina Albania Source: Frontier Economics with Globalcomms data There are several fixed network technologies available to provide broadband services, the two most common ones being xdsl and cable. As shown in the graph below, the mix of fixed technologies varies significantly across the regions. Whilst in Western Europe the vast majority of broadband connections are xdsl connections (84%), cable and other fixed technologies have a more prominent role across the ESE region (32% and 13% of total fixed broadband connections, respectively). For the TAG footprint cable technology is relatively strong with 35%, and DSL, with 60%, with others having only a market share of 5%. Current state of broadband provision in the ESE region

29 May 2010 Frontier Economics 23 Figure 11. Percentage of (fixed) broadband connections by technology, 2009 Western Europe Eastern and Southeast Europe TAG Footprint Others Cable 2% 14% DSL 84% Others 13% Cable 32% DSL 55% Cable 35% Others 5% DSL 60% Source: Frontier Economics with Globalcomms data The current market position for mobile broadband services Mobile broadband is a relatively new technology in many countries, especially within the ESE region. Although, current take-up levels are likely to be low, it is expected that mobile broadband will play an important role in future broadband provision. Network coverage This trend can already be observed in Western European countries, where Austria and Sweden have mobile broadband penetration rates of 13.8% and 12.6% respectively. 22 However, the potential for mobile broadband services is even larger in ESE countries, including those within TAG s current footprint, due to the limited capacity and network coverage of the fixed networks in many countries. Croatia has already started to realise this potential with a mobile broadband penetration of 3.25% 23, which is likely to be even higher now. To be able to use mobile broadband services, a necessary condition is that a potential customer has access to third generation (3G) mobile networks that allows the usage of mobile data services. The coverage of these networks is commonly expressed as percentage of area or of population covered. An overview of the geographic area currently covered by 3G networks in the regions of interest is presented in Figure 12. The map reveals that the area coverage of 3G networks is significantly higher in Western Europe than in the ESE region, including those within TAG s current footprint. A more detailed overview of the 22 EC implementation report (2009) data for July Mobile broadband users are defined as users using broadband dedicated data services via data modems/cards/keys. 23 See footnote 8 for a detailed explanation why we apply this number. Current state of broadband provision in the ESE region

30 May 2010 Frontier Economics 24 situation in the TAG footprint countries is provided in the 3G coverage maps in the Annexe. 24 These maps show that there is a significant gap in 3G coverage on average between ESE countries and countries in Western Europe. Figure 12. Geographic coverage of 3G networks, 2009 Source: GSM Association (GSMA) Mobile broadband service take-up There are a range of definitions for mobile broadband services, including, amongst others, a wider definition, based on 3G mobile services, and a more narrow definition, of dedicated mobile data services (i.e. access to mobile broadband via, for example, data modems, data cards and USB keys) only. 24 Directly comparable public data for third generation coverage as a percentage of population for Western as well as the ESE region is not readily available. Telekom Austria provided us with data on the combined coverage for all operators in their footprint countries. The numbers give an impression of the differences: Austria reports a 94% third generation coverage of population (outdoor), and is followed by Macedonia with 85%, Serbia (without Kosovo) with 76.5% on-streets, Croatia with 75%, Slovenia with 74,5%, and Bulgaria with 72% (outdoor). Current state of broadband provision in the ESE region

31 May 2010 Frontier Economics 25 3G mobile services The widest definition of mobile broadband includes all technical devices that allow customers to use mobile data services. A proxy for this penetration level is the number of 3G mobile connections 25. The graph below presents recent trends in 3G mobile take up levels across the ESE region and Western Europe. Similar to the development of fixed broadband connections over time, the regional average 3G penetration rate (as percentage share of total population) has increased much faster in Western Europe than in the ESE region. Since 2003, average 3G mobile penetration levels reached 37.6% in Western Europe, 18.1% within the TAG footprint and 15.1% in the ESE region by Figure 13. Weighted average 3G mobile penetration trends ESE region, Western Europe and TAG footprint (% of population), % Weighted average 3G mobile penetration 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% Western Europe Eastern and Southeast Europe TAG footprint in ESE region Source: Frontier Economics based on Globalcomms data. Dedicated mobile data services A more narrow definition of mobile broadband is to only dedicated mobile data cards (i.e. mobile broadband access via, for example, data modems, data cards and USB keys). The number of dedicated mobile data service connections is still low across Europe. However, the take-up levels in ESE countries are again 25 These types of networks allow customers to use a wider range of mobile data services, but not necessarily at broadband speeds (i.e. 256kbps or more). As such, 3G connections represent an upper bound to mobile broadband connections. Current state of broadband provision in the ESE region

32 May 2010 Frontier Economics 26 lower than that experienced in Western Europe. For example, Austria, as a TAG footprint country, has the highest dedicated mobile broadband penetration in Europe of 13.0% 26 in Croatia, Slovenia and Bulgaria have already started to make some progress with dedicated mobile broadband with penetration rates of 3.25% 27, 2.5% and 1.0%, respectively 28. The remainder of this report focuses on mobile broadband that is provided via dedicated technologies 29, which therefore excludes, for example, broadband access using smart phones. We have adopted this definition, so that it provides a conservative basis to calculate the indirect benefits of mobile broadband - this is explained in more details below. 26 The EU study egovernment Benchmark Survey 2009: Smarter, Faster, Better, egovernment Broadband access in the EU: situation at 1 July 2009 was published with a penetration rate for Austria of 13.8%. However, the currently available version on the website refers to 13.0%. 27 See footnote 8 for a detailed explanation why we apply this number. 28 We do not have mobile broadband take-up levels using dedicated technologies for Macedonia and Serbia. 29 Our definition is in line with one of the definitions used in the EU Implementation study i.e. mobile broadband using dedicated data service cards/modems/keys only. Mobile broadband take-up using this definition is presented in Figure 14. Current state of broadband provision in the ESE region

33 May 2010 Frontier Economics 27 Figure 14. Mobile broadband penetration rate (% of population) - dedicated data services, July % 12.6% 10.8% 8.3% 7.6% 4.9% 4.7% 4.7% 4.5% 4.4% 3.8% 3.3% 3.2% 3.2% 3.2% Average 2.5% 2.1% 1.9% 1.8% 1.6% 1.6% 1.5% 1.4% 1.4% 1.0% 0.8% 0.5% Austria Sweden Portugal Ireland Denmark United Kingdom Italy Poland Slovakia Lithuania Hungary Croatia Czech Republic Spain Germany Slovenia Romania France Malta Greece Belgium Netherlands Estonia Luxembourg Bulgaria Latvia Cyprus Source: Frontier Economics with EU Communications Committee Working document: Broadband access in the EU: situation at 1 July 2009.The countries included in the chart encompass all EU 27 countries. Looking forward, mobile broadband take-up is likely to be boosted by improvements in technology. Advances to new, superior technologies, like Long Term Evolution (LTE), are likely to have a profound impact on the market. LTE has the potential to offer download speeds of up to 100Mbps. High speed mobile broadband will also give users more flexibility about where they can connect to the internet from, when they are on the move. Similar services are also increasingly being provided by both fixed and mobile technologies. For example, it is now possible to watch television not only on your TV, but also on your computer and mobile phone. Furthermore, the longer-term potential for mobile broadband services is likely to be even larger in ESE countries, including those within TAG s current footprint. Our stakeholder interviews indicate that due to the limited capacity and network coverage of the fixed networks in many countries, mobile could provide an alternative choice of larger parts of the potential customer base, compared to Western Europe Potential drivers of current take-up levels Looking at the potential drivers of current take-up levels allows us to consider the factors that may influence take-up levels in future. In particular, such an Current state of broadband provision in the ESE region

34 May 2010 Frontier Economics 28 analysis can shed some light on the most appropriate role for public authorities to play in facilitating the future take-up of broadband. We examine sociodemographic and economic drivers and the importance of network coverage. Socio-demographic and economic drivers Countries with higher average income (measured by GDP per capita) commonly exhibit a higher broadband service take-up than lower income countries. In countries with lower GDP per capita, consumers may be more sensitive to the cost of personal computers and broadband services, resulting in lower demand for broadband services. Therefore, more users may have to settle for dial-up connections or no internet connection at all. If consumers are willing to pay less for broadband services then this will impact upon the viability of private sector projects to expand and upgrade the country s broadband infrastructure. The relationship between broadband penetration and GDP per capita may also run in the other direction as higher broadband penetration has been shown to increase GDP per capita, as we discuss in Section 5.1. Figure 15 confirms the positive link between total fixed broadband penetration and GDP per capita. The countries within which TAG operates exhibit mixed broadband performance once GDP per capita has been accounted for. Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia appear to have below the expected levels of broadband penetration, given their level of GDP per capita Some of the TAG subsidiaries provided us with data from sources other than Globalcomms. We have used data exclusively from Globalcomms to facilitate cross-county comparisons. The data that we received from Mobiltel (Bulgaria) is the only data that is significantly different to that in the Globalcomms database. However, even if we used the Mobitel data, Bulgaria would still be below the predicted level of broadband subscribers, given Bulgaria s current GDP per capita (PPP adjusted). Current state of broadband provision in the ESE region

35 May 2010 Frontier Economics 29 Figure 15. Fixed broadband penetration (% of population) vs. GDP per capita, % 35% Fixed broadband penetration (% of population) 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% Macedonia Eastern and Southeast Europe Average Bulgaria Serbia Croatia Slovenia Western European Average Austria 0% 0 5,000 10,000 15,000 20,000 25,000 30,000 35,000 40,000 45,000 GDP per capita (US dollars PPP adjusted) Source: Frontier Economics based on Globalcomms and IMF data Based on the estimated relationship between fixed broadband penetration rates and GDP per capita (PPP adjusted) we have estimated the broadband gap reflecting the increase in fixed broadband connections that would bring the TAG countries in line with the expected levels, given their current GDP per capita (PPP adjusted) 31. The table below shows that even without any further growth in per capita terms, the TAG countries have considerable potential to increase the number of fixed broadband subscriptions. 31 We have applied the GDP per capita (PPP adjusted) values for five TAG countries to ascertain the potential fixed broadband penetration rates (%) given 2008 levels of GDP per capita. Multiplying this value by the population in 2008 gives the potential number of fixed broadband subscriptions given 2008 levels of GDP per capita (PPP adjusted). The difference between this value and the actual 2008 fixed broadband subscriptions levels gives the potential increase in fixed broadband subscription levels given GDP per capita (PPP adjusted) in Current state of broadband provision in the ESE region

36 May 2010 Frontier Economics 30 Table 2. Potential increase in fixed broadband subscriptions given GDP per capita (PPP adjusted), 2008 Country Potential increase in number of fixed broadband subscriptions Potential % increase in the number of fixed broadband subscriptions Austria 604, % Bulgaria 110, % Croatia 106, % Serbia 200, % Slovenia 21, % Source: Frontier Economics based on IMF and Globalcomms data PC and smart phone penetration Figure 16 shows a positive relationship between the total fixed broadband penetration in a country and the number of PCs per 100 inhabitants. This suggests that a lack of PCs may provide an additional reason why broadband penetration is lower in ESE countries 32. In this respect, PC penetration can be interpreted also as an indicator of the overall e-readiness and e-literacy of the population. 32 We used data from 2006, as this was the most recent year where we had comprehensive data on the number of PCs per 100 inhabitants. Current state of broadband provision in the ESE region

37 May 2010 Frontier Economics 31 Figure 16. Total fixed broadband penetration vs. number of PCs per 100 inhabitants 35% Fixed broadband penetration in 2006 (% of population) 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% Western European Average Slovenia Austria Bulgaria 5% Eastern and Southeast Europe Average Serbia Macedonia 0% Numbers of PCs per 100 inhabitants (2006) Source: Frontier Economics based on Globalcomms and ITU data, Data for Austria and Bulgaria are from 2005 and 2007 respectively A growing number of mobile handsets, referred to as smart phones 33, provide access to internet services. Due to a recent growth in smart phone sales, these devices have become a widespread alternative mean to access the internet in many countries. For future take up, it is expected that this market will grow steadily. Especially in Western Europe smart phones are already common and represented approximately 18% of all mobile handsets in Penetration rates are forecasted to increase by a further 8% per year between 2010 and For the TAG subsidiaries, smart phones constitute between 1.6% and 10.2% of all customers 36. This shows that in the TAG countries smart phones have not yet reached the same take-up levels as they have in Europe more widely. 33 Including, for example, Blackberries, iphones and Android phones. 34 Arthur D Little (2009), Mobile internet: blessing or curse? 35 Arthur D Little (2009), Mobile internet: blessing or curse? 36 According to data provided by TAG (Austria 10.2%, Slovenia 8.6%, Serbia 5.0%, Bulgaria 4.5%, Croatia 2.1% and Macedonia 1.6%). Current state of broadband provision in the ESE region

38 May 2010 Frontier Economics 32 Network coverage Figure 17 presents the DSL coverage (as share of population) across selected European countries in December This is based on a study which defines coverage as percentage of population that can have access to DSL, even if this is not at their residence/business hence the figures are not comparable to the earlier figures presented. However as we are interested in a relative comparison, these figures provide an indication of the relationship between availability of DSL between different regions, on a consistent basis. DSL coverage levels are generally significantly lower in ESE countries. It seems plausible that a lower level of DSL availability in ESE relative to Western Europe could also be a reason for the lower levels of broadband penetration in ESE. Figure 17. DSL Coverage as % of population, 2008 ~100% % 80-90% <80% Source: Frontier Economics with Europe's Digital Competitiveness Report Volume 1: i2010 Annual Information Society Report 2009 Benchmarking i2010: Trends and main achievements Summary conclusions on take-up trends fixed and mobile broadband Both fixed broadband and mobile broadband take-up levels across the ESE region have increased substantially in recent years, however they remain significantly lower than those across Western Europe. The prevailing differences Current state of broadband provision in the ESE region

39 May 2010 Frontier Economics 33 in average income across the two regions may explain some of these differences. However, whereas average incomes appear to have followed a convergence path, the gap in penetration rates, especially for mobile services, has continued to increase. This is illustrated in the graph below. Figure 18. Recent trends in GDP p.c. and penetration gaps between TAG footprint and Western Europe, % % 80% 0.25 GDP p.c. gap (%) 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 9% 11% 12% 11% 12% 15% 11% 18% Penetration gap (ppt) 20% 5% % 2% 0% Fixed broadband penetration gap 3G Penetration gap GDP p.c. gap 0.00 Source: Frontier analysis based on Globalcomms, IMF and TAG data 37 Whereas the prevailing difference in average GDP per capita across the TAG region and Western European countries has fallen in recent years, the reverse can be observed for the differences in average fixed broadband and 3G mobile penetration rates across the two regions. In particular, the gap in 3G penetration rates has increased year-on-year, from two percentage points in 2004 reaching 18 percentage points in After an initial increase, the gap in fixed penetration rates has stabilised around eleven percentage points from 2006 onwards. This suggests that there are likely to be a number of determinants of broadband take-up, other than income, and we return to this below in Section 6. Next, we provide a summary of the development of mobile broadband. This is followed by more detailed reviews of some of the ESE markets, focusing on those where TAG currently has a presence. 37 The GDP per capita in Western Europe is higher than in Eastern Europe. Nevertheless, the gap in GDP per capita has narrowed in recent years. Current state of broadband provision in the ESE region

40

41 May 2010 Frontier Economics 35 4 Individual country overviews We now explore the current state of the market in six countries in which TAG operates to provide an assessment of the relative position in each country. We first set out selected, high level economic statistics, followed by a discussion of the composition and growth of broadband technologies in each market. We then provide a brief overview of the operating environment in each country s telecommunications sector. The economic statistics will provide some context to the broadband markets and may help explain the take-up levels of broadband in the individual countries. Within the discussion on the regulatory, policy and operating environment in each country, we then identify key potential enablers and obstacles to future broadband provision in each jurisdiction. The presented information is predominantly based on our stakeholder interviews. 4.1 Austria Austria has a high GDP per capita relative to the other TAG countries. As we highlighted in Section above, there tends to be a significant link between fixed broadband penetration and GDP per capita. Out of the TAG countries only Slovenia has a comparable fixed broadband penetration to Austria. Austria Total population 8,290,000 Number of households 3,541,000 Geographic area (km2) 84,000 Population density (per km2) 99 GDP per capita ( ) 34,001 Source: IMF, World Bank and ITU, 2008 Broadband market position Austria has had a steady number of cable broadband connections for a number of years. In contrast, xdsl subscribers have been increasing and now constitute 65% of total fixed broadband subscriptions. Few subscribers make use of other fixed broadband technologies (such as FTTx, WiMAX and FWA). Individual country overviews

42 May 2010 Frontier Economics 36 Figure 19. Austria Fixed broadband take-up, Fixed broadband connections (000s) 3,000 2,500 2,000 1,500 1, % 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Fixed broadband penetration (% of households) DSL Cable Other Fixed broadband penetration Source: Frontier Economics with IDATE and TAG data As mentioned in Section 3.1.2, Austria has the highest mobile broadband penetration in the EU27 (13.0% of population). This shows that Austria has already made significant progress with regard to mobile broadband. Operating Environment The Austrian market is the by far the most developed market within the sample of TAG jurisdictions. This is partly due to its early and progressive approach to sector regulation. Four fixed and four mobile network operators are currently active in Austria. Even in the wholesale market for broadband access commonly a perceived bottleneck - the situation is rather competitive in Austria. In 2009 the Austrian regulatory authority, RTR, came to the conclusion that Telekom Austria as the incumbent has no dominant position in the market for wholesale broadband access for residential customers. 39 According to RTR, the competitive constraints due to high mobile broadband take-up establish effective competition. 40 Not 38 The percentage figure in this chart refers to percentage of households rather than percentage of population But Telekom Austria does still have significant market power in the market for wholesale broadband access for business customers and therefore faces regulation in this market. However, also this regulation is under consultation: Individual country overviews

43 May 2010 Frontier Economics 37 many key obstacles were identified in Austria compared to the other countries. The main focus is on the currently outstanding decision on the digital dividend. Key enablers With an already well developed broadband infrastructure, we understand from stakeholder interviews that one key enabler for further broadband take-up would be the use of governmental initiatives to increase demand for broadband. This may, for example, include initiatives to support a higher PC penetration and provide ICT training for disadvantaged groups. In addition, further privately and publicly funded infrastructure initiatives are on their way. For example, there are the two public funding initiatives for broadband roll-out, the EU sponsored ELER 41 initiative to support investments in rural areas and the Austrian Electronic Network (AT:net) 42 initiative as an Austrian wide support for broadband deployment. It should also be positively noted that Austria has not implemented any telecom specific taxes that could have a detrimental effect on private broadband investments. 4.2 Bulgaria Bulgaria is one of the lowest income countries in which TAG has a presence with a GDP per capita of 4, language=en&guilanguage=en 42 Individual country overviews

44 May 2010 Frontier Economics 38 Bulgaria Total population 7,607,000 Number of households 2,877,000 Geographic area (km2) 111,000 Population density (per km2) 69 GDP per capita ( ) 4,461 Source: IMF, World Bank and ITU, 2008 Broadband market position Bulgaria has experienced a strong growth in fixed broadband connections, although the rate of increase has partly diminished in recent years (see Figure 20 below). A large proportion of that connection growth can be attributed to the increase in the number of cable subscribers, with xdsl connections representing a smaller share of total fixed broadband connections (36.8%) than in many other ESE countries. The other common fixed broadband technologies (such as FTTx., WiMAX and FWA) are less prominent in Bulgaria. Individual country overviews

45 May 2010 Frontier Economics 39 Figure 20. Bulgaria - Fixed broadband take-up, Fixed broadband connections (000s) 1,400 1,200 1, % 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% Fixed broadband penetration (% of households) DSL Cable Other Fixed broadband penetration (%) Source: Frontier Economics based on Globalcomms and TAG data Operating Environment We understand that the Bulgarian government has recently published ambitious plans for further broadband development in its national broadband plans. 44 The latest policy aims, include, amongst others to provide: broadband services of speeds of at least 20Mbps to 100% of the population in big cities 90% of the population with speed above 10Mbps in medium sized towns, and 50% of the population with access to the fixed network and 90% to the wireless network by 2013 in remote areas. However, we understand that to date only limited public funds have been made available in order to achieve these ambitious goals. For example, only 20 million of EU funds will be invested in broadband networks in 2010 and 2011 and the Bulgarian government has yet to publish its plans to support the broadband deployment financially. 43 The percentage figure in this chart refers to percentage of households rather than percentage of population Individual country overviews

46 May 2010 Frontier Economics 40 A main change in the operating environment is the planed re-farming of the 900 MHz spectrum frequency bands. In January 2010, the regulatory authority adopted a draft amendment to the technical requirements for operation of mobile networks. This provides the necessary conditions for deployment of 3G service in the 900 MHz band. The final decision was outstanding by the time of writing. During the stakeholder holder interview it was revealed that the key obstacle for further deployment of mobile broadband services is the time and costs to erect mobile sites. 4.3 Croatia Relative smaller in size, Croatia exhibits an average population density and GDP per capita relative to the other countries where TAG has a presence. Croatia Total population 4,432,000 Number of households 1,477,377 Geographic area (km2) 56,594 Population density (per km2) 78 GDP per capita ( ) 10,629 Source: IMF, World Bank and ITU, 2008 Broadband market position Croatia has experienced significant growth in its number of fixed broadband connections since The vast majority of broadband connections are xdsl connections. Individual country overviews

47 May 2010 Frontier Economics 41 Figure 21. Croatia - Fixed broadband take-up, Fixed broadband connections (000s) 1,200 1, % 45% 40% 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% Fixed broadband penetration (% of households) DSL Cable Other Fixed broadband penetration (%) Source: Frontier Economics based on Globalcomms and NRA data Operating Environment The Croatian telecommunications market is comparatively competitive with nine active fixed network operators and three mobile network operators currently active in the market. We further understand that bitstream and local loop unbundled services have been mandated. Stakeholders consider that one of the obstacles for further broadband service take-up in Croatia is the halted fibre roll out, which has arisen due to an ongoing dispute between the fixed incumbent and the regulatory authority over the access regulation of this network. Other concerns raised were the mobile specific tax of 6% on mobile voice, SMS/MMS and roaming revenues as well as the announced introduction of prepaid customer registration that could weaken the strong prepaid market by additional administrative burdens. The prevailing administrative burdens to erect mobile sites are a further issue in Croatia. Enablers for broadband provision Despite the prevailing obstacles discussed above, there have also been some positive developments in recent years. For example, the Croatian government recently refarmed the 900 MHz frequency band, enabling 3G service provision 45 The percentage figure in this chart refers to percentage of households rather than percentage of population. Individual country overviews

48 May 2010 Frontier Economics 42 on these frequency bands. Furthermore, the government announced plans for the use of the digital dividend for mobile services, with a spectrum auction scheduled for We further understand that due to a regulatory intervention, local loop unbundled service charges have been reduced considerably, making these services more attractive. 4.4 Macedonia Macedonia is currently the country where TAG has a presence with the lowest GDP per capita of 2,980. It further has a relatively small population. Macedonia Total population 2,048,619 Number of households 571,000 Geographic area (km2) 25,333 Population density (per km2) 81 GDP per capita ( ) 2,980 Source: World Bank, ITU and Macedonian state statistical office, 2008 Broadband market position The number of fixed broadband connections in Macedonia increased steeply between 2006 and 2008, with a smaller rise between 2008 and 2009 (see graph below). Macedonia has a more balanced composition of technologies relative to other ESE countries. Individual country overviews

49 May 2010 Frontier Economics 43 Figure 22. Macedonia - Fixed broadband take-up, Fixed broadband connections (000s) % 40% 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% Fixed broadband penetration (% of households) DSL Cable Other Fixed broadband penetration (%) Source: Frontier Economics based on Globalcomms and NRA data Operating Environment On the Macedonian market two fixed network operators and three mobile network operators compete for customers. 47 During the stakeholder interviews it was mentioned that an obstacle for broadband roll-out in some areas is a lack of public funds to support the future deployment. Enablers for broadband provision We understand that the Macedonian Parliament is currently considering a draft National Strategy for the development of the next generation broadband. Furthermore, the EU directive on the refarming of the 900 MHz spectrum is already implemented in Macedonia which could facilitate further mobile broadband provision. In addition we have been informed that there are currently no broadband specific taxation which may hinder broadband deployment. 46 The percentage figure in this chart refers to percentage of households rather than percentage of population. 47 It is worth noting that only two of the three mobile operators offer mobile broadband yet and licence auctions for an additional 3G mobile network operator have not been successful. Individual country overviews

50 May 2010 Frontier Economics Serbia Similar in size to Austria, Serbia has a significantly lower GDP per capita, which is more in line with that experienced in Bulgaria. Serbia Total population 7,382,000 Number of households 2,521,190 Geographic area (km2) 88,000 Population density (per km2) 84 GDP per capita ( ) 4,611 Source: Official data from Serbian government and Ministry of Finance, 2002 (GDP from 2008) Broadband market position As shown in Figure 23 below, most of Serbia s growth in fixed broadband connections has come from a rise in the number of DSL subscribers. There was a particularly large increase between 2006 and Individual country overviews

51 May 2010 Frontier Economics 45 Figure 23. Serbia - Fixed broadband take-up, Fixed broadband connections (000s) % 20% 16% 12% 8% 4% 0% Fixed broadband penetration (% of households) DSL Cable Other Fixed broadband penetration (%) Source: Frontier Economics with Globalcomms and RATEL data Operating Environment The Serbian telecommunication market is currently still undergoing a liberalisation process. Whereas there are now three network operators active in the mobile market, Telecom Serbia has retained its monopoly in the fixed market until recently. We understand that Telenor, one of the three mobile operators, has been awarded a fixed network licence in January 2010, with its services to be launched soon. It is expected that this will have considerable affect on the broadband development considerably. Mobile broadband has developed into an essential part of the Serbian broadband market. In 2008, there were 738,000 3G connections, compared to 490,000 fixed broadband connections. The main obstacles raised in stakeholder interview were administrative burdens to erect additional mobile sites and a 10% tax on mobile revenues. Enablers for broadband provision We also understand that the Serbian government is planning on undertaking the switchover from analogue to digital broadcasting in mid The government is yet to announce how it intends to use the released spectrum. Allocating, the 48 The percentage figure in this chart refers to percentage of households rather than percentage of population. Individual country overviews

52 May 2010 Frontier Economics 46 spectrum, for example, to the provision of mobile broadband services could facilitate the broadband service provision in Serbia. 4.6 Slovenia With the exception of Austria, Slovenia is the most developed of the TAG countries with respect to GDP per capita. It is also the mostly densely populated TAG country. Slovenia Total population 2,032,362 Number of households 697,000 Geographic area (km2) 20,000 Population density (per km2) 102 GDP per capita ( ) 18,458 Source: IMF, World Bank, ITU and SURS, 2008 Broadband market position Slovenia is the only country in ESE that already had a significant number of fixed broadband subscribers in 2004 (see graph below). Since then, it has realised steady growth particularly in the number of DSL subscribers.. More recently, the number of subscribers using other technologies has shown a marked increase. Operating Environment The liberalisation of the Slovenian telecommunication sector is still ongoing. In the fixed market three network operators compete with the fixed line incumbent, Telekom Slovenije. The former monopolist had a market share of about 81% total all fixed lines in The mobile market is more competitive with four operators currently players. However, even in this market the mobile arm of Telekom Slovenije (Mobitel) has a market share of 62%. According to our stakeholder interviews, another potential impediment to the development of the broadband market is possible anti-competitive behaviour in Slovenia we understand from stakeholder interviews that this is currently under investigation. Enablers for broadband provision Individual country overviews

53 May 2010 Frontier Economics 47 We understand that there are currently EU funded broadband infrastructure investment programmes in Slovenia with approximately 47 million being invested in broadband coverage in rural areas, and a further 92 million expected until We further understand that mobile operators currently face little administrative obstacles when expanding their network coverage. Figure 24. Slovenia - Fixed broadband take-up, Fixed broadband connections (000s) % 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Fixed broadband penetration (% of households) DSL Cable Other Fixed broadband penetration (%) Source: Frontier Economics with Globalcomms and SURS data 49 The percentage figure in this chart refers to percentage of households rather than percentage of population. Individual country overviews

54

55 May 2010 Frontier Economics 49 5 Potential benefits from increased broadband service provision This section provides an overview of different approaches to estimating the benefits of broadband take-up. First, we present empirical studies on the macroeconomic impact of increasing broadband provision. Most of theses studies focus on the impact of broadband on economic growth and employment. This is followed by an overview of our approach to estimating the potential benefits associated with further broadband provision in six of the countries where TAG is currently active (i.e., Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia and Slovenia). 5.1 Empirical evidence Over recent years there has been a growing academic literature on the economic and employment impact of telecommunication investment in general, and more recently on broadband investment in particular. The vast majority of these papers show an unambiguous positive effect of investment on both economic growth and employment. Within this section we focus on the two latest empirical studies on the impact of broadband investments on economic growth, a paper published by Qiang and one by Koutroumpis 50. Both studies cover countries within the ESE region. 51 We then provide a brief overview of further main papers in this area (in Table 5). A more extensive literature survey can be found in Annexe 2. Recent empirical papers In her unpublished paper, Qiang (2009) investigates how telecommunications infrastructure affects growth in 120 countries over the period 1980 to She estimates the impact of an increase in fixed line, mobile internet and broadband penetration on the income per capita and finds the highest effect on growth for an increase in broadband penetration. Figure 25 presents the effect of a 10 percentage points increase in penetration of fixed, mobile, internet and broadband penetration on annual GDP per capita growth. The graph reveals, amongst others, the following: 50 Koutroumpis, Pantelis (2009). The economic impact of broadband on growth: A simultaneous approach. Telecommunications policy 33(9) and Qiang, Christine Zhen-Wei (2009) Telecommunications and Economic Growth. Unpublished working paper. World Bank. 51 Also McKinsey published a study (Mobile broadband for the masses) on the impact on a further mobile broadband deployment and include Central and Eastern Europe in their data set. They found under the assumption that this region will reach a mobile broadband household penetration rate of 54%, and each 10% increase in penetration will increase GDP by 0.5%, this will increase the GDP in this region by %. Potential benefits from increased broadband service provision

56 May 2010 Frontier Economics 50 In the case of broadband services, a 10% increase in broadband penetration in high income countries increases the GDP per capita growth by 1.21 percentage points; in middle or low income countries the increase in GDP per capita is even higher, standing at 1.38 percentage points. 52 The author attributes the higher impact in less developed countries to the lower penetration rates and the higher benefits associated with early adopters. Figure 25. Growth effects of a 10% increase in penetration rates (% of population) Percentage point increase GDP growth Fixed Mobile Internet Broadband High income economies Low and middle income economies Source: Qiang (2009) In his paper, Koutroumpis (2009) applies a more comprehensive econometric approach. The author investigates the effect of broadband penetration on economic growth across 22 OECD countries over the period 2002 to Koutroumpis finds that a 1% increase in broadband penetration rates leads to an average increase in GDP of 0.025%. To illustrate the magnitude of this effect, Koutroumpis further estimates the total share of GDP growth accounted for by 52 All results are statistically significant at the 1% level except for the impact of broadband in developing countries, which is at the 10 % level. However, at least part of this enormous growth can be explained by the so called two-way causality problem. Demand for telecommunications services rises with wealth and with an increase in wealth the demand for telecommunication also increases. The growth model approach used for the estimation does not deal with this problem explicitly. Potential benefits from increased broadband service provision

57 May 2010 Frontier Economics 51 broadband alone. With an average yearly GDP growth of 3.12% across all OECD countries during that period, the author concludes that almost 10% of this growth in GDP can be attributed to broadband growth. An overview of Koutroumpis country-specific findings is presented in Table 3. A further important finding of the study is that Koutroumpis can show important network effects for broadband investments. The theoretical argument behind this empirical finding is that high broadband benefits can only be generated once a lot of other people subscribe to broadband services (e.g., for video conferencing each existing broadband subscribers benefit from any additional subscribers since this increases the potential pool of people they can use video conferencing with). Koutroumpis study shows that, countries that already had a high penetration level in 2007 benefitted more from an increase in penetration than those with a lower penetration rate. The study differentiates between three country groups (First with a penetration of less than 20%, with a penetration between 20-30% and one with a penetration of more than 30%) and found much stronger effects for countries with a penetration rate that exceeded 30% of the population which is equivalent to more than 50% of households having access to broadband. The most recent papers that investigate the effects of broadband investment programmes on employment are summarised in Table The effects differ widely with the amount invested. If one examines the European studies, the range of estimates provided is that a job is created for every 26,000-50,000 of expenditure on broadband. 53 A longer and more detailed presentation can be found in the Annexe. Potential benefits from increased broadband service provision

58 May 2010 Frontier Economics 52 Table 3. Percentage of impact of broadband infrastructure on growth for each country, Koutroumpis (2009) Average annual GDP growth (%) Average % impact of broadband infrastructure on GDP per annum Share of country s growth attributed to broadband infrastructure (%) BB penetration >30% of population Denmark Netherlands Switzerland Norway Sweden BB penetration between 20% and 30% of population Germany France Japan Belgium United Kingdom Australia United States Canada Luxemburg BB penetration <20% of population Portugal Italy New Zealand Austria Hungary Spain Greece Ireland Source: Table 7. Koutroumpis (2009) Potential benefits from increased broadband service provision

59 May 2010 Frontier Economics 53 Table 4. Overview of job creation Katz (2008) Atkinson (2009) Katz and Sutner (2009) Liebenau (2009) Katz (2010) Country CH US US UK DE Cost of programme 9.1bn* 7.4bn* 4.7bn* 5.6bn* 20.2bn 15.7bn Employme nt effects 114, , , , , , ,000 Cost per job 16,500 11,900-37,000 26,000 49,500 28,000 Source: Frontier Economics *Exchange rates of 1.12 per, 0.74 per US$ and 0.70 per CHF Overview of further empirical studies Other empirical studies that provide some further insight on the effects of telecommunication infrastructure on employment and growth are briefly summarised in Table 5. A more detailed overview of these papers is presented in an Annexe. 54 The findings of the Swiss study are derived looking only at a subset of possible employment effects. See Annexe for details. Potential benefits from increased broadband service provision

60 May 2010 Frontier Economics 54 Table 5. Overview of further empirical studies Author(s) Time & scope Approach Key findings Impact of telecommunications infrastructure on growth in general Röller & Waverman (2001) ; 21 OECD countries Jointly estimate a micro-model for telecommunication investment with a macro- production function Find evidence of a significant positive causal link between investment and growth, especially when a critical mass of telecommunications infrastructure is present. Datta & Agarwal (2004) OECD countries A dynamic fixed effects method is used for estimation, using panel data, which corrects for omitted variable bias of single cross-section regression. The fixed-effects model accounts for country specific differences in aggregate production functions. Results show that telecommunications is both statistically significant and positively correlated with growth in real GDP per capita growth. The results also indicate that the telecom investment is subject to diminishing returns. Thus countries at an earlier stage of development are likely to gain the most from investing in telecom infrastructure. Sridhar & Sridhar (2004) developing countries Use 3-Stage Least square approach to estimate a system of equations that endogenises economic growth and telecom penetration, along with supply of telecom investment and growth in telecom penetration The impact of telecom penetration on total output is, significantly lower for developing countries than that reported for OECD countries, dispelling the convergence hypothesis Impact of broadband infrastructure on growth in general Models focusing on growth effects Duggal et at. (2007) United States Estimate an aggregate production function for nonresidential output in the US economy in order to quantify statistically the component contribution of IT capital to GDP growth Information technology was the largest contributing component to growth during the expansion of the 1990s in the US. Greenstein & McDevitt (2009) United States Simulation model They find that between $8.3bn ( 6.2bn) and $10.6bn ( 7.8bn) additional revenue was created through broadband. Potential benefits from increased broadband service provision

61 May 2010 Frontier Economics 55 Models focussing on employment effects Katz et al. (2008) Future Investment Switzerland Input-output analysis applying multipliers of job creation through investment in fibre networks About 114,000 jobs would be created through the investment programme Atkinson et al. (2009) Future Investment United States Measure the impact of additional investment in broadband by a stimulus proposal. Determine number of direct jobs created in each industry using industry-specific data on employee compensation. Calculate the number of indirect and induced jobs created using industry-level employment multipliers. Applied a network effect multiplier to estimate additional job growth based on the expected immediate network effect About 60 jobs per 1m investment Crandall et al (2007) US states OLS regression For every one percentage point increase in broadband penetration in a state, employment is projected to increase by 0.2 to 0.3 percent per year and about 300,000 new jobs. Katz & Sutner (2009) Future Investment for 4 y programme United States Input output analysis of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act broadband investments About jobs per 1m investment Liebeau et at. (2009) Future investment UK Determine the specific impact of investments in three ICT infrastructures (inter alia broadband) on direct, indirect, and induced employment by taking estimates of the economic employment and output multipliers. About 38 jobs per 1m investment Katz et al. (2010) Future investment until 2020 Germany Input-Output analysis to evaluate the impact of the German national broadband strategy About 36bn costs results in value added through network construction of 22.3bn and network externalities of 137.5bn. About 20 jobs per 1m investment would be created in the first part of the programme (costs 20.2bn) about 36 jobs per 1m investment (costs of 15.7bn) in the second part of the programme. Overall, the investment would generate 1m new jobs Source: Frontier Economics Potential benefits from increased broadband service provision

62

63 May 2010 Frontier Economics Summary findings of empirical literature The empirical studies generally show a positive impact of broadband infrastructure on economic growth and employment. As discussed above, Qiang (2009) finds that a 10 percentage point increase in broadband penetration could increase GDP growth per capita by about 1.21 percentage points. Applying these findings to the fixed broadband penetration projections for the five TAG footprint, countries in the ESE region implies GDP per capita will increase by 0.76% over the next ten years. According to Koutroumpis (2009), a 1% increase in broadband penetration rates leads to an average increase in GDP of 0.025%. Again, applying these findings to the fixed broadband penetration forecasts for the five TAG countries in the ESE region, implies that GDP will increase by 0.16% over the next ten years, as a result of further fixed broadband take-up. 5.2 Methodology for calculating broadband benefits The literature review in the previous section has outlined the benefits that may arise from broadband provision. Applying these potential macro impacts to the ESE region and Austria alludes to significant potential benefits from current and future broadband take up and rollout within the region (as illustrated above). Below, we aim to estimate a range of benefits from future broadband provision in five ESE countries where TAG is currently present (i.e., Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia and Slovenia) and Austria, namely: the direct benefits to end users; and the indirect benefits to both end users and the wider economy. Our estimates encompass the period 2010 to 2019 and are based on estimates for mobile and fixed broadband penetration provided by Telekom Austria. With these projected penetration forecast we calculate the direct and indirect benefits and discount them by 5% to be able to compare benefits that arise at different points in time We applied a discount rate of 5% to all benefits in the future. This discount rate of 5% reflects the time preference (i.e., receiving an amount of money today rather than in the future) as well as future risk and uncertainty. To evaluate public investment programs mostly a social time preference rate is applied that only reflects the valuation of time (e.g., in the UK a social time preference rate of 3.5% is applied). In case of private investment of a company, normally a company specific discount rate, that reflects time as well as company specific risk, is used. This would result in a higher private discount rate. We have chosen 5% as an intermediate approach that reflect the public and private character of broadband investment. Potential benefits from increased broadband service provision

64 May 2010 Frontier Economics Direct benefits to end users Economic theory assumes that the benefit a consumer derives from using a particular service or product is reflected in the customer s willingness to pay for that service. However, the estimation of a customer s willingness to pay is a complex and data-intensive task. This is particularly the case in the context of broadband services. 56 Thus, we approximate the benefits to broadband subscribers on the basis of the average revenue each subscriber generates. The average revenue generated per subscriber provides an indication of the value of broadband to the end user. It is, in fact, a minimum estimate of the benefits accruing to subscribers from broadband since, for the majority of subscribers, the benefits they receive will exceed the amount they pay in access charges. The direct benefits to end users are then calculated by multiplying the forecasts of broadband take up for each country by the forecast of average revenue per user Indirect benefits In addition to the direct benefits to end users, there are several indirect benefits arising from broadband provision. These commonly include, amongst others: positive externalities; cost savings to end users and/or service providers; and productivity gains. Within this study, we focus on the first two indirect benefit types. Positive externalities When consumers subscribe to a broadband network this does not only benefit them, but may also have a positive impact on other parties using the network. Take the example of using a broadband connection for video conferencing. The existing broadband subscribers benefit from any additional subscribers since this increases the potential pool of people they can use video conferencing with (this benefit for third parties is referred to as a positive externality). 56 A broadband connection per se has no value to customers. Rather, the value to customers of broadband access arises from the applications for which it is used. The net economic benefit is the difference between the total benefit that subscribers receive from these applications and the amount they pay for them. In practice, it is difficult to evaluate this economic benefit directly since there is very limited information on the price and quantity of individual applications that are provided over broadband. This makes estimating the benefits for these services difficult, especially as subscribers do not pay additional charges for a number of applications. Potential benefits from increased broadband service provision

65 May 2010 Frontier Economics 59 In the case of broadband services, a part of these externalities can accrue to public and private service and content providers. Any new broadband subscriber is also a potential new customer for these service and content providers. The consumer s broadband connection enables the provider, for example, to generate revenues through advertisement, to generate savings from providing its services online or it could offer additional services to the consumer. Quantifying externalities is a complex undertaking which requires detailed insights into a wide scope of benefits arising to third parties. This study does not endeavour to estimate the full range of externalities. Instead, we illustrate the potential significance of some of these externalities in the form of egovernment service provision. We estimate the associated savings to consumers over the entire ten year period up to This is undertaken in a two step approach. 1. Average cost saving per online transaction. We apply an average number of minutes that can be saved if different government services are conducted online instead of the traditional way. We value this time savings by the average wage in each country. 57 Thereby we obtain a country specific cost saving per transaction conducted online. 2. Total savings estimates. We then forecast the share of people who will use online government services in each country over the period up to Thus, we receive estimates of the potential savings to customers from the use of egovernment services (relative to the alternative way of using these services.) However it should be noted that this approach only focuses on one type of savings from the introduction of egovernment services what is the value of the saved time through egovernment. Other ways through which costs may be reduced, including, for example, a reduction in travelling or postage requirements, are not taken into account. Thereby, our approach is likely to result in conservative estimates of the potential cost savings. Reduced external cost of transport Broadband can further benefit those that do not necessarily have a broadband connection themselves. This positive externality arises mostly through the internalising of a previously negative external effect (i.e., costs). A commonly cited example is travelling to work. Commuting results in congestion, accidents, noise and air pollution and thus has a negative external effect on society. Broadband connections allow people to work more easily and effectively from home (commonly referred to as teleworking ). This, in turn, reduces commuting and thereby the external effects of travel. The external cost of 57 We applied the findings for the time saved from the study: EU DG Information Society, Top of the web, User Satisfaction and Usage, Survey of egovernment services. Also the approach to value the time saved by average labour costs was taken in this study. Potential benefits from increased broadband service provision

66 May 2010 Frontier Economics 60 travelling is generally higher during peak hours (ACEA (2009)) 58, so if broadband allows workers to alter when they travel, there will also be an additional external benefit. In addition, broadband also allows meetings to take place by using video conference facilities, thus reducing the need to travel during business hours. Using data on the total number of passenger kilometres travelled per year in each country, we estimate the number of passenger miles spent commuting based on three different scenarios. In the conservative scenario, we assume 10% of passenger miles are spent commuting. In the intermediate and optimistic scenarios, we assume that 20% and 30% respectively, of passenger miles are spent commuting. We then estimate the potential reduction in kilometres travelled due to the predicted take-up of teleworking. We forecast teleworking take-up by looking at current levels of teleworking and by using our predictions of how the number of broadband subscriptions will change over the next years Demand forecast Demand forecasts represent a key input to our benefit calculations. TAG provided fixed and mobile broadband connection projections over the period 2010 to 2019 for most of the countries 59 under consideration it currently operates in. The number of subscribers is projected to increase from 5.3m fixed and 2.8m mobile connections in 2010 to 7.2m fixed and 6.6m mobile connections in This corresponds to a compound growth rate of 10.1% for mobile and 3.4% for fixed broadband. Table 6. Summary of demand forecast across the TAG countries, , in millions of Euros CAGR Fixed broadband % Mobile broadband % Total % Source: Frontier Economics based on TAG data These demand forecasts are then used to estimate the economic benefits of broadband over the next ten years. Demand forecasts will allow us to extrapolate 58 ACEA (2009) - External Costs in the transport sector 59 For some countries (i.e., Serbia and Slovenia) we did not receive disaggregated broadband connection projections for both fixed and mobile, we had to derive our own, conservative forecasts. Potential benefits from increased broadband service provision

67 May 2010 Frontier Economics 61 the current direct benefits and also predict the take-up of egovernment services and teleworking which enables us to calculate the indirect benefits. 5.3 Estimated economic benefits We estimate both direct and indirect benefits. 60 There are a large range of potential indirect benefits. As indicated, we estimated a subset of these benefits, focussing on the benefits arsing from teleworking and egovernment. The total direct and indirect benefits over a ten year period (2010 to 2019) from increased broadband penetration are potentially very significant, as shown in the table below. In total, for all five TAG footprint countries in the ESE region, benefits from both fixed and mobile broadband could range from 9.2 billion to 12.8 billion over the ten year period. The following sections contain a breakdown of the direct and indirect benefits contained in the table below. We consider three different scenarios for the evolution of benefits. In the conservative scenario we assume that ARPU declines by 4% per year, that only 10% of total kilometres travelled are spent commuting and that egovernment take-up only increases by 1 percentage points per year. In the intermediate scenario we assume that ARPU declines by 2% per year, that 20% of total kilometres travelled are spent commuting and that egovernment take-up increases by 3 percentage points per year. In the conservative scenario we assume that ARPU stays constant, that 30% of total kilometres travelled are spent commuting and that egovernment take-up increases by 5 percentage points per year. 60 We have estimated the monetary value in real terms, i.e. we have not allowed for the impact of inflation. The estimated economic benefits do not include the wider economic benefits from broadband provision, such as higher economic growth. Our estimated economic benefits should therefore be seen as cautious. Potential benefits from increased broadband service provision

68 May 2010 Frontier Economics 62 Table 7. Total direct and indirect benefits from increased fixed and mobile broadband penetration, in billions of Euros 61 Conservative Intermediate Optimistic Bulgaria Croatia Macedonia Serbia Slovenia Total TAG footprint in ESE region Austria Source: Frontier Economics Estimated direct benefits As discussed in Section we have estimated the direct benefits of broadband provision by using forecasts of the number of broadband connections, and actual ARPU data provided by TAG. We consider three different scenarios for the evolution of ARPU. In the conservative scenario, we assume ARPU declines by 4% per year. In the intermediate scenario we assume that ARPU declines by 2% per year, whereas in the optimistic scenario we assume that ARPU stays constant. Multiplying the total broadband connections by ARPU gives us an estimate of the direct benefits for a particular year. We apply a discount rate of 5% to all future benefits. We then sum up the discounted benefits for all years for a particular country to give us the present value of the direct benefits between 2010 and The estimated direct benefits of broadband are substantial, as shown by the table below even in our conservative scenario. This is partly driven by forecasted 61 As explained above, we applied a discount rate of 5%. Alternatively, applying a social discount rate of 3.5% rate would result in benefits in the five TAG countries in the ESE region of 9.8 billion in the conservative scenario, 11.7 billion in the intermediate scenario and 13.7 billion in the optimistic scenario. With a private discount rate of 10%, benefits for the five TAG countries in the ESE region would amount to 7.6 billion in the conservative scenario, 9.0 billion in the intermediate scenario and 10.5 billion in the optimistic scenario. Potential benefits from increased broadband service provision

69 May 2010 Frontier Economics 63 growth in broadband connections. For example, the estimated direct benefits amount to 3.2 billion to 4.0 billion in Bulgaria over the ten year period (in present value terms). Table 8. Total direct benefits of fixed and mobile broadband for in billions of Euros Conservative Intermediate Optimistic Bulgaria Croatia Macedonia Serbia Slovenia Total TAG footprint in ESE region Austria Source: Frontier Economics Estimated indirect benefits Positive externalities We have estimated the cost savings arising from the online provision of government services for three different scenarios of egovernment take up (see Section above for outline of our approach). Starting from low figures in 2009, we either assume that the egovernment take-up increase by 1, 3 or 5 percentage points yearly. This results in the cost savings, as set out in the table below. Overall, a present value of 97 million to 331 million in total savings could be achieved over the ten year period across the five TAG footprint countries in the ESE region. The absolute values of potential savings are mainly driven by the wage costs in the different countries as well as the number of transactions conducted and the egovernment take-up. Therefore, Austria for example with the highest wage costs could realize higher cost savings than Macedonia with lower wage costs and a smaller population. Potential benefits from increased broadband service provision

70 May 2010 Frontier Economics 64 Table 9. Estimated cost savings by the use of egovernment from , in million Euro Conservative scenario Intermediate scenario Optimistic scenario Bulgaria Croatia Macedonia Serbia Slovenia Total TAG footprint in ESE region Austria ,315 Source: Frontier Economics In the conservative scenario, we assume that each year the take-up of egovernment increases by 1 percentage point, in the intermediate scenario by 3 percentage points and in the optimistic scenario by 5 percentage points. All saving have been discounted with a discount rate of 5%. Reduced cost of transport We derived these indirect benefits in line with the approach outlined in Section The resulting benefits are potentially large- our total estimates for the TAG footprint countries in the ESE region, range from 0.6 billion to 1.9 billion. The table below shows that even when a low percentage of total passenger miles are spent commuting, the indirect benefits of teleworking may be 200 million over a 10 year period in Croatia. This is driven by the high broadband penetration rates in Croatia, which has resulted in a significant predicted take-up of teleworking. Potential benefits from increased broadband service provision

71 May 2010 Frontier Economics 65 Table 10. Total indirect benefits of teleworking between 2010 to 2019, in millions of Euros Conservative Intermediate Optimistic Bulgaria Croatia Macedonia Serbia Slovenia Total TAG footprint in ESE region 620 1,270 1,890 Austria 880 1,750 2,630 Source: Frontier Economics based on EU data Potential benefits from increased broadband service provision

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73 May 2010 Frontier Economics 67 6 Achieving broadband growth Key obstacles and enablers 6.1 The role of public authorities in achieving broadband growth Investments in broadband infrastructure are normally made by the private sector meaning that the risks of the investments are borne by private firms. For public authorities to intervene in the market there must be reasons why the private sector would otherwise under-invest in broadband. Providing broadband access to part of the population may not be profitable for private firms. This is especially the case in areas were the population density is low. In such areas, the cost per broadband connection will tend to be high because of a lack of economies of density. Population density will typically be lower in rural areas, making a lack of broadband investment in such areas particularly likely. Nevertheless, even if an investment is not privately profitable it can be socially desirable if the economic benefits (i.e., direct and indirect benefits) outweigh the cost of the investment. In such circumstances, there is a case for public sector intervention in the form of: policies to support private investment; and/or a public investment programme. In addition to these supply side measures, public authorities may further facilitate broadband take-up by, e.g. public funded schemes to increase PC penetration or IT skills (demand side measures). Policies to support private investment A government can support private investors by establishing an investment friendly framework. One way to establish such a framework is through supply side measures for broadband investments. This could encompass, for example, allowing co-operative investment in infrastructure by more than one entity and to keep the administrative and financial burdens for a network roll-out to a minimum. Another way of creating an investment friendly environment are demand side programmes that stimulate the use of the internet. The structuring of these programmes will differ strongly with the needs of the different regions, for example programmes to increase PC penetration in disadvantaged regions, educational support in regions with low digital literacy rates to strengthen IT skills, or measures that support lower income households in getting access to broadband services. Achieving broadband growth Key obstacles and enablers

74 May 2010 Frontier Economics 68 These demand side measures aim to ensure that, in areas where broadband services are available, consumers make use of them. Public investment programmes If an investment friendly environment is not sufficient to make private sector investments viable, a public support measure may be justified on the basis of the indirect benefits of broadband investments. Nevertheless, in the EU, public investment programmes are only permitted if they are compatible with the common market and do not distort competition. The European Commission (EC) has recognised the potential benefits of broadband deployment in rural 62 and underserved white areas 63 since these investments promote economic cohesion and address market failures, which are both objectives of the Lisbon strategy. As such assessing whether a state aid measure is compatible with the common market, the EC weighs up the positive impact of the aid measure against its potential negative side effects, such as distortions to competition. In 2009, the EC published guidelines to make its decision making process transparent 64. The chief guideline is that if a balancing test is passed then an aid measure is presumed to be compatible with the common market. According to the guidelines, the following criteria will be applied during the balancing test: 5. Is the aid measure aimed at a well-defined objective of common interest, i.e. does the proposed aid address a market failure or other objective? 6. Is the aid well designed to deliver the objective of common interest? In particular: Is State aid an appropriate policy instrument or are there other betterplaced instruments? Is there an incentive effect, i.e. does the aid change the behaviour of undertakings? Is the aid measure proportional, i.e. could the same change in behaviour 62 Broadband is of strategic importance because of its ability to accelerate the contribution of these technologies to growth and innovation in all sectors of the economy and to social and territorial cohesion. The Commission actively supports the widespread availability of broadband services for all European citizens as laid down in the Lisbon strategy and subsequent Communications The EC defines white areas as areas were no broadband infrastructure exists or is unlikely to be developed in the near term, grey areas where only one broadband network operator is present and black areas where at least two or more broadband network providers are present. See for example: Commission Decision N 201/06 Greece, Broadband access development in underserved areas Achieving broadband growth Key obstacles and enablers

75 May 2010 Frontier Economics 69 be obtained with less aid? 7. Are the distortions of competition and the effect on trade limited, so that the overall balance is positive? Therefore each public broadband investment initiative in EU countries needs to comply with the EC guidelines. 6.2 Key obstacles in ESE countries During our stakeholder interviews three common obstacles for further broadband provision across most of the countries emerged. 65. Administrative barriers for rapid infrastructure deployment During the stakeholder interviews a commonly stated obstacle for a rapid infrastructure deployment was the prevailing barriers to erect new mobile sites. These mainly affect the administrative process of getting permissions to erect further sites and were considered as a main obstacle especially in Bulgaria, Croatia and Serbia. The form of administrative burdens is manifold, for example: Different authorities are in charge for the mostly decentralised process of applying for permissions and thereby requirements can vary in a country. The authorities request a wide range of documents and sometimes even external consultation. In some countries, specific requirement makes the erection of mobile sites even more burdensome. In Bulgaria the electromagnetic field (EMF) requirements for each operator are stricter than the often used ICNIRP standard. In Serbia operators have to further provide a technical documentation that often needs consulting support. The combination of these factors makes the entire application process for the operators complicated, time consuming and costly. Even after fulfilling the requirements to obtain permission it can take a long time until the operators are granted with a licence. It can take up to a year for the entire process to be complete. 65 In view of the nature of the activities of the TAG subsidiaries these have focussed on obstacles for mobile roll-out. Achieving broadband growth Key obstacles and enablers

76 May 2010 Frontier Economics 70 Limited spectrum availability Another hurdle in the further deployment of mobile broadband cited by some stakeholders is the availability of frequencies to provide (faster) mobile broadband services. There are two common ways to provide further spectrum for mobile (broadband) services. National implementation of EU Directive 2009/114/EC 66 that allows technology neutrality of frequency bands formerly reserved for GSM technologies only. Some ESE countries, such as Macedonia and Croatia, have taken first steps towards refarming former GSM frequency bands, with others possibly to follow. 67 Digital switchover that is the switchover from analogue to digital terrestrial TV will clear spectrum bands that could be used to provide mobile broadband services. This is yet to be implemented in most of the countries where TAG operates (i.e., Austria, Bulgaria, Serbia, and Slovenia) However, we also understand that plans to use this spectrum for mobile broadband have reached an advanced stage in Croatia. A timely decision to permit the usage of these frequency bands for mobile broadband provision could be expected to reduce the regulatory insecurity for operators and thereby support investment incentives. Ideally the countries would go through the process of refarming in a way that the usage of the frequencies could start in the near future. Infrastructure sharing Barriers to infrastructure sharing amongst operators remain in place in some of the TAG footprint countries. Allowing for more consideration of active infrastructure arrangements (subject to compliance with general competition rules) may reduce the cost of rolling out broadband services to less densely populated areas. This can help to facilitate the roll-out to geographic areas, which are currently not covered by any broadband technology. Public support of demand side drivers of broadband demand To our understanding from stakeholder interviews, missing IT skills, prevailing low PC penetration rate and sometimes low income can be an obstacle for a higher broadband penetration rate in the ESE region. Thus, even if households have technically access to broadband, they do not necessarily subscribe to these For example, we understand that in Bulgaria, the regulatory authority has adopted a draft decision to amend the current regulation to lift technological restrictions imposed on GSM frequency bands. Achieving broadband growth Key obstacles and enablers

77 May 2010 Frontier Economics 71 services and therefore none of the potential benefits are realized. Governmental schemes in support of demand side measures could thereby probably increase the take-up of broadband services and therefore further increase the associated benefits. Possible measures, some of which are already introduced in other EU countries, include, for example: Measures to increase the PC penetration. For example, in Sweden a tax break on PCs was introduced and according to an EU study was an important driver for the high level of internet usage. 68 Digital literacy initiatives to raise ICT skills of specific groups within the society. Such initiatives were introduced in several EU and non-eu countries. 69 They commonly foster, if applied in a reasonable manner, disadvantaged groups and are likely to enable them to realize the potential benefits from broadband services. Further financial stimuli to consumers. Financial support for lower income users, including the possible introduction of tax breaks, are also means to increase broadband take-up. 68 egovernment Factsheets, egovernment in Sweden For an assessment of the success of such initiatives, see Developing Government objectives for broadband Vodafone Policy Paper Series - Number 10 - March ies_10.pdf Achieving broadband growth Key obstacles and enablers

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79 May 2010 Frontier Economics 73 7 Summary and recommendations Our study has identified significant potential for further growth in broadband provision across Eastern and Southeast Europe. This also holds for countries within TAG s current footprint. If these countries were to achieve the conservative estimates of further broadband take-up assumed within this study, this may generate total benefits of 9.2 billion (in present value terms) across all five TAG countries in the ESE region over a ten year period. To support further take-up of broadband services governments and public authorities need to design policy measures aimed at reducing prevailing obstacles whilst implementing further enablers of future broadband growth. Based on insights gained from stakeholder interviews, we recommend that policymakers consider: 1. encouraging future deployment of mobile and fixed broadband infrastructure by: a. reducing and removing all unnecessary administrative procedures to deploy mobile and fixed broadband; and b. developing investment friendly policy guidelines (including, for example, transparency, enforceability and incentives for investment); 2. taking a timely decision on the re-farming of GSM and analogous TV spectrum, where still appropriate, to reduce investment uncertainty for mobile operators and facilitate future provision of mobile broadband; 3. active infrastructure sharing amongst operators, subject to competition rules; 4. assessing the merits of demand side policies that support broadband takeup in already covered areas by, for example: a. increasing PC penetration and/or by improving peoples IT skills; and b. minimising and/or removing any telecoms-specific taxation (in particular, consumption taxes). Our analysis suggests also that any extra mobile or telecoms-specific taxes could actually have detrimental effects, if by increasing the cost of providing broadband, they delay broadband take-up and rollout. Summary and recommendations

80

81 May 2010 Frontier Economics 75 Annexe 1: Coverage Maps This annexe provides a more detailed overview of the current 3G network coverage across the TAG footprint. In Figure 12 of the main report, we provided an overview of current 3G coverage across Europe. In this annexe we first provide an overview of the coverage of 3G mobile networks in the TAG footprint across the ESE region (i.e. Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia and Slovenia). We then show coverage in selected Western European countries, namely Austria, France and the UK as a benchmark for a higher deployment of 3G mobile networks. For each country, all publicly available, operator specific coverage maps for 2010 are presented. TAG footprint Table 11. 3G coverage maps - Bulgaria Bulgarian Telecommunications Company Mobiltel EAD (M-Tel BG) Source: GSMA coverage maps GSM coverage, 3G 2100 and GSM coverage Annexe 1: Coverage Maps

82 May 2010 Frontier Economics 76 Table 12. 3G coverage maps - Croatia Croatian Telecom Inc. (T-Mobile Croatia) VIPnet d.o.o. (VIP-NET) Source: GSMA coverage maps GSM coverage, 3G 2100 and GSM coverage Table 13. 3G coverage maps - Serbia Telekom Srbija Telenor D.o.o. Source: GSMA coverage maps, No 3G coverage map for Vip mobile d.o.o. available GSM coverage, 3G 2100 and GSM coverage Annexe 1: Coverage Maps

83 May 2010 Frontier Economics 77 Table 14. 3G coverage maps - Slovenia Mobitel D.D. Source: GSMA coverage maps, No 3G coverage for SI.MOBIL d.d., Tusmobil d.o.o. available GSM coverage, 3G 2100 and GSM coverage Annexe 1: Coverage Maps

84 May 2010 Frontier Economics 78 Western European benchmarks Table 15. 3G coverage maps - Austria Mobilkom Austria AG (A1) Hutchison 3G Austria GmbH (3 AT) Orange Austria Telecommunication GmbH T-Mobile Austria GmbH (telering) Source: GSMA coverage maps, No 3G coverage for SI.MOBIL d.d., Tusmobil d.o.o. available GSM coverage, 3G 2100 and GSM coverage Annexe 1: Coverage Maps

85 May 2010 Frontier Economics 79 Table 16. 3G coverage maps - France Bouygues Telecom Orange France SFR Source: GSMA coverage maps GSM coverage, 3G 2100 and GSM coverage Annexe 1: Coverage Maps

86 May 2010 Frontier Economics 80 Table 17. 3G coverage maps - United Kingdom Hutchison 3G UK Ltd Orange PCS Ltd T-Mobile (UK) Limited Telefónica O2 UK Limited VODAFONE Ltd Source GSMA coverage maps GSM coverage, 3G 2100 and GSM coverage Annexe 1: Coverage Maps

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