1 - 15 August, 2003

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IT&C Ministry Announces Massive Investments in Alternative Infrastructure

During the "Local Ringlet" Conference, Telecomm General Manager within the IT&C Ministry, presented the main data of the current telephony and telecomm services active in Romania after the market liberalization.

"The very large interest in the network and telecomm services provisioning is proven by the more than 1200 notifications received until now by the ministry, from both large and small enterprises. We have the premises for this: the telecomm market in Romania was evaluated for 2003 at 3.6 billion Euros, with an expected increase in 2004 to 4.2 billion. The penetration rate for the wired telephony is 57%, with a digital offering growing from 6.8% in 1995 to 72% in 2003. The number of users of this service has doubled. Romania also benefited from massive investments in the alternative infrastructure and now uses a 30,000 km optic cable backbone. The growth in the mobile telephony is just as impressive as it is in the rest of Europe.

The number of connections surpassed the one in the wired telephony, up to 5.2 million subscribers and a growth rate of over 85%. The local access technology recorded 3.3 million subscribers, with a penetration rate of 78% in the urban environment and 17% in villages. The cable operators begun to offer data transmission services and also target VoIP services, with a huge advantage from the fact that some 45% of homes are cable-connected. 81% of all homes are in the coverage area of the cable infrastructure and can be connected with just a minimum effort from the local ringlet", Cernov said.

During the same conference, Alexandrina Hirtan, the IT&C Ministry, has shown that an important increase of the broadband connections was noted in Romania, as well as the general demand for such services. The total number of dedicated Internet connections increased 3.65 times in 2002, compared to 2001, the number of dedicated broadband conenctions increased, during the same year, 21.8%, leading to e percentage out of the total of 62.68% in 2002, compared to 10.48% in 2001.

„In case the dominant operator has to offer access to its local ringlet, the operators that already have a local network can easily expand their coverage area in the areas where the dominant operator is running its activity, without the need for a proprietary network. The small networks can thus compete, on a national level, with the largest companies in the field", Alexandrina Hirtan said.

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