TSQ Interactive Database
Despite having a hyperinflationary economy, mobile operators in Belarus still managed to derive positive revenues and record expanding subscriber base in 1Q14 as compared to the previous year, heavily triggered by aggressive marketing of product bundles and use of inflation-based pricing strategy of the operators. In fact, mobile market revenue grew by 24.5% YoY – though the slowest since 1Q11 – to almost BYR 2.4tn. This revenue slowdown was claimed to be linked with the discontinuation of operations by Belcel from 24 January 2014 onwards, following the regulator’s refusal to extend its license due to insufficient network coverage issues.
Meanwhile, the increasing demand for smartphones and tablets as well as the amplifying usage of mobile Internet pushed total subscriber growth by around 4% YoY, ending the quarter with almost 11.6m subscribers. Both prepaid and contract segments recorded an increase in subscriber base mainly buoyed by Life’s net additions. MTS still dominated the ranking with around 5.4m total subscribers, closely followed by Velcom with almost 5m. Life placed third with 1.3m subscribers while the absence of Belcel in 1Q14 marginally affected the market positioning and subscriber competition in Belarus as it only claimed around 1.7% of the mobile market in 4Q13.