As of end-2017, the InfoCom-covered markets in the Eastern European region had more than 51m (+7% YoY) fixed broadband connections – stemming mainly from the upsurge of FTTP (+15% YoY) subscriptions, especially in Serbia, Montenegro, and Croatia. Generally, the growth in FTTP connections was linked to the increasing popularity of FTTP-based packages, propelled mainly by the aggressive discount offers implemented by some large operators.
In Serbia, SBB is marketing its Trio Optics portfolio (i.e. Trio Silver, Trio Gold, Trio Gold Extra, Trio Gold Premium) for a marked down subscription fee of RSD 990 (around EUR 8) for the first six months across all types of tier offers (original prices at around RSD 3390 to RSD 5790 per months (EUR 29 to EUR 49)). This offer helped SBB increase its total fixed broadband subscriptions by 10% YoY. In Montenegro, Cronogorski Telekom offers FTTP bundled service of up to 100 Mbit/s bandwidths with unlimited calls to Telekom fixed line network, and an Extra TV package with 93 channels for around EUR 29 to EUR 32 per month (i.e. Extra DUO and Trio packages). This was made more attractive by the implementation of 50% to 100% subscription discount – exclusive only to new customers that will avail either the standalone “Internet” or “Extra TV” service, or both in a single package. Meanwhile, in Croatia, Hrvatski Telekom increased its FTTP subscriptions by continued marketing of its MAX packages (i.e. MAX2/3; MAX2/3 Premium; MAX2/3 Biram), offered with 12% to 21% monthly subscription discounts. The said strategies helped both operators improve their total fixed broadband subscriber bases by up to 21% YoY.
In terms of other fixed broadband technologies, xDSL still shed the most at 6%, closing 2017 with 13m connections. In Slovakia, the implementation of discounted pricing offers led by major operators helped mitigate the negative effects of customers switching to other broadband services (e.g. Orange Slovensko’s EUR 5 discount in its DSL Internet services); while continued rollout and trial of high speed cable broadband networks (e.g. DOCSIS 3.1) helped drive cable broadband subscriptions in Latvia and Romania.