Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 05/20/2014 -- Executive summary
Despite a range of uncertainties Georgia's telecom sector features strong growth.
As it confronts a series of major challenges, Georgia is continuing to build itself into a modern economy. One of the biggest problems is the troubled times it has been having with its neighbour Russia. The country has also had to cope with the severe setback suffered in 2009 following the onset of the Global Financial Crisis. With the overall economy progressively becoming healthier again, it is not surprising that so too has the country's telecom sector. At the same time, rising telecom revenues have seen a corresponding and significant increase in investment in infrastructure. Despite some recent positive news for the telecom sector, there remains much to be done.
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The year 2003 proved to be both a political and economic turning point for Georgia with the so-called Rose Revolution seeing a reforming administration take control of government;
at the same time, the influence of the telecom sector on the potential development of the country's other economic sectors was starting to increase dramatically. Since 2003, telecommunications has become one of the fastest growing sectors in the Georgian economy. The share of telecommunications in the country's GDP has reached around 7%, a significant increase over levels achieved in the not too distant past.
The mobile segment of the market in particular has been booming. Coming into 2013, mobile penetration had reached 130%, subscriber penetration having increased tenfold in nine ears (13%%%since 2003. MagtiCom was awarded Georgia's first 3G licence in 2005, followed by a further two licences 3G in 2006. Mobile communication systems have become increasingly important for Georgia since the fixed-line networks in many parts of the country remained outdated (particularly in rural and remote areas) and the mobile network represented the only means of communication, especially as mobile coverage has now been provided for virtually the whole of Georgia.
An encouraging feature of the telecom market in Georgia is the high level of internet usage;
there was an estimated user penetration of around 35% into 2012. However, internet subscriptions have been lagging somewhat behind the user numbers in relative terms. Nevertheless the gap is being bridged quickly, with fixed broadband internet having achieved considerable market presence in the last few years. Broadband now comprises some 80% of all fixed internet subscriptions.
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