ANCOM: Internet traffic grew substantially in H1 2020, by more than 30%

Mihai Cristea 11/12/2020 | 16:47

’’Exceptional dynamics and numerous trend shifts in  the context of the health crisis have been revealed by ANCOM’s statistics regarding the communications market in the first half of this year: the highest half-yearly growth of fixed internet traffic (+33%) since 2015 and – at the same time – the lowest half-yearly increase of mobile internet traffic (+12%) in the said period. Rural fixed internet connections are up 7%, compared to only 1% in urban areas. Concerning mobile telephony, the significant fall in the number of prepaid cards (-9%) was accompanied by an increase in voice traffic (+ 12%), underpinned by the increase in call duration. Even fixed telephony traffic increased (+ 17%), after a steady years-long downward trend. However, revenues from electronic communications decreased by 4%.“, said ANCOM Vice President Eduard LOVIN at the Digital Transformation 2020 Gala event. Infographic available, in Romanian, hereANCOM’s report on the telecom market in the first half of 2020 is available, in Romanian, here.


Here is a snapshot of the most relevant infos in the report:

Fixed Internet

  • 5.5 million fixed internet connections at the end of June 2020 (+3% half-yearly evolution), three quarters of which are very high speed connections (minimum 100Mbps)
  • Total fixed internet traffic surged in the first half of 2020, due to the health crisis (+33%), amounting to an average monthly traffic/inhabitant of 41 GB
  • The fixed internet penetration rate per 100 households was 66% on national level at mid-2020, i.e 76% in urban areas and 53% in rural areas. The gap between urban and rural is narrowing, driven by the pandemic context, with a 7% growth rate in the number of rural connections, much higher than that in urban area connections (+ 1%)
  • Based on the number of fixed internet connections registered in H1 2020, RCS & RDS held a market share of 55%, the Telekom group 20%, the other providers totalling 25%.

Mobile Internet

  • Despite the 2% decrease in the total number of mobile internet connections, given the fall by 9% on the prepaid card segment, the number of 4G connections remained unchanged, i.e. 12 million
  • The total mobile internet traffic increased by only 12% in H1 2020, therefore the average monthly mobile internet traffic/inhabitant reached 4.6 GB
  • Based on the number of active mobile internet connections in H1 2020, Orange held a market share of 38%, Vodafone 25%, the other providers totalling 37%

Fixed and mobile telephony

  • The number of active prepaid mobile SIM cards decreased by a sharp 9% in H1 2020, while the number of subscription-based SIM cards increased by only 1%, consequently the total number of active SIM cards decreased by 3%
  • The voice traffic achieved on mobile networks increased by 12%, driven by the massive increase by 22% of the average duration of calls, while SMS traffic continues the sinking trend (-25% per semester), given the intensifying use of instant messaging applications and social networks. Thus, the average mobile call traffic per inhabitant totalled 5 hours and 12 minutes/month, respectively 31 SMS/month
  • Based on the number of active SIM cards at mid-2020, Orange held a market share of 38%, Vodafone 30%, the other providers totalling 32% 
  • The fixed telephony access lines keep the steady downward trend (-4%). However, the health crisis has reversed the trend of fixed telephony traffic, determining a 17% half-yearly increase, after many consecutive years of decline, yet with an average monthly traffic per inhabitant of only 9 minutes
  • According to the number of fixed telephony subscribers at mid-2020, the Telekom group held a market share of 38%, RCS&RDS 36%, the other providers totalling 26% 


  • 7.7 million subscriptions to TV services, (+2% per semester), 5.6 million of which were cable subscriptions (+4% total growth, of which +9% in rural areas and +1% in urban areas)
  • According to the number of subscribers at mid-2020, RCS & RDS held a market share of 55%, while the Telekom group 16%, the other providers totalling 29

Revenues in the telecom sector

  • After several semesters of upward trends, revenues in the telecom sector decreased by 4% in H1 2020, but remained above 8 billion RON, i.e. almost 1.7 billion EUR
  • Mobile telephony generated 39% of total revenues, fixed and mobile internet 30%, TV retransmission 14%, and other services 17%
  • According to H1 2020 revenues, Vodafone and the Telekom group each held a market share of 25%, Orange 24%, the other suppliers totalling 26% 

Statistical data report

The statistical data report on the Romanian electronic communications market in the first half of 2020 has been drawn up by ANCOM based on the statistical data reported half-yearly by the providers who have the obligation to submit ANCOM the values of the indicators corresponding to the service categories according to Decision no. 333/2013 and is available (in Romanian) here.

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