Bulgaria in digits

16 April 2013

Broadband & Telecom Market Regulation

In January 2012, the penetration rate of fixed broadband is 16% of the population, up 1.1 percentage points (p.p.) year-on-year but still 11.7 p.p. below the EU average of 27.7%. Bulgaria is the second country with the lowest penetration level and its year-on-year growth rate was close but below the EU growth rate of 1.2 p.p. .

Bulgaria has 84.8% of fixed lines providing speeds of 10 Mbps and above, 22.8% of lines providing speeds between 30Mbps and below 100Mbps and 0.2% of fixed lines providing speeds equal or above 100 Mbps. The percentage of lines above 10Mbps is 36.4 p.p. above the EU average rate of 48.4% of lines in this speed range.

Mobile broadband penetration is 14.4%, up by 6.5 p.p. year-on-year but 28.7 p.p. below the EU average. Bulgaria is the second country with the lowest penetration level.

Internet Services

In 2011 46% of the population use the internet regularly (eg at least once a week), up 4 p.p. since 2010, but 22 p.p. below the EU average of 68%. With regards to disadvantaged people, the rate was 27%, 26 p.p. below the EU average of 53%.

46% of citizens have never used the internet, a reduction of 5 p.p. since 2010.

Take-up of eCommerce is below EU average (43%), with only 7% of the population buying online, up 2 p.p. since 2010. 6.1% of businesses purchased online, and 3.2% sold online, while 3.1% of SMEs sold online

eGovernment usage by citizens in 2011 is the third lowest in the EU27 at 25% with a slight increase from 2010 (at 24%). Usage by businesses in 2011 is slightly better placed with 79%, although slightly below the EU27 average.

ICT R&D

In 2009, business expenditure on R&D (BERD) in the ICT sectors amounted to 7 mio , down from 10 mio the year before, resulting in an R&D intensity of 0.5% of sectoral value added, equally down from 0.8% in 2008. All of these figures are extremely low compared to the EU average.

The share of ICT in total BERD is fairly low, at just above 13%, and public support for ICT R&D was a negligible share of total public funding for R&D, which amounted to 0.32% of GDP, among the lowest in the EU.