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GNCC Reports Boost in Electronic Communications Market Revenues
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 27 Jun.'06 / 15:42

Revenues of Georgia’s electronic communications market have increased from GEL 596 million (USD 332,9 million) in 2004 up to GEL 715,5 million (USD 399,7 million) in 2005 which is 6,21% of the country’s GDP, the Georgian National Communications Commission (GNCC) said in its annual report (available only in Georgian).

Share of mobile phone service providers in Georgia’s electronic communications market revenues is 59,4% against 63% in 2004, which make mobile service providers leaders of this sector, followed by fixed-line phone operators with 35,2% against 19% in 2004 and TV and radio broadcasters with 4,43% against 5% in 2004, according to the GNCC.

Revenues of the mobile phone operator companies in Georgia have increased by GEL 70 million and reached GEL 425 million (USD 337,4 million) in 2005, according to the GNCC. Number of mobile phone users has exceeded one million for the first time in Georgia and reached 1 million 174 thousand in 2005.

Currently, Geocell and MagtiCom are the only cell operator companies in Georgia. Argotex, which has never operated in the Georgian telecommunication market before, purchased a third generation cell communication frequency license for GEL 20 million (USD 11 million), in April, but no specific plans have been publicized by this company yet.

Fixed-line phone operators revenues totaled to GEL 252 million (USD 140,7 million) in 2005 and number of service users reached 544,000. There are three major fixed-line phone operator companies in Georgia - United Telecommunication Company of Georgia (UTCG, which was purchased by the Kazakh bank TuranAlem for USD 90 million in May, 2006), Akhtel and Akhali Kselebi (New Networks)

Revenues of internet providers also grew to GEL 19,8 million (USD 11 million) in 2005 from GEL 16,2 million (roughly USD 9 million) in 2004. The GNCC also reported increase in number of internet users in Georgia: number of ADSL users increased 3,6-fold and reached 15 300 and number of dial-up internet service users increased by 40% in 2005 and reached 178 000.

A total revenues of TV and radio companies increased from GEL 25,9 million (USD 14,4 million) in 2004 to GEL 31,7 million (USD 17,7 million) in 2005. The GNCC says that increase of revenues is caused by growing advertising market. There are total of 43 TV stations in Georgia with 7 of them based in Tbilisi and 22 radio stations with 13 of them based in Tbilisi.

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