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Serbia’s Telecom Market Grew 9.6% in 2011, Regulator Says

Serbia’s telecommunications market grew 9.6 percent last year to 1.6 billion euros ($2.12 billion), led by mobile phone and Internet services.

The number of mobile phone users rose by almost 267,000 to 10.2 million, bringing the penetration rate to almost 143 percent, the country’s Agency for Electronic Communications said in its preliminary annual report in Belgrade today. Mobile revenue rose more than 10 percent to 846.74 million euros, while the fixed-line market grew 5.9 percent to 446 million euros.

“The whole sector did quite well, considering the general economy,” which grew 1.6 percent in 2011, said Director Milan Jankovic. The services accounted for 5.66 percent of Serbia’s gross domestic product last year, up from 5.29 percent in 2010, he said.

Investments in mobile telephony rose 4.27 percent to 138.7 million euros from the year earlier. The country’s three mobile providers are MT:S, owned by Serbia’s state-run Telekom Srbija AD, a local unit of Telenor ASA, and VIP Mobile, owned by Telekom Austria AG.

Internet penetration rose by more than 10 percentage points to 53 percent, pushing revenue to almost 146 million euros, compared with just over 130 million euros a year earlier, according to the report.

The Agency’s full annual report with a breakdown of market share by providers is due in June, Jankovic said.

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