Nearly 4.8 Million People in Serbia Use Mobile Phones

Economic impact of the mobile sector in Serbia accounts for more than 4.1 percent of the GDP


13, 2008 – Deloitte conducted a study for Telenor ASA about the influence of mobile operators on market and social development in certain countries where Telenor does business: Serbia, Malaysia, Ukraine, Thailand, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. The study covered data until November 2007.

“Up to August 2007, there were three billion mobile connections in the world. It took landline telephony more than 125 years to reach the figure of one billion connections, yet it took mobile connections less than six years to rise from one to three billion,“ said Jon Fredrik Baksaas, President and CEO of the Telenor Group.

The mobile telephony market grew in the course of the last four years from 2 million in 2002 to more than 6.5 million in 2007 or 90% of the population; and when the number of users with several SIM cards is taken into consideration, it is estimated that 72% or nearly 4.8 million citizens use a mobile phone.

Deloitte estimates that the influence of privatization and liberalization measures in the Serbian mobile market in 2006 amounted to nearly 5.7% of the Serbian GDP. Deloitte estimates that the economic influence of the mobile sector is RSD 104 billion in 2007, which amounts to more than 4.1% of the GDP. For 2006, this figure also covers the influence of funds received from the privatization of Mobi63 and the granting of mobile licenses to Telenor and VIP.

Deloitte estimates that 33,660 Serbian citizens are employed in the mobile phone sector. This number includes the 2,900 employees working directly for mobile operators. Other types of employment include: network equipment suppliers; suppliers of related services such as advertising, revision and advisory activities; those employed in retail shops selling mobile telephones, SIM cards, and telephone credit.

The influence of mobile telephony on the productivity of the workforce is expressed through the improvement in the flow of information between buyer and seller, a decrease in travel time, as well as the fact that business has become more flexible and more accessible throughout the country. Deloitte estimates that the business use of mobile phone communication contributes to a 7% increase in productivity of the individual employee. That represents a RSD 32 billion increase in GDP in 2007 and accounts for 1.27% of the GDP, which is a 27% increase over 2006.

Users have various social benefits from mobile phone communication: growth of communication between people and within families – especially between rural and urban areas, the transfer of communication even including those in the lower income bracket.

The Serbian mobile sector has experienced numerous significant changes during the last two years. This includes the sale of Mobi63 to Telenor, granting new licenses – including those for 3G, as well as the development of the regulatory system.

Mobile phone operators have greatly benefited the Serbian economy, and it is estimated that the mobile sector now amounts to more than 4% of the GDP. Licensing and privatization funds increased the GDP contribution to 11.6% in 2006. Mobile phone operators have also played an important role in attracting foreign investments to the country and in setting up communication networks in insufficiently developed rural areas, thus increasing the potential economic activity in these areas.
Economic Impact of mobile communications PDF (1.2MB)