The FINANCIAL — The number of mobile subscribers in Georgia has reached a record number – 5,194,754 – as of June 2015. With 2,070,243 subscribers Geocell is the leader of the market. Meanwhile, despite an increasing number of subscribers, the retail revenue of mobile operators is characterized by a decreasing trend.
According to data of the Georgian National Communication Commission, the number of mobile subscribers in Georgia increased by 6.4% in June 2015, in comparison with the previous year. The figure is 13.8% more than it was in the same period of the prior year. With 2,070,243 Geocell is the leader by number of subscribers. It is the first time that Geocell has outstripped its main competitor, Magticom, since 2013. Geocell ended May 2015 with 1,796,414. As GNCC reports, the number of Geocell’s subscribers needs adjustment. The number of Magticom’s subscribers has reached 1,881,394. The third market leader is Mobitel (Beeline), with 1,215,956. Silknet is facing a reduction in its number of subscribers. The figure was 26,620 in June 2015, down from 26,920 in May 2015 and 28,357 – from January of the current year. GlobalCell has attracted 541 customers, up from 431 in May 2015, and 51 – in January.
Despite the growing number of subscribers, the retail revenue of mobile operators has shown a decrease. Companies’ revenue totalled GEL 32,343,072.14 as of June 2015, down from GEL 33,249,551.75 from May 2015. The figure was GEL 38,921,867 in June 2014.
Statistical data of the revenue of mobile operators shows a decrease for the whole of 2015. While in 2014 the average monthly revenue of companies was GEL 37.4 million, this year it stands at GEL 32 million.
Mobile companies earned GEL 37,539,672 in January 2014, while this year the sum has amounted to GEL 33,920,615. The reduction continued in February, showing GEL 29,706,229, down from GEL 32,875,916 from the same period of the previous year. The data of March 2015 was GEL 32,733,378, down from GEL 36,962,521 from March 2014. In April, companies earned GEL 32,278,909, GEL 4.7 million less than in April 2014. With GEL 33.2 million, May was the most profitable month for mobile companies. However, the figure for the same month of the current year was GEL 5.6 million less than in May 2014. The figure was GEL 32,343,073 in June 2015, down from GEL 38,921,867 from the same period of the previous year.
Georgians sent 450,503,852 text messages in June 2015, down from 458,350,955 from May 2015, and 517,269,659 from June 2014. The SMS revenue of companies was GEL 2,219,913.86 as of June 2015. With 205,959,145 Magticom is the leader by number of SMS. It is followed by: Geocell – 176,221,746; Mobitel – 68,068,561; Silknet – 254,122; and GlobalCell – 278.
Against the background of declining retail revenue, mobile operators are seeing an increase in standard mobile internet users. Their number totalled 1,542,694 in June 2015, up from 1,464,135 from May 2015 and 1,248,046 from June 2014. With 746,241 Geocell is the leader by number of internet subscribers. It is followed by Magticom – 534,994, Mobitel – 260,892, and Silknet – 567.
Despite the increased number of internet subscribers, the revenue from standard mobile internet subscribers has also decreased. In June of 2015 it totalled GEL 3,690,163, down from GEL 4,303,682 as of May 2015.
In line with the increasing number of smartphone users and online phone subscribers, the number of companies creating mobile applications for the purpose of staying in touch with their customers is increasing in Georgia. Customers are becoming more active in demanding applications of their favourite companies for their mobile phones as well.
According to the recent report of The FINANCIAL, there were about 200,000 iPhone users in Georgia and around 21,000 Android and Windows-operated smartphones currently registered in Geocell’s network as of 2014. Mobile app Georgia Android gives a list of all the most popular android apps and games for Georgia, uniting more than 200 apps in one place.
Among the most popular apps are those offered by the leading banks TBC Bank, Bank of Georgia, Bank Republic and Liberty Bank. They allow users to carry out banking operations directly from their phones, pay utility costs and make transfers.
Other popular apps offered by Silknet include: Ibaby; Iota Reader; Myvideo.ge; Kinoshi (showing movie listings and showtimes for Tbilisi’s cinemas); GPC mobile app; Taripebi.ge (provides users with the best currency exchange rates and the best fuel prices available in Georgia); and Tbilisi Metro.