The Dutch-registered Romanian telco Digi Communications is currently undergoing a remarkable transformation.
Founded exactly 30 years ago as a cable TV company by a group of individuals including its current majority shareholder Zoltán Teszári, it underwent a period of rapid expansion over the first 15 years, both in its home market and other countries in Central and Eastern Europe. At its peak, these included Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Serbia and Croatia, where it principally offered satellite TV services.
However, it subsequently disposed of its regional assets outside Romania and Hungary over the following decade, the buyers including such companies as Slovak Telekom, Croatia’s Vipnet and the Czech Republic’s Lama Energy.
Although Hungary was seen as a key market by Digi, its failure to secure a 5G licence in the country – the company was effectively prevented from participating in the bidding process – arguably made it decide to exit the country. It eventually completed the sale of its assets, valued at €625 million, to Hungary’s 4iG earlier this year.
Despite its historic presence in the CEE region, Digi launched MVNO services in Spain (2008) and Italy (2010), initially targeting the Romanian diaspora in the two countries.
More recently, while still very much focused on its home market Romania, where it is one of the leading providers of electronic communication services through RCS&RDS, it has decided to switch its attention to Western Europe and in particular the emerging 5G sector. Last October its subsidiary Dixarobil and Nowo, backed by Spain’s MásMóvil, were awarded 5G licences in Portugal by the regulator ANACOM. Digi paid a reported €67.3 million for the frequencies and was expected to start rolling out 5G services this month, initially in Lisbon and Porto.
Furthermore, just this week, in partnership with Citymesh, it was one of five companies to be awarded licences in the main 5G auction in Belgium by the regulator BIPT.
These are clearly promising times for Digi as it embarks on another period of expansion outside its home market.
For more information about Chris Dziadul, please visit https://www.chrisdziadul.com