Romanian-owned Digi Communications is increasingly making its presence felt across Western Europe.
This is particularly true in Spain, where it has for a number of years been a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) using Movistar’s network. It also began to offer FTTH services in 2018 and as of this March had over 4 million mobile customers, or 24% more than a year earlier, and reached 6.5 million homes with its fibre network. Significantly, over 5 million of those homes were able to receive services of up to 10 Gbps.
Although Digi has clearly made significant progress in Spain, it does not offer TV services and is unlikely to do so for the foreseeable future. Despite its competitive prices, this arguably puts it at a disadvantage compared to other telcos.
Meanwhile in neighbouring Portugal, it was first reported in September 2021 that Digi planned to enter the market by participating in a 5G auction. The following month its subsidiary Dixarobil, since renamed Digi Portugal, won several frequencies in an auction for which it paid €67.34 million. Digi then partnered with Cellnex and said it planned to launch both mobile and fibre services in the country this year.
Digi has also secured 5G spectrum in Belgium, working in partnership with the B2B telco Citymesh, part of the Cegeta IT group. The two parties will pay a total of €114.33 million for the right to operate what will be the country’s fourth mobile network, competing with Orange, Proximus and Telenet.
Digi’s push into Western Europe – the company also has a presence in Italy – has come following its enforced exit from Hungary, where it had been a major provider of electronic communications services for over two decades and was refused permission to participate in a 5G tender.
While Romania remains its most important market, it is increasingly tilting westwards. This would have been almost unthinkable only a few years ago, when its interests were almost entirely focused on Central and Eastern Europe.
For more information about Chris Dziadul, please visit https://www.chrisdziadul.com