An Interview with Julia Schindler, Senior Analyst, European Markets, Omdia

Tell us about your role and focus within Omdia?

I’m a Senior Analyst in Omdia’s European Service Provider Markets team where I’m responsible for 16 European communications markets with a focus on German-speaking and CEE countries. My role involves exploring country and regional-wide market developments and service provider strategy across mobile and broadband services. I also conduct research into the strategic shift of global mobile operators towards a multi-brand strategy.

What are the major trends across mobile and fixed in the CEE market today?

Mobile and fixed markets are becoming increasingly converged in CEE and many operators have adopted an inorganic growth strategy to strengthen their foothold in a particular segment. The pace of market consolidation has picked up and new stakeholders, such as private investors, have entered the market. Within the last twelve months, there has been particularly high consolidation in Balkan countries. In terms of technology, I’m seeing a growing adoption of 5G and an accelerating pace of FTTH deployments.


Going forwards, how do you see these trends evolving and changing in the markets?

Inflationary headwinds put pressure on the cost base of service providers in 2022 and these will look at additional ways to reduce costs in the next years, particularly given capex intense 5G and FTTH rollouts. I expect to see further consolidation in the region and an increasing number of operators to consider divesting their tower assets, a trend that is already well established in Western Europe. The growing availability of FTTH and 5G high-speed networks will bring new and exciting use cases to the region.

Globally we are seeing more fragmentation (of standards, policy, approaches etc), are we seeing the same across CEE and Europe?

Fragmentation across European markets remains an issue, particularly for service providers which operate across borders as these face differences in regulation and policies across the continent. But I’m also seeing initiatives that encourage collaboration, such as network sharing or joined network rollouts, and countries have started to implement more aligned coverage targets as part of the 2030 Digital Decade goals outlined by the European Commission.


You are moderating a Panel at Network X around the role of new stakeholders in the fibre market, are you able to give us some insight into what the audience can expect from this session?

I’m looking forward to moderating a Panel Discussion with Fiberhost, CityFibre and Giganet – three Altnets which are driving the fiber rollout in their respective countries. Fiber is at the forefront of broadband operators’ minds and while deployments are underway across most European countries, there are still challenges that need to be overcome. I’m excited to explore how new stakeholders have added a layer of complexity to the fiber market and how external factors (political, regulatory and economical) are influencing the market.