The fixed-line broadband market in Armenia has experienced moderate growth over the last five years, with penetration slowly increasing, and further growth is expected in the next few years. On the other hand, the mobile market has been mostly stagnant, and no significant increase is expected. However, the number of subscribers in the mobile broadband sector has grown over the past years. The mobile broadband market is being driven by increasingly faster speeds offered by the mobile operators as they roll out their 4G networks and falling prices due to growing competition. The Public Services Regulatory Commission (PSRC) is the country’s telecom regulator.
After the end of the Soviet era, Armenia joined the World Trade Organization in January 2003. The government has made some improvements in tax and customs administration in recent years, but anti-corruption measures have been largely ineffective. Armenia’s geographic isolation, a narrow export base, and pervasive monopolies in important business sectors have made it particularly vulnerable to volatility in the global commodity markets and the economic challenges in Russia. Armenia is particularly dependent on Russian commercial and governmental support, as most key Armenian infrastructure is Russian-owned and/or managed, especially in the energy sector.
Armenia’s rising government debt is leading Yerevan to tighten its fiscal policies – the amount is approaching the debt to GDP ratio threshold set by national legislation. Armenia will need to pursue additional economic reforms and strengthen the rule of law in order to raise its economic growth and improve economic competitiveness and employment opportunities, especially given its economic isolation from Turkey and Azerbaijan.