Bosnia and Herzegovina is a complex state consisting of two entities, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Srpska Republic. This state is regulated by the General Framework Agreement for peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, an international agreement signed in Paris in 1995. The rebuilding of the telecommunications network in Bosnia-Herzegovina after the Balkan war was possible through an internationally sponsored program that produced sharp increases in fixed-line telephone availability. The creation of an independent regulatory body helped to increase domestic competition and foster development.
The Internet penetration rate was near 81% by the end of 2018. The three mobile network operators (MNOs), each affiliated with one of the incumbent fixed-line operators, provide almost full coverage. Their networks are being upgraded to support services based on HSPA technology and are expected to support broadband in rural areas in the near future. DSL and cable are the chief platforms for fixed-line connectivity, although there is a small market presence of fibre broadband. As of 2018, rural areas still suffer from insufficient connectivity.
The telecoms market in Bosnia-Herzegovina is divided in three zones, each with an incumbent telco. The largest operator is BH Telecom and is the dominant player overall, but Telekom Srpske has a strong presence in the Srpska Republic, whereas and HT Mostar focuses its operations on Herzegovina. These three incumbent operators control 99% of the market. The fixed-line broadband network is not as well developed, although investments made in mobile upgrades are facilitating broadband connectivity in the country to a greater extent than is common elsewhere in Europe. Internet services are available through the incumbents and a number of alternative operators. DSL and cable are the main platforms for fixed-line connectivity, while fibre broadband has a very limited market presence. The BH Communications Regulatory Agency was founded in 2001 by merging the two existing regulatory authorities. The agency is a regulator with combined powers, reflecting the merging of technologies in the telecommunications and broadcasting areas.
Bosnia and Herzegovina is a complex state consisting of two entities, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Srpska Republic. This state is regulated by the General Framework Agreement for peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, an international agreement signed in Paris in 1995. After the Balkan war, Bosnia-Herzegovina made remarkable economic progress, but it was heavily affected by the 2008 crisis. A highly decentralized government hampers economic policy coordination and reform, while excessive bureaucracy and a segmented market discourage foreign investment.
Bosnia and Herzegovina has a transitional economy with limited market reforms. The economy relies heavily on the export of metals, energy, textiles, and furniture as well as on remittances and foreign aid. A highly decentralized government hampers economic policy coordination and reform, while excessive bureaucracy and a segmented market discourage foreign investment. Bosnia and Herzegovina’s private sector is slowly growing, but foreign investment remains low. High unemployment is the most serious macroeconomic problem.
Bosnia and Herzegovina’s top economic priorities are: acceleration of integration into the EU, strengthening the fiscal system, public administration reform, and securing economic growth by fostering a dynamic, competitive private sector. In preparation for eventual EU membership, the country has sought closer integration with the EU and adopted a range of commitments to political, economic, trade, and human rights reform.
In Bosnia-Herzegovina, the market is dominated by the three incumbent operators (BH Telecom, HT Mostar, and Telekom Srpske), which hold a combined market share of 99%. All three incumbents, although privatised in the early 2000s, are still partially owned by either the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina or, in the case of Telekom Srpske, by Telekom Srbija, the incumbent state-controlled operator in Serbia. These companies also provide mobile services through subsidiary brands.