Montenegro, after gaining independence from Serbia in 2006, is one of the newest Eastern European countries. Montenegro’s economy is transitioning to a market system. Around 90% of Montenegrin state-owned companies have been privatized, including 100% of banking, telecommunications, and oil distribution. Tourism, which accounts for more than 20% of Montenegro’s GDP, brings in three times as many visitors as Montenegro’s total population every year.
Montenegro’s Internet penetration rate was of almost 70% by the end of 2018, one of the lowest in Europe. Networks are based on WCDMA/HSPA and LTE technologies support a vibrant mobile broadband services sector. The wide availability of LTE has made mobile broadband a viable alternative to fixed-line broadband in many rural areas. Mobile broadband services are reaching near 95% of the population since mid-2018. An auction for spectrum in the 700MHz band, being coordinated with Albania, will support the launch of 5G services anticipated by the end of 2020.
The telecom industry in Montenegro was quickly liberalised after independence. The newly introduced legislation adopted many of the regulations that the European Union is promoting for communications, and that which promotes competition as the most efficient way to offer communications products and services while ensuring universal access. Montenegro’s fixed broadband services are now available via a variety of technology platforms including DSL, cable, leased line, fibre and wireless. The fibre sector has shown particularly strong growth since 2010 as the incumbent has invested in infrastructure upgrades, albeit mainly to serve apartment blocks in the main towns. The number of fibre connections increased 24% in the year to September 2019 and accounted for 34% of all fixed broadband connections.
Montenegro’s economy is transitioning to a market system. From the beginning of the privatization process in 1999 through to 2015, around 85% of Montenegrin state-owned companies have been privatized, including 100% of banking, telecommunications, and oil distribution. The government recognizes the need to remove impediments in order to remain competitive and open the economy to foreign investors. Montenegro uses the Euro as its domestic currency, though it is not an official member of the Euro-zone. In January 2007, Montenegro joined the World Bank and IMF, and in December 2011, the World Trade Organization. Montenegro began negotiations to join the EC in June, 2012, having met the conditions set down by the European Council, which called on Montenegro to take steps to fight corruption and organized crime. Tourism brings in twice as many visitors as Montenegro’s total population every year. The country is therefore planning major overhauls of its road, rail networks, and possible expansions of its air transportation system.
Crnogorski Telekom (CT) is the largest telecommunications company in Montenegro. It provides a full range of telecommunication services, being also the main fixed-line service provider in the country. Its exclusive rights expired in 2003. Crnogorski Telekom also provides international services, in addition to a wide range of telecommunications services involving leased-line circuits and data networks.
On April 1, 2005, Magyar Telekom obtained a 76.53% interest in Crnogorski Telekom and thus became the majority owner of the Company. Deutsche Telekom AG holds 59.21% of the Magyar Telekom shares. Its services are now marketed under the T-Com and T-Mobile brands.