With excellent infrastructure, a well-educated work force, and a strategic location between the Balkans and Western Europe, Slovenia has one of the highest per capita GDPs in Central Europe, despite having suffered a protracted recession in the 2008-09 period in the wake of the global financial crisis.
The Internet penetration rate by the end of 2018 was of almost 80%. The percentage of regular Internet users in Slovenia is highest among the younger generation, with a percentage that is above the EU average.
Slovenia’s fixed-line telecom market remains dominated by Telekom Slovenije despite regulatory efforts to develop competition in the sector. On the other hand, the mobile market shows a lot more competition with four mobile network operators and a small number of mobile virtual network operators. The regulator has addressed the need of mobile operators to be provided with more spectrum, holding a number of spectrum auctions in recent years. Additional spectrum in a range of bands will be made available for LTE and 5G services during 2019. However, Slovenia’s broadband market continues to be dominated by a small number of players. Despite the launch of competing platforms, DSL remains the most popular access method though its market share is being eroded by the steady development of fibre-based networks.
In 2007, Slovenia was invited to begin the process for joining the OECD; it became a member in 2012. From 2014 to 2016, export-led growth, fueled by demand in larger European markets, pushed annual GDP growth above 2.3%. Growth reached 5.0% in 2017 and is projected to near or reach 5% in 2018. What used to be stubbornly high unemployment fell below 5.5% in early 2018, driven by strong exports and increasing consumption that boosted labor demand. Continued fiscal consolidation through increased tax collection and social security contributions will likely result in a balanced government budget in 2019. The Government’s economic policy is committed to privatize a select group of state-run companies, rationalize public spending, and further stabilize the banking sector. Efforts to privatize Slovenia’s largely state-owned banking sector have largely stalled, however, amid concerns about an ongoing dispute over Yugoslav-era foreign currency deposits.
The Telekom Slovenije Group is the incumbent operator in Slovenia, which also comprises subsidiaries based in other countries of Southeastern Europe. Group activities comprise fixed and mobile communication (fixed and mobile telephony, fixed and mobile broadband services IP telephony (Voice over IP) and IPTV), digital content and services, multimedia services and digital advertising, system integration and cloud computing services, construction and maintenance of telecommunication networks. In response to competition, Telekom Slovenije has followed the path of many European incumbents and expanded internationally, focusing predominantly on the Balkan region.