Main trends

While the popularity of landline desk phones began swiftly decreasing quite a long time ago, recent years have also seen an interesting trend in mobile networks’ usage. As of 2017, 32 percent of mobile network companies’ revenues were made on providing Internet access, including 3G. This was only two percent less than revenues made on voice calls which demonstrated quite an unequivocal shift in market demands.

As of January 2019, Ukrainian users possessed 53,934,000 active SIM cards, which is 1,78m less than the number of SIM cards used as of January 2018. At the same time, Ukraine’s population in 2019 totals at roughly 42 million people, excluding those living in non-government controlled territories, which translates into 1.28 SIM cards per citizen. This can be explained by the growing popularity of dual SIM-card phones.

As of 2018, 91 percent of touch screen devices’ owners use apps. The most active social group in this respect are people aged 25-34. Up to 70 percent of smartphones operate on Android; 20 percent are iPhones; six percent use a desktop version. As many as 73 percent of smartphones users have social media apps installed on their devices whereas 61 percent of users have gaming apps, 51 percent have navigations apps and 49 percent have messengers installed. The breakdown of specific messengers’ popularity suggests that 85 percent of smartphone owners use Viber, 44 percent use Facebook Messenger, 32 percent use Skype, and only 11 percent use Telegram.

A major recent development in the telecommunications industry in Ukraine has been the launch of a 4G Internet connection. Having been formally launched by a Ukraine’s president’s decree in 2015, works on 4G technology implementation have finally started translating in practical steps only in late 2018 – Kyivstar, Lifecell , and Vodafone launched 4G in big cities in the spring and summer of that year. By May 2020, 4G communications already covered almost all Ukrainian settlements, but it is not in the metro or on Intercity routes.

Finally, quite a significant trend in the Ukrainian telecommunications market is the popularisation of mobile banking. All major Ukrainian banks, including Privatbank, Alpha Bank, Ukrsibbank , and Raiffeisen Bank Aval have both desktop- and app-based platforms for online banking. As much as 47 percent of smartphone users in Ukraine are believed to regularly use mobile banking services.

The digitalization of Ukrainian society has risen sharply due to the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, but the consequences of this transformation are still hard to express in numbers.