Mobile network ecosystem
Overall, the Ukrainian telecommunications market has been actively growing in recent years. As of the end 2017, there were as many as 2,581 providers of telecommunication services and 3,430 telecommunications operators in the market. To put this into perspective, respective numbers totaled at 2,256 and 3,453 in 2016 and 1,427 and 3,229 in 2015.
Mobile network coverage in Ukraine is more extensive than that of fixed Internet access connection. Whereas mobile network coverage exists almost in all cities, towns and villages, big Internet providers usually do not penetrate deeper than rayon centers. This also reflects the major trend in device usage, where mobile phones are very common for all age groups and locations, having penetrated deep even in rural areas. At the same time, there is a quite tangible difference in desktop/laptop usage between towns and smaller rural communities where it is far less common.
The mobile network market used to be more diversified in the past, having been represented both by a bigger number of players and more diverse custom-tailored packages. An overall trend consists in the fact that mobile network companies used to bet on providing better or more diversified conditions than their competitors whereas now, with package offers having undergone significant unification, mobile network providers bet on making their products more affordable.
Ukrainians are reported to buy new mobile network devices once in 5-6 years. The average price of a mobile phone in 2017 equaled UA₴3700 (about US$135). In 2017, Ukrainians spent UA₴22bn (about US$803m) on mobile phones/smartphones, which translates into around 6m new items purchased in a single year.