Virtually every Albanian has access to mobile internet through mobile telecommunications providers. According to data from the Albanian Institute of Statistics (INSTAT) 99.9% of individuals in Albania had technical access to the internet through mobile/smart phones in 2022. The percentage of individuals who make calls/video calls (via Skype, Viber, WhatsApp) is 98.5% and this indicator has shown an increase of 0.2 percentage points, compared with the year of 2021. 

Telecommunication and data companies Vodafone and One Albania are the two largest digital companies in the country, rated from the number of users and revenues. One Albania merged with Albtelecom in January 2023. 

According to data from Albania Electronic and Postal Authority revenues the digital communication market, which includes mobile telecommunication and internet providers,  in 2022 reached a value of 38 billion lek [371 million USD] in revenues, about 5% higher than those reported for the previous year, 2021. Based on revenue data the two operators control 82% of the electronic communication market.

Vodafone Albania is part of Vodafone Group Plc – one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies. The company started operating in Albania in 2001 as a GSM provider, and since 2015 has 4G/4G+ network, reaching 1.8 million customers. One Telecom’s majority shareholder is the Hungarian company 4iG Nyilvanosan Mukodo Reszvenytarsasag.

The mobile communications market registered revenues of 25 billion lek [248 million USD]  in 2022. Vodafone Albania controls 52% of the mobile telecommunication market and One Albania (One + Albtelecom) accounts for 48%. Even the fixed line communication market registered an increase in 2022. Revenues reached 12 billion lek [125 million USD], an increase of 9% compared to 2021. After acquiring Albtelecom, One Albania controlled 26 % of the fixed line market, followed by Vodafone Albania, which acquired ABCOM. 

Due to their sheer size and behavior in the market, Vodafone Albania and One Telecom have often been the target of inquiries and investigations by Albania’s Competition Authority and the Albania Postal and Communication Authority. Based on advertising volume data, Vodafone Albania and One Albania are two of the largest advertisers for the broadcast media. Owing to the size of the telecommunication companies as a source of revenue for the media, there is little critical reporting of their activities.

In the television broadcasting market technological changes have also played an important role in recent years. Before this market was controlled by the two digital terrestrial companies, Digital and Tring TV. However, their domination in recent years has been put into question by the advent of Internet Protocol television (IPTV), over-the-top media / streaming (OTT) and video-on-demand (VOD) services. According to Albania’s Audiovisual Media Authority, in Albania there were 14 OTT operators, one IPTV and one VOD provider. Streaming services have an estimated 40,000 subscribers in Albania, with Netflix being the largest with 20,000, followed by HBO Max.  

A big impact on the advertising market and media revenues in recent years has also come from social media companies, like Meta and YouTube. The most popular social media platform in Albania is Facebook, followed by Instagram. In June 2023, Facebook, which is owned by Meta and is the largest social media platform in the world had 1,838,700 users in Albania, equivalent to 65.2 percent of the country’s population.  

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