Czech Republic Just Tops Russia for Mobile Penetration - eMarketer
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Czech Republic Just Tops Russia for Mobile Penetration

Czech Republic beats Russia for mobile phone penetration by about half a percentage point

February 12, 2015 | Mobile

Russia will be home to over one-third of mobile phone users in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) this year, according to eMarketer’s latest estimates of mobile phone usage. In 2015, 105.7 million people in Russia will own at least one mobile phone and use it at least one per month, up slightly from 104.2 million in 2014.

Mobile Phone Users and Penetration in Central & Eastern Europe, by Country, 2013-2018 (millions and % of population)

While Russia will lead the region in total mobile phone users, the Czech Republic will boast the highest mobile phone user penetration in 2015, at 74.6%—just above Russia’s 74.2%. This trend will continue through the end of our forecast period, though Russia will narrow the gap to just 0.2 percentage point by 2018. Third- and fourth-place Poland and Turkey aren’t far behind the two leaders, with respective penetration rates of 70.8% and 67.2% this year.

Russia will lead CEE in number of smartphone users, too. eMarketer estimates that the country will boast 58.2 million smartphone users this year, or a nearly 40% share of the regional total.

Smartphone Users and Penetration in Central & Eastern Europe, by Country, 2013-2018

Once again, though, the Czech Republic will lead the region in smartphone penetration among mobile phone users, at 58.7% this year. And Russia won’t even come in second here, as 56.9% of mobile phone users in Poland will use smartphones, vs. 55.0% in Russia. All three countries will pass 50% smartphone penetration among mobile phone users this year, as will Turkey.

The Czech Republic won’t reign for penetration much longer, though. While the country will still lead CEE in smartphone penetration among mobile phone users next year, second-place Poland will sneak past the Czech Republic in 2017 to claim the top spot. By 2018, nearly three-quarters of mobile phone users in Poland will use smartphones, while 72.3% in the Czech Republic will do so. Russia will remain in third place, with smartphone penetration of mobile phone users coming in at 71.0% at the end of our forecast period, and Turkey will be close behind (70.2%).

eMarketer bases all of its forecasts on a multipronged approach that focuses on both worldwide and local trends in the economy, technology and population, along with company-, product-, country- and demographic-specific trends, and trends in specific consumer behaviors. We analyze quantitative and qualitative data from a variety of research firms, government agencies, media outlets and company reports, weighting each piece of information based on methodology and soundness.

In addition, every element of each eMarketer forecast fits within the larger matrix of all its forecasts, with the same assumptions and general framework used to project figures in a wide variety of areas. Regular re-evaluation of each forecast means those assumptions and framework are constantly updated to reflect new market developments and other trends.

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