RATEL’s Survey on Mobile Device Use


Based on the data from June of the current year, RATEL performed a survey on the distribution of mobile device manufacturers, device operating systems and network types supported by active devices (2G/3G/4G/5G). The following basic data were analyzed: the number of 2G, 3G, 4G active network users, number of VoLTE (Voice over LTE) users and number of M2M devices (intended for communication between computers) in mobile networks.

The data of some 8 million users were processed.

There are 40 mobile phone manufacturers in the Serbian market, with 11 most popular ones taking up 88.5% of the market.

RATEL’s analysis demonstrated that Android is the most used OS, with 89% of the mobile telephones being smartphones.

Bearing in mind the pending 5G introduction in the Republic of Serbia, more than 1,200,000 mobile telephony users were identified to own devices supporting 5G, with the survey results indicating that the share of the 4G technology supporting devices is also very high (72%).

As for the need of a certain number of users for device switching, phasing out of older technologies (2G and 3G) is being considered, starting with 3G, as is practice in Europe and North America.

Taking into account the principle of technological neutrality within the regulatory context, constituting one of the basic postulates of the European regulatory frame (European Electronic Communications Code - EECC), the operators are free to decide whether to switch off certain (older) technologies or not. As for the regulators, they monitor the plans and the process itself, so as to ensure adequate radio coverage, optimal transition period and quality of service to the users after the technology phase-out. The operators should be considering the possibility of device switching for socially vulnerable users, and creating incentive measures for other users to replace the devices that support older technologies with new ones. As for Serbia, there are 69% of active 4G network users, 15% of active 3G network users and 16% of active 2G network users.

RATEL examined the number of VoLTE users (VoLTE enables simultaneous voice communication and Internet service, including better voice transmission quality) in comparison to the total number of 4G users. The result suggests that there is a room for improvement of the 4G network usability, considering that VoLTE users make up around 40% of the total number of 4G users.

More details about the survey can be found here.