Internet in Romania
|This article is outdated. (July 2013)|
The .eu domain is also used, as it is shared with other European Union member states.
In most international rankings, Romania is among the first places in the world based on the speed of its internet service.
According to a top made by Bloomberg in 2013, Romania is ranked 5th in the world and 2nd in Europe in terms of internet connection speed, being surpassed by Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan, while the United States is only the 14th. Average peak speed 37.4 Mbit/s. In Akamai's The State of the Internet Report covering the fourth quarter of 2012, Romania came 4th on average peak connection speed by EMEA country/region.
Based on Net Index report at the end of first half of 2013, Timișoara has become the city with the highest download speed in the world. Timișoara had a download speed of 89.91 Mbit/s, while the second ranking city Vilnius had a download speed of 52.09 Mbit/s. The second Romanian city which appeared in the ranking was Constanța, on the 14th place, with a speed of 34.45 Mbit/s. Capital Bucharest came 19th, with a speed of 33.57 Mbit/s, and Brașov, 27th, with 31.01 Mbit/s. World City Ranking requires at least 75,000 unique IP addresses for a given city.
Internet Service Providers
Total number of active providers, as of Dec 31 2007: 1338
- Dial-up Access (fixed and cellular): 64 providers,
- Coaxial Cable (cable modem) Access: 72 providers,
- Optical Fiber Access: 343 providers,
- Wireless Access: 355 providers,
- xDSL Access: 52 providers,
- Twisted pair Ethernet, satellite, other: 1125 providers
Broadband Internet access
Distribution of broadband connections by type, as reported by ANRCTI, is as follows:
- ISDN: 0.003%
- Cellular broadband (EDGE, CDMA/EVDO, 3G): 33.1%
- Cable modems: 14.9%
- Optical fiber: 2.9%
- Wireless: 1% (0.7% Wi-Fi)
- xDSL: 11.4%
- Twisted pair Ethernet, satellite, other: 36.7%
In Romania, broadband internet has been available since 2000, through coaxial cable, first from Kappa (now defunct) and currently from RCS&RDS and UPC. Recent speeds range between 2 Mbit/s and 120 Mbit/s for household targeted plans, and the data traffic is unmetered.
However, the most popular broadband services are provided by micro-ISPs (known locally as "reţea de bloc/reţea de cartier" (Block/Neighborhood Networks) with 50 to 3000 customers each. These ISPs usually provide their services through 100BASE-T UTP LANs, with a number of particularities and peculiarities: most were grassroot organizations and still have a feeling of community between subscribers and the management, speeds are usually divided in three categories: "LAN", "Metropolitan" and "International" with Metropolitan meaning a limited number of networks with which the micro-ISP has a peering agreement and sometimes the cable internet providers. Generally, for such broadband connections, speeds are 1000 Mbit/s locally, 1-100 Mbit/s metro and 256-2048 kbit/s International. Some of these micro-ISP function completely legally, while others (generally the smaller ones) are organized informally in something like a permanent LAN party. Many of these micro-ISPs formed organizations to represent their common interests and provide for integration of services (one such organization is Interlan, covering the whole of Bucharest). Speeds, uptime, quality of service are generally not guaranteed, and while the biggest networks offer high quality connections and technical support, for the smallest ones, there is even the risk of network cards burning because of lightning strikes and badly insulated network infrastructure.
For business use, services are usually provided through fiber optics or radio. Companies providing such services are providing very flexible and negotiable plans also based on the Metropolitan/International distinction. Usually prices and bandwidths are fully negotiable, with the micro-ISPs discussed above being influential resellers. There is very strong competition, with no peering between many such companies (again requiring a lot of traffic to be routed through international routes) and not even access to another's fiber-optics infrastructure (leading to the existence, in some cases, of over 25 fiber optics cables on the same street, hanging from the same pole). As such many companies have two separate providers for basically the same services. The major players being:
- UPC formerly known as Astral
iLink(acquired by RCS-RDS)
- Ines & * Fibernet
- GTS Central Europe GTS Telecom (formerly known as KPNQuest Romania)
- Lamit Company
DSL has been a recent addition, and is not such a popular choice compared to the other offers because it is slightly more expensive, but it has a great coverage (more than 650 cities and towns). DSL in Romania is provided by Romtelecom and a small number of Romtelecom licensees (DigiCom, etc.) using its extensive infrastructure.
Usually, in order to be able to get an internet subscription through cable, the customers must also subscribe to a TV service.
- 5 Mbit/s downstream / 512 kbit/s upstream (old network based on DOCSIS 2.0)
- 10 Mbit/s downstream / 1024 kbit/s upstream (old network based on DOCSIS 2.0)
- 20 Mbit/s downstream (new network based on EoC, mostly in rural areas and small towns)
Triple Play (cable, internet, phone service) subscriptions are offered. Note that one must also have a cable subscription with RCS&RDS to have an Internet subscription, but each subscription can be sold separately in the areas covered by the fiber optics network. RCS-RDS
Since 2006, RCS&RDS are moving internet and phone subscribers (espcially those who live in apartment buildings) from the cable DOCSIS 2.0 network to their new FTTB infrastructure.
- Start 256 kbit/s downstream / 64 kbit/s upstream FREE (€12 installation) with phone/TV service (minimum €10 per month package).
- 10 Mbit/s download, 2 Mbit/s upload for €4/month
- 20 Mbit/s download, 3 Mbit/s upload for €7/month
- 60 Mbit/s download, 4 Mbit/s upload for €12/month
- 120 Mbit/s download, 6 Mbit/s upload for €17/month
Triple Play (cable, internet, phone service) subscriptions are offered. Note that one must also have a cable subscription with UPC to have an Internet subscription. UPC Romania
During 2010-2011, UPC upgraded their cable network from DOCSIS 2.0 to DOCSIS 3.0
Romtelecom offers several data plans with a speed of up to 100 Mbit/s (102400 kbit/s downstream, 30720 kbit/s upstream) provided through a combination of FTTB and xDSL infrastructure.
RCS&RDS launched in 2006 FiberLink, an optic fiber based internet subscription geared towards supporting and encouraging the large demand for cheap metropolitan traffic. Most of RCS&RDS' cable infrastructure immediately began being replaced by the newer FTTB, and as of late 2006 RCS&RDS started expanding the service by acquiring and converting the popular "Neighborhood Networks" of the urban areas.
As of 2013, the basic residential subscriptions are:
- 50 Mbit/s downstream traffic
- 100 Mbit/s downstream traffic
- 500 Mbit/s downstream traffic
- 1000 Mbit/s downstream traffic
Using the same FTTB infrastructure RDS&RCS is also offering business connections which have symmetrical bandwidths (same speed for downstream and upstream):
- up to 10 Mbit/s for 20 Euro/month
- up to 20 Mbit/s for 30 Euro/month
- up to 10 Mbit/s for 50 Euro/month, with 1 Mbit contractually guaranteed speed
- up to 10 Mbit/s for 100 Euro/month, with 2 Mbit contractually guaranteed speed
(and faster speeds also) The infrastructure supports 10 Gbit/s metropolitan (local) traffic.
GTS Central Europe ISO 9001 certified, and positioned as BusinessAccelerator, deploys solutions managed up to the customers' connection interface, with contractually guaranteed technical parameters, availability and stability.
The range of deployed services include carrier solutions, data communications based on DWDM, MPLS, TCP /IP and Frame Relay, Internet connections, telephony and server hosting and collocation in own DataCenter. For all services installed to the customer, GTS Telecom guarantees the technical and quality parameters based on contractual Service Level Agreement (SLA). In 2008 the average SLA level for all installed services was 99.83%, after the 99.74% in 2007 and 99.85% in 2006. According to independent market monitoring, in the last 5 years the satisfaction level of the GTS Telecom customers reached 6.4 on a 7 points scale.
GTS Telecom is one of the founding members of Romanian Network for Internet eXchange, RoNIX, and hosts part of the exchange /interconnection infrastructure in DataCenter. Besides the 1 Gbit/s port in RoNIX, GTS followed its own interconnection policy, developing private peering inter-connections with the main service providers in Romania.
RCS&RDS offers their FiberLink service to residential customers in individual homes through a GPON implementation, with theoretical gigabit speeds. The service is not available to residential customers in condominiums, where a FTTB solution already exists. The Internet subscription packages are the same as for the FTTB.
Service is offered by Romtelecom, through the Clicknet brand.
- ClickNet Surf 2 Mbit/s (2048 kbit/s downstream, 512 kbit/s upstream)
- ClickNet Play 20 Mbit/s (20480 kbit/s downstream, 4096 kbit/s upstream)
- ClickNet Power 30 Mbit/s (307020 kbit/s downstream, 6144 kbit/s upstream)
Clients must also subscribe to a landline phone service provided by Romtelecom.
Mobile & Wireless
Usually a subscription plan includes a certain amount of data traffic per month, after which the user is limited to 128 kbit/s download speeds.
Orange Romania offers a 3G/3G+ service with speeds of up to 43.2 Mbit/s in a limited number of cities and up to 14.4 Mbit/s in rural areas (on 900 and 2100 MHz frequencies).
Vodafone Romania also uses 3G/3G+ technologies, with speeds of up to 21.6 Mbit/s in big cities and up to 7.2 Mbit/s nationwide (on 900 and 2100 MHz frequencies).
RCS&RDS provides 3G internet with speeds of up to 14.4 Mbit/s in the main cities and up to 384 kbit/s on the main roads. The coverage is spotty because the company only owns a 2100 MHz license. Wired internet subscribers with superior plans also receive a free 3G internet dongle and service.
Zapp used to offer a wireless broadband service based on CDMA 1x and 1xEV-DO technology (450 MHz), with speeds of up to 2,4 Mbit/s downstream / 153 kbit/s upstream. Later, the network added EV-DO Rev. A capabilities, with 3,1 Mbit/s downstream / 1,8 Mbit/s upstream. On July 2009, the company was bought by Cosmote.
Romtelecom offers 3.1 Mbit/s download and 1.8 Mbit/s upload mobile internet (CDMA on 420 MHz).
WiMAX services are offered by companies like Idilis, OpticNET, and Rombit NET. Speeds go up to 6 Mbit/s download and 1 Mbit/s upload, with unmetered traffic. Some providers are resellers or share the same radio infrastructure.
Public Wi-Fi Hotspots
RCS&RDS launched the Digi Wi-Fi service in 2011. It is free to use by all RCS&RDS wired internet subscribers, and free for up to 60 minutes per day for guests. There are no paid plans available. Hotspot Map
Vodafone Romania launched the Vodafone Wi-Fi service in 2012. It allows free connections for up to 60 minutes, after which the user is disconnected. A new free connection can be made again, after the time is up. Hotspot Map
CityNet and the vice mayor of Botosani, Cosmin Andrei launched at the Summer Fest 2013 a new service offering free Wi-Fi hotspots in more than 30 locations covering places such as schools, public parks, hospitals and landmark buildings. Promises were also made to extend in the near future.
Lamit Company provides two-way internet via satellite (starting from €45/month ) with speeds up to 20 Mbit/s for home use and up to 50 Mbit/s for professional/business use on both Ka-Band and Ku-band. 
- "Numărul conexiunilor la Internet în bandă largă din România a crescut cu 19,4%". Gândul. 12 December 2012.
- "Starea domeniilor .RO înregistrate până în 2013". Marketing 20. 30 April 2013.
- "Top 10: Where to Find the World's Fastest Internet". Bloomberg. 23 January 2013.
- "Romanian city comes out first in the world in Internet download speed ranking". Net Index. 3 July 2013.
- ANRCTI report from May 2008 providing statistics up to December 31 2007, pages 51-72