Symbol image: cell tower

Mobile communications and Internet in Bulgaria

Compared to the United States, Bulgaria has a slight downturn in the development of telecommunications. Under the country code +359, there were a total of 8.69 million connections in 2021. Among them were 7.90 million mobile phones, which corresponds to an average of 1.1 per person. In the US, this figure is 1.1 mobile phones per person.

With about 976,277 webhosts, Bulgaria is below the world's average by population. At the end of 2020, 333,361 of these, or about 34 percent, were secured with SSL or comparable encryption.

Back to overview: Bulgaria

Internet speed for cell phones and fixed network

With an average download speed of 68.66 Mbit/second for fixed-network broadband internet, Bulgaria ranks 64th in an international comparison. The upload rate was only 50.42 Mbit/second (36th place).
In mobile internet, i.e., on tablets and smartphones, Bulgaria comes 13th with a download speed of 92.99 Mbit/second. The upload speed of around 19 Mbit was enough for 11th place.

The Speedtest Global Index published regularly by Ookla is based on several million individual measurements in April 2023 from 180 countries.

Mobile phone rates in Bulgaria

Every year, the International Telecommunication Union calculates for many countries what a mobile phone contract costs to use. A monthly budget averaging US$ 12.00 was calculated Bulgaria in 2021. Compared to the previous year, this amount decreased by 10 cents.

The ITU refers to the costs for monthly use and includes 140 telephony minutes, 70 text messages and a data transfer of 2 GBytes. The transfer speed should be the minimum of a 3G connection, i.e. at least UMTS, which is already outdated in many parts of the world. 2 GBytes do not sound much. However, this is already quite a high consumption in a worldwide comparison. If one does not take a fixed amount in US dollars, but converts it to the economic output per inhabitant, a user in Bulgaria spends 1.5% of his gross national income on mobile telephony. Worldwide, this rate is around 6.6 percent.

In the USA, the monthly cost was around $38.10.

Network coverage with 5G

In 2021, network coverage with the 5G standard was already 57.62 percent of all inhabitants. The proportion of the population with at least 4G mobile Internet access was 99.9 percent. The 4G network standard includes both LTE and WiMAX.

The following diagrams show the development of the various telephone and internet connections as a percentage of the country's population. Values above 100 percent mean that, on average, every inhabitant has more than one connection.

Access to the internet in Bulgaria from 1990 - 2021

Broadband internet in Bulgaria 2004 - 2021

Symbol image: cell towerBulgaria is lagging behind in the expansion of broadband internet connections. Around 75 percent of all residents have access to the internet. Around 33 percent have their own fast internet connection, which is at least faster than the former ISDN (more than 256 kbit/s). All fixed connections via DSL, cable or satellite were counted here, but not those connected to the internet via mobile communications. With around 2.4 people per household, this means that around 78.7 percent of all households are equipped with a high-speed internet connection.

Landlines 1990 - 2021

Mobile phones 1990 - 2021

The increasing prevalence of cell phones and the simultaneous decline in landline phones clearly indicate a change in Bulgaria. While the number of landlines has fallen significantly in recent years, the spread of cell phones has risen to 115 cell phone subscriptions per 100 people at last count. Such a clear shift does not occur in all countries, but the trend points in the same direction internationally.

All international calling codes

Distribution in 2021Bulgaria
Internet users5.18 m75.27 %304.52 m91.75 %
Broadband users2.25 m32.77 %125.89 m37.93 %
Landlines787,637.0011.45 %97.82 m29.47 %
Mobile cellulars7.90 m114.90 %361.66 m108.97 %

Comparison: Bulgaria / United StatesCountry comparison: Bulgaria / United States of AmericaThe United States of America and Bulgaria compared: demography, Economy, energy, languages and further dimensions.
United States of America: TelecommunicationTelecommunication in the United States of AmericaComparison of technological development and communication in the United States of America with the countries of the European Union
Netherlands: ClimateClimate and temperature development in the NetherlandsA climate analysis for the Netherlands incl. temperatures, humidity, rain days per month, hours of sunshine, rainfalls