Kiribati - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Executive summary

Telecom services improving for Kiribati

Kiribati presents a challenging geography for telecommunications network deployments. Traditional network architecture is unsuitable for Kiribati, as the islands are only connected to each other and to the rest of the world via satellite. Some of the inhabited islands still require access to satellite networks and generally speaking fibre-optic infrastructure is unsuitable and too expensive.

The Pacific region as a whole is heavily reliant on mobile technologies for its communication services and Kiribati is no exception. In 2015 Kiribati began to receive the benefit of a renewed interest in its telecoms infrastructure due to the sale of the only telecoms operator, the state-owned Telecommunication Services Kiribati Limited (TSKL) to Amalgamated Telecom Holdings (ATH) from Fiji.

The newly formed Amalgamated Telecom Holdings Kiribati Limited (ATHKL) quickly announced it would be performing the first phase of its improvements in Kiribati with 3G and 4G network upgrades deployed in some areas. In addition it upgraded networks to Internet Protocol (IP) and began exploring the option of a low latency affordable internet solution for Kiribati.

Most encouraging to the citizens of Kiribati, considered one of the poorest Islands in the region; ATHKL began offering new affordable handsets as well as attractive pricing plans.

Kiribati may also benefit from the introduction of competition in the mobile sector in the near future. In September 2015 the Government of Kiribati and the Communications Commission of Kiribati (CCK) launched a tender for a second mobile license which would be offered under a 15-year renewable term.

These are all positive developments for a country which faces serious issues relating to over-population, poverty and the very real threat of rising sea levels.

Key telecom parameters – 2013; 2015

Sector
2013
2015
Approximate subscribers to telecoms services: (e)
Fixed Broadband users
1,100
1,460
Fixed-line telephony
9,000
9,900
Mobile phone
17,000
22,000

(Source: BuddeComm based on industry data)

Key developments:

With few natural resources, Kiribati’s economy is very small. While Kiritimati (Christmas Island) is the largest atoll, the majority of the population live on the island of Tarawa. Kiribati is considered to be overpopulated which is placing pressure on infrastructure and resources.

Companies covered in this report include:

Telecom Services Kiribati Ltd (TSKL), Amalgamated Telecom Holdings (ATH), Amalgamated Telecom Holdings Kiribati Limited (ATHKL).

Table of Contents

  • 1. Executive summary
  • 2. Key statistics
  • 3. Country overview
  • 4. Telecommunications market
    • 4.1 Historical overview
    • 4.2 Market analysis
    • 4.3 Recent developments
  • 5. Regulatory environment
    • 5.1 Historic overview
    • 5.2 Regulatory authority
      • 5.2.1 Communications Commission of Kiribati (CCK)
    • 5.3 Privatisation of TSKL
    • 5.4 Liberalisation
    • 5.5 Licensing
    • 5.6 Spectrum
    • 5.7 Universal access
    • 5.8 Interconnection
  • 6. Fixed network operators in Kiribati
    • 6.1 Amalgamated Telecom Holidays Kiribati Limited (formerly TSKL)
  • 7. Telecommunications infrastructure
    • 7.1 Overview of the national telecom network
    • 7.2 International infrastructure
  • 8. Broadband market
    • 8.1 Market analysis
    • 8.2 Broadband statistics
  • 9. Mobile communications
    • 9.1 Market analysis
    • 9.2 Mobile statistics
    • 9.3 Mobile broadband statistics
    • 9.4 Mobile infrastructure
    • 9.5 2G and 3G
    • 9.6 4G LTE
  • 10. Related reports
  • Table 1 – Country statistics – 2015
  • Table 2 – Telephone network statistics – 2015
  • Table 3 – Broadband statistics – 2015
  • Table 4 – Mobile statistics – 2015
  • Table 5 – National telecommunications authorities
  • Table 6 – Evolution of GDP in Kiribati – 2000 - 2016
  • Table 7 – Historical - TSKL revenue breakdown – 2010 - 2013
  • Table 8 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity (historical) – 1995 - 2004
  • Table 9 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 2005 - 2015
  • Table 10 – Internet users and user penetration rate – 2000 - 2015
  • Table 11 – Fixed broadband subscribers and penetration rates – 2005 - 2015
  • Table 12 – Total international internet bandwidth – 2008 - 2014
  • Table 13 – Mobile subscribers and penetration – 2000 - 2015
  • Chart 1 – Historical - TSKL revenue breakdown at a glance – 2010 - 2013
  • Exhibit 1 –ATHKL at a glance
  • Exhibit 2 – Mobile sector – history

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