2009 South Pacific Islands - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband

Publication Overview

For those needing detailed overviews and statistics as well as objective analysis on all aspects of the South Pacific telecoms industry, this report provides essential reading and gives in-depth information on:

·         An overall market overview and statistics.

·         Mobile and broadband markets.

·         Key players in the market.

·         Telecommunications infrastructure.

·         Regulatory developments.

·         Fixed network voice and VoIP markets. 

 

Researcher:- Phil Harpur

Current publication date:- December 2008 (12th Edition)

Next publication date:- December 2010

Executive Summary

Penetration rates of telecom services in the South Pacific Island region are still comparatively low, with large differences between urban and rural areas where coverage is usually poor. Access to basic telecom services remains relatively expensive. Less than half of all Pacific Islanders have a phone and generally there was only one supplier for any particular fixed, mobile or Internet service. 

However, a lack of reliable fixed infrastructure combined with cheaper installation costs has enabled mobile services to begin to make significant inroads into the market, and Digicel Pacific is leading the market here, as it sets up networks across a number of islands. As well improving the penetration of telco services and lowering prices, more competition in the mobile market is in fact benefiting the entire economy, including the creation of more jobs. Mobile telephony is expected to continue outpace growth in fixed-line connections as the market moves into 2009. 

The global financial crisis is likely to have only a moderate impact on the South Pacific islands, although it is difficult to make cross-regional generalisations due to the complexity of the region. Tourism is one sector which is likely to be hit the hardest across the region. The economies of islands such as Fiji and Vanuatu are very dependent on the tourist dollar, and there is no doubt that in a severe economic downturn, more overseas travellers will be re-considering non-essential overseas travel. 

Broadband market

Several of the region’s nations are upgrading satellite links to outer islands, installing wireless broadband and upgrading fixed-line broadband capability and some are rolling out high-speed ADSL2+ broadband. WiFi services are now operating in a number of islands including Fiji, Cook Islands, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Guam, Niue and Tonga. 

Broadband availability by access type – 2008

Country

Fixed-line ADSL

WiFi

Fixed wireless

Satellite

Cook Islands

X

X

 

 

Fiji

X

X

X

 

French Polynesia

X

 

 

X

Guam

X

X

 

 

New Caledonia

X

 

 

 

Niue

X

X

 

 

Papua New Guinea

X

X

 

X

Tonga

 

X

X

 

Vanuatu

X

X

 

 

(Source: BuddeComm based on industry data)

 

Deregulation is opening up local markets

Despite local resistance, a move to deregulate the telco sectors of a number of islands, is paving the way for more competition and lower prices. The Fijian telco sector has been finally deregulated, after a lengthy process involving much resistance from the incumbent and many legal court battles. Such resistance is understandable, with uncertainty and fear arising as to how a foreign competitor could impact the local economy. However, as we are seeing, new competition is not having an adversely negative impact on the incumbent; rather it is in fact making the incumbent sharper and more in tune with market demands. As well as improving the penetration of telco services and lowering prices, more competition is indeed benefiting the entire economy, including the creation of more jobs. 

Mobile competition begins to thrive

Many of the islands only have one incumbent telco, which often provides all residential telco services: voice, and Internet access, as well as mobile access. The majority of the islands do in fact have a large enough economy to sustain competition, although in most cases only one additional competitor could realistically supported. 

Already a choice of mobile operators is now available in a number of South Pacific islands: Papua New Guinea (two); Samoa (three); Tonga (two), American Samoa (two); Guam (five); North Mariana Islands (three) and Palau (two).

Since Digicel’s entry into the PNG market, the price of calls has decreased by as much as 60%. People in remote villages are now able to ring for medical help where previously they could not. This is a trend that BuddeComm is finding in many developing regions including Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe and South America. 

Wireless broadband services through either WiFi/WiMAX access or 3G mobile are typically only developing as niche broadband services in most developed markets, as fixed-line broadband is normally the most cost-effective and efficient alternative. However, as we are seeing, there is often a real mainstream business case for them in developing and remote areas such as the South Pacific, in favour of fixed-line ADSL. 

Digicel launch in Fiji – a key turning point for the South Pacific

BuddeComm views Digicel’s launch in Fiji as a key turning point in terms of stimulating competition in the Oceania region, after the operator already launched services in Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Tonga and Vanuatu. 

Digicel ended a 14-year monopoly in the mobile sector enjoyed by Vodafone Fiji. BuddeComm predict that prices could fall by as much as 50%, as has been seen in other islands. Also the flow-on effect to other parts of the Fijian economy should be significant. There is also likely to be a flow-on effect to stimulate growth on other islands. 

Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Market Overview
    • 1.1 Regional market overview & statistics
      • 1.1.1 Regional overview
      • 1.1.2 Telecommunications market
      • 1.1.3 Regulatory environment
      • 1.1.4 Major international players in the region
      • 1.1.5 Financial and community assistance
      • 1.1.6 Telecommunications infrastructure
      • 1.1.7 Broadband market
      • 1.1.8 Mobile communications
      • 1.1.9 Mobile subscribers
    • 1.2 Analysis of mobile competition
      • 1.2.1 Analysis of mobile competition in South Pacific islands
      • 1.2.2 Digicel
      • 1.2.3 Deregulation
  • 2. Overview by Island
    • 2.1 American Samoa
      • 2.1.1 Key statistics
      • 2.1.2 Country overview
      • 2.1.3 Telecommunications market
      • 2.1.4 Regulatory environment
      • 2.1.5 Fixed network operator in American Samoa
      • 2.1.6 Telecommunications infrastructure
      • 2.1.7 Broadband and Internet market
      • 2.1.8 Mobile communications
    • 2.2 Cook Islands
      • 2.2.1 Key statistics
      • 2.2.2 Country overview
      • 2.2.3 Telecommunications market
      • 2.2.4 Regulatory environment
      • 2.2.5 Fixed network operator in Cook Islands
      • 2.2.6 Telecommunications infrastructure
      • 2.2.7 Broadband and Internet market
      • 2.2.8 Broadcasting
      • 2.2.9 Mobile communications
    • 2.3 Federated States of Micronesia
      • 2.3.1 Key statistics
      • 2.3.2 Country overview
      • 2.3.3 Telecommunications market
      • 2.3.4 Regulatory environment
      • 2.3.5 Fixed network operators in FSM
      • 2.3.6 Telecommunications infrastructure
      • 2.3.7 Internet market
      • 2.3.8 Broadcasting in FSM
      • 2.3.9 Mobile communications
    • 2.4 Fiji
      • 2.4.1 Key statistics
      • 2.4.2 Telecommunications market
      • 2.4.3 Regulatory environment
      • 2.4.4 Fixed network operators in Fiji
      • 2.4.5 Telecommunications infrastructure
      • 2.4.6 Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
      • 2.4.7 Broadband and Internet market
      • 2.4.8 Mobile communications
    • 2.5 French Polynesia
      • 2.5.1 Key statistics
      • 2.5.2 Country overview
      • 2.5.3 Telecommunications market
      • 2.5.4 Fixed network operators in French Polynesia
      • 2.5.5 Telecommunications infrastructure
      • 2.5.6 Broadband and Internet market
      • 2.5.7 Mobile communications
    • 2.6 Guam
      • 2.6.1 Key statistics
      • 2.6.2 Country overview
      • 2.6.3 Telecommunications market
      • 2.6.4 Regulatory environment
      • 2.6.5 Fixed network operators in Guam
      • 2.6.6 Telecommunications infrastructure
      • 2.6.7 Broadband and Internet market
      • 2.6.8 Mobile communications
    • 2.7 Kiribati
      • 2.7.1 Key statistics
      • 2.7.2 Country overview
      • 2.7.3 Telecommunications market
      • 2.7.4 Regulatory environment
      • 2.7.5 Fixed network operators in Kiribati
      • 2.7.6 Telecommunications infrastructure
      • 2.7.7 Internet market
      • 2.7.8 Mobile communications
    • 2.8 Marshall Islands
      • 2.8.1 Key statistics
      • 2.8.2 Country overview
      • 2.8.3 Telecommunications market
      • 2.8.4 Regulatory environment
      • 2.8.5 Fixed network operator in Marshall Islands
      • 2.8.6 Telecommunications infrastructure
      • 2.8.7 Internet market
      • 2.8.8 Mobile communications
    • 2.9 Nauru
      • 2.9.1 Key statistics
      • 2.9.2 Country overview
      • 2.9.3 Telecommunications market
      • 2.9.4 Regulatory environment
      • 2.9.5 Telecommunications infrastructure
      • 2.9.6 Internet market
      • 2.9.7 Mobile communications
    • 2.10 New Caledonia
      • 2.10.1 Key statistics
      • 2.10.2 Country overview
      • 2.10.3 Telecommunications market
      • 2.10.4 Regulatory environment
      • 2.10.5 Telecommunications infrastructure
      • 2.10.6 Broadband and Internet market
      • 2.10.7 Wireless Broadband market
      • 2.10.8 Mobile communications
    • 2.11 Niue
      • 2.11.1 Key statistics
      • 2.11.2 Country overview
      • 2.11.3 Telecommunications market
      • 2.11.4 Regulatory environment
      • 2.11.5 Fixed network operators in Niue
      • 2.11.6 Telecommunications infrastructure
      • 2.11.7 Broadband and Internet market
      • 2.11.8 Mobile communications
    • 2.12 Northern Mariana Islands
      • 2.12.1 Key statistics
      • 2.12.2 Country overview
      • 2.12.3 Telecommunications market
      • 2.12.4 Regulatory environment
      • 2.12.5 Fixed network operators in CNMI
      • 2.12.6 Telecommunications infrastructure
      • 2.12.7 Internet and broadband market
      • 2.12.8 Broadcasting
      • 2.12.9 Mobile communications
    • 2.13 Palau
      • 2.13.1 Key statistics
      • 2.13.2 Country overview
      • 2.13.3 Telecommunications market
      • 2.13.4 Fixed network operator in Palau
      • 2.13.5 Telecommunications infrastructure
      • 2.13.6 Broadband and Internet market
      • 2.13.7 Broadcasting
      • 2.13.8 Mobile communications
    • 2.14 Papua New Guinea
      • 2.14.1 Key statistics
      • 2.14.2 Country overview
      • 2.14.3 Telecommunications market
      • 2.14.4 Regulatory environment
      • 2.14.5 Fixed network operators in PNG
      • 2.14.6 Telecommunications infrastructure
      • 2.14.7 Internet market
      • 2.14.8 Broadcasting
      • 2.14.9 Mobile communications
    • 2.15 Pitcairn Islands
      • 2.15.1 Key statistics
      • 2.15.2 Country overview
      • 2.15.3 Telecommunications market
      • 2.15.4 Internet market
    • 2.16 Samoa
      • 2.16.1 Key statistics
      • 2.16.2 Telecommunications market
      • 2.16.3 Regulatory environment
      • 2.16.4 Fixed network operator in Samoa
      • 2.16.5 Telecommunications infrastructure
      • 2.16.6 Internet and broadband market
      • 2.16.7 Mobile communications
    • 2.17 Solomon Islands
      • 2.17.1 Key statistics
      • 2.17.2 Country overview
      • 2.17.3 Telecommunications market
      • 2.17.4 Regulatory environment
      • 2.17.5 Fixed network operators in Solomon Islands
      • 2.17.6 Telecommunications infrastructure
      • 2.17.7 Internet market
      • 2.17.8 Broadband market
      • 2.17.9 Broadcasting
      • 2.17.10 Mobile communications
    • 2.18 Tokelau
      • 2.18.1 Key statistics
      • 2.18.2 Country overview
      • 2.18.3 Telecommunications market
      • 2.18.4 Fixed network operator in Tokelau
      • 2.18.5 Telecommunications infrastructure
      • 2.18.6 Internet market
    • 2.19 Tonga
      • 2.19.1 Key statistics
      • 2.19.2 Country overview
      • 2.19.3 Telecommunications market
      • 2.19.4 Regulatory environment
      • 2.19.5 Fixed network operators in Tonga
      • 2.19.6 Telecommunications infrastructure
      • 2.19.7 Broadband and Internet market
      • 2.19.8 Mobile communications
    • 2.20 Tuvalu
      • 2.20.1 Key statistics
      • 2.20.2 Country overview
      • 2.20.3 Telecommunications market
      • 2.20.4 Regulatory environment
      • 2.20.5 Fixed network operator in Tuvalu
      • 2.20.6 Telecommunications infrastructure
      • 2.20.7 Internet market
    • 2.21 Vanuatu
      • 2.21.1 Key statistics
      • 2.21.2 Country overview
      • 2.21.3 Telecommunications market
      • 2.21.4 Regulatory environment
      • 2.21.5 Fixed network operators in Vanuatu
      • 2.21.6 Telecommunications infrastructure
      • 2.21.7 Broadband and Internet market
      • 2.21.8 Content and e-services
      • 2.21.9 Mobile communications
    • 2.22 Wallis & Futuna Islands
      • 2.22.1 Key statistics
      • 2.22.2 Country overview
      • 2.22.3 Telecommunications market
      • 2.22.4 Internet market
      • 2.22.5 Broadcasting
  • 3. Glossary of Abbreviations
  • Table 1 – Broadband subscribers in the South Pacific by island – 2003 - 2008
  • Table 2 – Broadband subscriber penetration in the South Pacific by island – 2003 - 2008
  • Table 3 – Mobile subscribers in South Pacific by country – 2003 - 2008
  • Table 4 – Mobile penetration >1% in South Pacific islands – 2003 - 2008
  • Table 5 – Mobile penetration and number of operators in select SP islands – 2008
  • Table 6 – Country statistics American Samoa – 2008
  • Table 7 – Telephone network statistics – 2008
  • Table 8 – Internet provider statistics – 2008
  • Table 9 – Mobile statistics – 2008
  • Table 10 – National telecommunications authority
  • Table 11 – Mobile operators, subscribers and annual change – July 2007
  • Table 12 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 1994 - 1996; 2001 - 2008
  • Table 13 – Country statistics Cook Islands – 2008
  • Table 14 – Telephone network statistics – 2008
  • Table 15 – Internet provider statistics – 2008
  • Table 16 – Internet user statistics – 2008
  • Table 17 – Mobile statistics – 2008
  • Table 18 – Internet users – 2001 - 2008
  • Table 19 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 1997 - 2008
  • Table 20 – Country statistics Federated States of Micronesia – 2008
  • Table 21 – Telephone network statistics – 2008
  • Table 22 – Internet provider statistics – 2008
  • Table 23 – Internet user statistics – 2008
  • Table 24 – Mobile statistics – 2008
  • Table 25 – National telecommunications authority
  • Table 26 – Internet users – 1996 - 2008
  • Table 27 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 1998 - 2008
  • Table 28 – Country statistics Fiji – 2008
  • Table 29 – Telephone network statistics – 2008
  • Table 30 – Internet provider statistics – 2008
  • Table 31 – Internet user statistics – 2008
  • Table 32 – Mobile statistics – March 2008
  • Table 33 – National telecommunications authority
  • Table 34 – Internet users and annual change – 1996 - 2008
  • Table 35 – Broadband subscribers and penetration rate – 2004 - 2008
  • Table 36 – Broadband subscribers by technology – mid 2008
  • Table 37 – Mobile subscribers and annual change – 1995 - 2008
  • Table 38 – Country statistics French Polynesia – 2008
  • Table 39 – Telephone network statistics – 2008
  • Table 40 – Internet provider statistics – 2008
  • Table 41 – Internet user statistics – 2008
  • Table 42 – Mobile statistics – 2008
  • Table 43 – Internet users – 1998 - 2002; 2004 - 2008
  • Table 44 – Broadband subscribers and penetration rate – 2004 - 2008
  • Table 45 – Mobile subscribers and annual change – 1995 - 2008
  • Table 46 – Country statistics Guam – 2008
  • Table 47 – Telephone network statistics – 2008
  • Table 48 – Internet provider statistics – 2008
  • Table 49 – Internet user statistics – 2008
  • Table 50 – Mobile statistics – 2008
  • Table 51 – National telecommunications authorities
  • Table 52 – Internet users and penetration rate – 1997; 2000 - 2008
  • Table 53 – Mobile operators and technology
  • Table 54 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 1994 - 2008
  • Table 55 – HafaTEL mobile subscribers – 2004; 2006 - 2007
  • Table 56 – Country statistics Kiribati – 2008
  • Table 57 – Telephone network statistics – 2008
  • Table 58 – Internet provider statistics – 2007
  • Table 59 – Internet user statistics – 2008
  • Table 60 – Mobile statistics – 2008
  • Table 61 – National telecommunications authority
  • Table 62 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 1995 - 2002; 2006
  • Table 63 – Payphones in operation throughout Kiribati – 2006
  • Table 64 – Internet subscribers – 2003 - 2008
  • Table 65 – Mobile subscribers – 1999 - 2008
  • Table 66 – Country statistics Marshall Islands – 2008
  • Table 67 – Telephone network statistics – 2008
  • Table 68 – Internet provider statistics – 2008
  • Table 69 – Internet user statistics – 2008
  • Table 70 – Mobile statistics – 2008
  • Table 71 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 1995 - 2004; 2008
  • Table 72 – Internet users – 1998 - 2008
  • Table 73 – Mobile subscribers – 1995; 2000 - 2008
  • Table 74 – Country statistics Nauru – 2008
  • Table 75 – Telephone network statistics – 2002
  • Table 76 – Internet provider statistics – 2003
  • Table 77 – Mobile statistics – 2002
  • Table 78 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 1997 - 2002
  • Table 79 – Country statistics New Caledonia – 2008
  • Table 80 – Telephone network statistics – 2008
  • Table 81 – Internet provider statistics – 2008
  • Table 82 – Internet user statistics – 2008
  • Table 83 – Mobile statistics – 2008
  • Table 84 – National telecommunications authority
  • Table 85 – Internet users – 1999 - 2008
  • Table 86 – Broadband users – 2003 - 2008
  • Table 87 – Mobile service revenues and increase – 2004
  • Table 88 – Mobile subscribers – 1997 - 2008
  • Table 89 – Country statistics Niue – 2008
  • Table 90 – Telephone network statistics – 2004
  • Table 91 – Internet provider statistics – 2005
  • Table 92 – Internet user statistics – 2008
  • Table 93 – Mobile statistics – 2008
  • Table 94 – National telecommunications authority
  • Table 95 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 1995 - 2004
  • Table 96 – Country statistics Northern Mariana Islands – 2008
  • Table 97 – Telephone network statistics – 2008
  • Table 98 – Internet provider statistics – 2008
  • Table 99 – Internet user statistics – 2008
  • Table 100 – Mobile statistics – 2008
  • Table 101 – National telecommunications authority
  • Table 102 – Mobile operators and subscribers – July 2007
  • Table 103 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 1999; 2001 - 2008
  • Table 104 – Country statistics Palau – 2008
  • Table 105 – Telephone network statistics – 2008
  • Table 106 – Internet provider statistics – 2008
  • Table 107 – Internet user statistics – 2008
  • Table 108 – Mobile statistics – 2008
  • Table 109 – Internet users – 1998 - 2008
  • Table 110 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 2001 - 2008
  • Table 111 – Country statistics Papua New Guinea – 2008
  • Table 112 – Telephone network statistics – 2008
  • Table 113 – Internet provider statistics – 2006
  • Table 114 – Internet user statistics – 2008
  • Table 115 – Mobile statistics – 2008
  • Table 116 – National telecommunications authorities
  • Table 117 – Internet users and penetration rate – 1998 - 1999; 2001 - 2008
  • Table 118 – Mobile operators and technology
  • Table 119 – Mobile subscribers by operator – June 2008
  • Table 120 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 1996 - 2008
  • Table 121 – Country statistics Pitcairn Island - 2008
  • Table 122 – Telecommunication statistics
  • Table 123 – Country statistics Samoa – 2008
  • Table 124 – Telephone network statistics – 2008
  • Table 125 – Internet provider statistics – 2008
  • Table 126 – Internet user statistics – 2008
  • Table 127 – Mobile statistics – 2008
  • Table 128 – National telecommunications authority
  • Table 129 – Internet users and penetration rate – 1997 - 2008
  • Table 11 – Mobile operators, subscribers and annual change – 2007 - 2008
  • Table 12 – Mobile subscribers and annual change – 1998 - 2008
  • Table 130 – Country statistics Solomon Islands – 2008
  • Table 131 – Telephone network statistics – 2008
  • Table 132 – Internet provider statistics – 2006
  • Table 133 – Internet user statistics – 2008
  • Table 134 – Mobile statistics – 2008
  • Table 135 – National telecommunications authority
  • Table 136 – Internet users – 1998 - 2001; 2004 - 2008
  • Table 137 – Mobile subscribers – 1995 - 2008
  • Table 138 – Country statistics Tokelau – 2008
  • Table 139 – Telephone network statistics
  • Table 140 – Country statistics Tonga – 2008
  • Table 141 – Telephone network statistics – 2008
  • Table 142 – Internet provider statistics – 2008
  • Table 143 – Internet user statistics – 2007
  • Table 144 – Mobile statistics – 2008
  • Table 145 – National telecommunications authority
  • Table 146 – Internet users – 1998 - 2008
  • Table 147 – Mobile subscribers – 1998 - 2008
  • Table 148 – Mobile operators and subscribers – July 2007
  • Table 149 – Country statistics Tuvalu – 2008
  • Table 150 – Telephone network statistics
  • Table 151 – Internet provider statistics
  • Table 152 – Internet user statistics – 2008
  • Table 153 – Internet subscribers – 2002 - 2008
  • Table 154 – Country statistics Vanuatu – 2008
  • Table 155 – Telephone network statistics – 2008
  • Table 156 – Internet provider statistics – 2008
  • Table 157 – Internet user statistics – 2008
  • Table 158 – Mobile statistics – 2008
  • Table 159 – Internet users and penetration rate – 1999 - 2008
  • Table 160 – Mobile subscribers – 1996 - 2008
  • Table 161 – Country statistics Wallis & Futuna Islands – 2008
  • Table 162 – Telephone network statistics – 2008
  • Table 163 – Internet statistics – 2008
  • Table 164 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 1996 - 2000; 2002; 2004
  • Exhibit 1 – Principal C&W operating companies and services in the South Pacific
  • Exhibit 2 – Major submarine cables and landing points in the Pacific region
  • Exhibit 3 – Broadband availability by access type – 2008
  • Exhibit 4 – South Pacific Island countries and operators with GSM networks
  • Exhibit 5 – TFL product & marketing strategy – market segmentation
  • Exhibit 6 – Guam ISPs and broadband providers – products and services
  • Exhibit 7 – GUAMCELL – Products and services
  • Exhibit 8 – HafaTEL products and services
  • Exhibit 9 – Rising sea levels threaten Tuvalu
  • Exhibit 10 – AusAID project

Related Reports

Annual Publication Profile

Technologies

Broadband Fixed
Internet
Mobile Communications (voice and infrastructure)
Strategies & Analyses (Industry & Markets)
Telecoms Infrastructure

Number of pages 222

Status Archived

Last updated 9 Dec 2008
Update History

Analyst: Stephen McNamara

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