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Brunei Darussalam - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

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Last updated: 29 Apr 2020 Update History

Report Pages: 78

Analyst: Sebastien De Rosbo

Brunei taking steps to improve the unified national telecom network

Brunei is a small and wealthy nation in South East Asia, with a population of about 430,000. Telecommunications infrastructure and services throughout the country are of a generally high standard, bolstered by a high GDP per capita which has allowed for considerable investment in networks and services.

In BuddeComm’s Asian Telecoms Maturity Index, which measures the relative maturity of the telecoms industry in all of the 34 countries in Asia, Brunei is ranked 10th with a Telecoms Maturity Index score of 55.4 (out of 100).

In 2019 Brunei’s telecom infrastructure was regrouped under a single entity, the Unified National Networks (UNN). The networks of the three telcos (Telekom Brunei, Datastream Technology, and Progresif Cellular), all owned by Darussalam Asset, were incorporated within UNN and each now provides retail services with equal access to the national network, which became a subsidiary of Darussalam Asset. The Brunei International Gateway (BIG) also came under UNN’s umbrella.

During the last five years the number of mobile subscribers has increased steadily, though growth has slowed in response to higher penetration. Growth during the next few years will be supported by lower pricing for end-users expected to result from the UNN, as well as the launch of 5G services in 2021. These developments will also boost the mobile broadband sector.

BuddeComm notes that the outbreak of the Coronavirus in 2020 is having a significant impact on production and supply chains globally. During the coming year the telecoms sector to various degrees is likely to experience a downturn in mobile device production, while it may also be difficult for network operators to manage workflows when maintaining and upgrading existing infrastructure. Overall progress towards 5G may be postponed or slowed down in some countries.

On the consumer side, spending on telecoms services and devices is under pressure from the financial effect of large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes. However, the crucial nature of telecom services, both for general communication as well as a tool for home-working, will offset such pressures. In many markets the net effect should be a steady though reduced increased in subscriber growth.

Although it is challenging to predict and interpret the long-term impacts of the crisis as it develops, these have been acknowledged in the industry forecasts contained in this report.

The report also covers the responses of the telecom operators as well as government agencies and regulators as they react to the crisis to ensure that citizens can continue to make optimum use of telecom services. This can be reflected in subsidy schemes and the promotion of tele-health and tele-education, among other solutions.

Key developments

  • UNN created to provide a national telecom infrastructure;
  • All three telcos granted global licenses.
  • 5G services anticipated in 2021;
  • TelBru rebrands as Imagine, launches mobile services;
  • Number Portability services are launched;
  • Brunei gains access to telecom services via the Kacific-1 satellite;
  • Report update includes the regulator’s market data for 2019, Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses, assessment of the global impact of COVID-19 on the telecoms sector, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report

Imagine (Telekom Brunei/TelBru); DSTCom; B-Mobile; Progresif (Progresif Cellular); Darussalam Assets

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