Publication Date: December 2023
Report Pages: 86
Analyst: Stephen Marshall
Brunei Darussalam seemed poised to start its economic recovery from the double blow it received to its GDP in 2020 from the Covid-19 crisis and a global slump in oil prices. However, expectations may have been dashed by the sudden emergence of the Covid-19 Delta variant in the country in August 2021, which followed months of zero cases. Brunei’s mobile market had already experienced a sharp drop-off in subscriber numbers in 2020, which must have put a serious dent in the overall telecom sector’s revenues. A further prolonged shutdown to try and regain control over the Covid-19 situation can only exacerbate the challenges for the sector, as it looks ahead to a new start in 2022 with more concerted efforts to build out the fixed-line infrastructure while also progressing towards introducing 5G mobile services.
Brunei’s fixed-line market is one of the few countries in the world to have displayed significant growth rather than a decline in teledensity in the last few years. This upward trend is set to continue as the new Unified National Network (UNN) works diligently to expand and enhance the fixed-line infrastructure around the country. Strong growth was also seen in the fixed broadband space, on the back of those same infrastructure developments that are part of the Brunei Vision 2035 initiative. That being said, fixed broadband penetration is starting from a relatively low base by international standards and is still only at 18%, leaving lots of room for growth.
Mobile and mobile broadband, on the other hand, are still suffering from the market contractions first felt in 2020. However, penetration rates for both segments were already extremely high so the decline may simply be a reflection of those users with services that were purely discretionary rather than being an indicator of any broader malaise in the sector.
This report includes the regulator's market data to June 2021, Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses, assessment of the global impact of Covid-19 on the telecoms sector, and other recent market developments.
Imagine (Telekom Brunei/TelBru), DST/DSTCom, Progresif (B-Mobile).
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