French Polynesia Telecoms Market Report

Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

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Publication Date: June 2024

Report Pages: 54

Analyst: Sebastien De Rosbo

Natitua Sud to increase international bandwidth

French Polynesia has one of the most advanced telecoms infrastructures in the Pacific Islands region. The remoteness of the country with its scattering of 130 islands and atolls has made connectivity vital for its inhabitants. Office des Postes et Télécommunications is the primary provider of domestic telecom services, mobile telephony, and internet services, while its subsidiary, Tahiti Nui Telecommunications, provides international voice services and manages the submarine cable infrastructure.

The first submarine cable was deployed in 2010 and since then additional cables have been connected to the islands, vastly improving French Polynesia’s international connectivity. An additional domestic submarine cable, the Natitua Sud, will connect more remote islands by the end of 2022.

French Polynesia is also a hub for satellite communications in the region. It hosts one of the uplink systems of the Galileo satellite network, the Kacific-1 satellite and the Intelsat satellite network, for example.

With improved international connectivity, fixed broadband penetration has become amongst the highest in the region. A considerable number of consumers access FttP-based services. With the first data centre in French Polynesia on the cards, the quality and price of broadband services is expected to improve as content will be able to be cached locally, reducing costs for consumers. For 2022, fixed broadband penetration reached an estimated 22%.

About 43% of the country’s mobile connections are on 3G networks, while LTE accounts for 12%. By 2025, LTE is expected to account for more than half of all connections. It is also estimated that 77% of mobile subscribers will have smart phones by 2025.

Key developments:

  • Covid-19 Delta variant continues to devastate French Polynesia’s health system, leading to lockdowns and curfews;
  • Kacific-1 satellite and Manatua cables increase international bandwidth;
  • Natitua Sud domestic submarine cable connects Tahiti to Tubuai and Rurutu;
  • TNT searches for a commercial partner to construct a 12MWp solar farm project to host the country’s first data centre;
  • Fixed broadband penetration passes 22%;
  • This quarterly update includes the regulator’s market data to December 2020, telcos' financial and operating data to end-2021, and recent market developments.

Companies covered in this report include:

Office des Postes et Télécommunications (OPT), Intelsat, Kacific Broadband Satellites Group, Tahiti Nui Telecommunications, Galileo, Gilat Satellite Networks, Vini, Honotua Cable, Vodafone Polynesia, Avaroa Cable (ACL), Telecom Niue (TNL) and Samoa Submarine Cable Company (SSCC), SES Networks.

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