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Macau - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

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Last updated: 7 Oct 2020 Update History

Report Pages: 86

Analyst: Sebastien De Rosbo

Macau preps for commercial 5G launch

Macau’s sophisticated telecom market boasts the higher mobile penetration rates in the world, as also one of the highest densities of FttP deployment. The liberalised market is managed by a fully independent regulator, and while there is effective competition in the mobile market the fixed-line and fixed broadband sectors are dominated by the former incumbent CMT, though there are a number of licensed ISPs to offer services.

The number of fixed lines in service continues to fall as the market is transitioned to a fully fibred network. The mobile market is also transitioned to LTE: services based on GSM were discontinued in late 2019 and subscribers on 3G networks are rapidly migrating to LTE. By August 2020 the 3G segment accounted for only 3% of all mobile subscriptions.

High mobile penetration is largely due to the millions of visitors to Macau who acquire SIM cards. The number of prepaid SIM cards in circulation fell significantly in the first half of 2020 as a result of travel restrictions imposed during the pandemic.

The regulator has outlined its spectrum strategy for 5G and following a number of trials since 2019 the MNOs are poised to launch commercial services by the end of 2020.

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:

  • CTM completes first phase of 5G network rollout, launches a 10Gb/s broadband service for residential customers;
  • SIM card registration deadline is passed;
  • Macau's smart city project development shows progress;
  • Report update includes Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses, assessment of the global impact of COVID-19 on the telecoms sector, regulator market data to August 2020, operator data to Q2 2020, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Companhia de Telecomunicações de Macau (CTM), MTel, Macau Cable TV, Macau Basic Television Channels Limited, MOOV, KKBox, Soliton, SmarTone, 3 Macau, China Telecom

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