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Malta - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

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Last updated: 19 Apr 2020 Update History

Report Pages: 133

Malta’s Melita providing gigabit broadband service nationally

Malta’s telecom sector is among the most advanced in Europe, with high mobile and broadband penetration rates and a strategy in place to capitalise on infrastructure to develop e-commerce opportunities.

The sector has also been stimulated by regulatory measures designed to reduce consumer prices and develop a national FttP network. Interest in Maltese telcos continues to attract investors, with Melita having been sold to EQT in late 2019 and (subject to regulatory approval) Vodafone Malta having been sold to Monaco Telecom.

There has also been some encouragement to increase market competition and so reduce prices for end-users. This led to the 2019 Virtual Unbundled Local Access (VULA) agreement between GO and Vodafone Malta by which Vodafone was able to enter the fixed broadband market using GO’s fibre infrastructure.

Melita provides a national gigabit service via its fibre and DOCSIS3.1 networks, while GO is currently investing in an extensive FttP network, which covered about 90,000 premises by late 2019. The company is investing €100 million to develop LTE and fibre through to 2023, while in early 2020 it also began work on a new submarine cable system linking to France and Egypt.

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:

  • Vodafone Group sells its Maltese unit to Monaco Telecom;
  • Melita launches 5G-ready network; completes project to deliver fibre networks to public schools;
  • Melita providing 1Gb/s broadband service nationally;
  • GO commits to €100 million five-year investment in fibre infrastructure, announces plans for submarine cable system linking to Marseille and Egypt;
  • Regulator restarts 800MHz auction process;
  • Government supporting a national FttP network;
  • Report update includes the regulator's market data updates to June 2019, telcos' operating data to Q3 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:

Vodafone Malta, GO, Melita, SIS, Ozone, Redtouch Fone, PING.

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