Malta - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Executive summary

Malta’s Melita preps for 5G with Ericsson

Despite its small size, 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, pave the way towards a national FttP telecom network and increase competition. To this end the Competition Authority examined the proposed merger between Vodafone Malta and Melita, a move which would have allowed the merged entity to provide a more effective challenge to the incumbent telco GO but which would essentially have created a market duopoly, given that other licensed operators have a very small market share. In December 2017 Apax Partners, Fortino Capital and Vodafone Group called off the merger, citing difficulties in securing regulatory approval.

The broadband market is dominated by two companies: Melita, which retains a monopoly on cable services, and GO, which commands a near complete monopoly in the DSL and fibre segments. An island-wide WiMAX service is provided by Vodafone, while Melita also operates an extensive Wi-Fi mesh network. GO is currently investing in an extensive FttP network, which covered about 75,000 premises by September 2018. An all-fibre backhaul network also supports the company’s LTE infrastructure. In late 2017 the company embarked on a five-year €100 million investment program focussed on LTE and fibre infrastructure, as also on upgrading submarine cable capacity.

The mobile market is dominated by Vodafone Malta, GO Mobile and Melita Mobile, with Redtouch Fone and VFC Mobile the only MVNOs.

The key issue for coming years will be the continuing effort by the regulator to encourage a national broadband network through developing regulations attractive to investors, and so maintain momentum in one of Europe’s smallest markets.

Key developments:

  • Vodafone Malta planning NB-IoT network launch;
  • Melita launches ‘5G ready’ LTE-A network;
  • Vodafone expands LTE-A reach;
  • Melita launches a 1Gb/s broadband service;
  • GO commits to €100 million five-year investment;
  • Regulator restarts 800MHz auction process;
  • Government supporting a national FttP network;
  • GO launches a 500Mb/s fibre-based service;
  • Report update includes the regulator’s market data updates to June 2018, telcos’ operating data to Q3 2018, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

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

Table of Contents

  • 1. Executive summary
  • 2. Key statistics
  • 3. Country overview
  • 4. Telecommunications market
  • 5. Regulatory environment
    • 5.1 Historical overview
    • 5.2 Regulatory authority
    • 5.3 Digital Society initiatives
    • 5.4 Telecom sector liberalisation
    • 5.5 Privatisation
    • 5.6 Interconnect
    • 5.7 Access
    • 5.8 Carrier PreSelection (CPS)
    • 5.9 Number Portability (NP)
  • 6. Fixed network operators
    • 6.1 GO
    • 6.2 Melita
  • 7. Telecommunications infrastructure
    • 7.1 Overview of the national telecom network
    • 7.2 International infrastructure
    • 7.3 VoIP
  • 8. Wholesale
  • 9. Fixed-line broadband market
    • 9.1 Introduction and statistical overview
    • 9.2 Broadband statistics
    • 9.3 Fixed-line broadband technologies
      • 9.3.1 Hybrid Fibre Coax (HFC) networks
      • 9.3.2 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks
      • 9.3.3 Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP) networks
    • 9.4 Other fixed broadband services
      • 9.4.1 Satellite
      • 9.4.2 Wireless broadband
      • 9.4.3 Videostreaming
  • 10. Digital economy
  • 11. Mobile market
    • 11.1 Market analysis
    • 11.2 Mobile statistics
    • 11.3 Mobile infrastructure
      • 11.3.1 5G
      • 11.3.2 4G (LTE)
      • 11.3.3 3G
    • 11.4 Other infrastructure developments
      • 11.4.1 NB-IoT
    • 11.5 Mobile data
      • 11.5.1 Short Message Service (SMS)
      • 11.5.2 Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
    • 11.6 Mobile broadband
    • 11.7 Regulatory issues
      • 11.7.1 Roaming
      • 11.7.2 Mobile Termination Rates (MTRs)
      • 11.7.3 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
      • 11.7.4 Spectrum regulations and spectrum auctions
      • 11.7.5 Spectrum auctions
    • 11.8 Major mobile operators
      • 11.8.1 Vodafone Malta
      • 11.8.2 GO Mobile
      • 11.8.3 Melita Mobile
      • 11.8.4 MVNOs
  • 12. Related reports
  • Table 1 – Top Level Country Statistics and Telco Authorities - Malta – 2018 (e)
  • Table 2 – Telecom sector revenue – 2009 - 2016
  • Table 3 – Annual fixed numbers ported – 2007 - 2018
  • Table 4 – Fixed-line subscriber market share by operator – 2007 - 2018
  • Table 5 – Total fixed-line calls – 2009 - 2018
  • Table 6 – Total outgoing fixed-line traffic – 2008 - 2018
  • Table 7 – GO financial data (Lm) – 2004 - 2007
  • Table 8 – GO Group financial data (€) – 2007 - 2018
  • Table 9 – Fixed lines in service and penetration rate – 2001 - 2018
  • Table 10 – Fixed lines by operator – 2012 - 2018
  • Table 11 – Historic - Dialup internet subscribers – 2005 - 2010
  • Table 12 – Internet users and penetration – 2002 - 2018
  • Table 13 – Broadband subscriptions by platform – 2002 - 2018
  • Table 14 – Proportion of broadband connections by data rate – 2013 - 2018
  • Table 15 – Broadband market share by operator – 2007 - 2018
  • Table 16 – Broadband penetration – 2005 - 2018
  • Table 17 – Broadband ARPU – 2011 - 2018
  • Table 18 – Melita cable broadband subscribers – 2009 - 2018
  • Table 19 – DSL subscribers – 2009 - 2018
  • Table 20 – GO fibre broadband subscribers – 2015 - 2018
  • Table 21 – Fixed wireless subscribers – 2007 - 2018
  • Table 22 – BWA share of broadband market – 2007 - 2018
  • Table 23 – IPTV subscribers – 2011 - 2018
  • Table 24 – Annualised blended mobile ARPU – 2013 - 2018
  • Table 25 – Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 1998 - 2009
  • Table 26 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 2010 - 2019
  • Table 27 – Mobile market share by operator – 2007 - 2018
  • Table 28 – Mobile traffic – 2005 - 2018
  • Table 29 – Proportion of contract and prepaid subscribers, all operators – 2005 - 2018
  • Table 30 – Prepaid and contract subscribers, all operators – 2005 - 2018
  • Table 31 – SMS messages sent – 2005 - 2018
  • Table 32 – Average cost of SMS messages (€) – 2011 - 2016
  • Table 33 – MMS messages – 2006 - 2018
  • Table 34 – Mobile broadband subscribers by type – 2012 - 2018
  • Table 35 – Active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration – 2008 - 2018
  • Table 36 – European roaming charges – 2007 – 2016
  • Table 37 – European data roaming charges – 2014 - 2017
  • Table 38 – Roaming traffic (outbound) – 2014 – 2018
  • Table 39 – Historic - Mobile termination rates by operator – 2005 – 2010; 2012
  • Table 40 – Annual mobile number portings – 2006 - 2018
  • Table 41 – Vodafone Malta subscribers – 2005 - 2018
  • Table 42 – GO Mobile subscribers – 2009 - 2018
  • Table 43 – Melita mobile subscribers – 2009 - 2018
  • Table 44 – MVNO subscribers by operators – 2011 - 2018
  • Chart 1 – Fixed-line subscriber market share by operator – 2007 – 2018
  • Chart 2 – GO Group financial data – 2007 - 2018
  • Chart 3 – Fixed lines in service and penetration rate – 2003 – 2018
  • Chart 4 – Fixed lines by operator – 2012 – 2018
  • Chart 5 – Broadband subscriptions by platform – 2005 – 2018
  • Chart 6 – Proportion of broadband connections by data rate – 2013 – 2018
  • Chart 7 – Broadband market share by operator – 2007 – 2018
  • Chart 8 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 2005 – 2019
  • Chart 9 – Mobile market share by operator – 2007 – 2018
  • Chart 10 – Proportion of contract and prepaid subscribers, all operators – 2005 – 2018
  • Chart 11 – Prepaid and contract subscribers, all operators – 2005 – 2018
  • Chart 12 – SMS messages – 2005 – 2018
  • Chart 13 – Active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration – 2008 – 2018
  • Exhibit 1 – 3G licence allocations – 2005; 2007
  • Exhibit 2 – Mobile operators and spectrum allocation range

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