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.
Vodafone Malta, GO, Melita, SIS, Ozone, Redtouch Fone, PING.
Table of Contents
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Number of pages 78
Last updated 9 Nov 2018
Analyst: Henry Lancaster
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