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Marshall Islands - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

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Last updated: 21 Aug 2016 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 29

Analyst: Kylie Wansink

International attention brings telecoms benefits to the Republic of Marshall Islands

The Marshall Islands was identified by the World Bank as being one the least connected communities in the world in 2013. It was subsequently awarded funding from the World Bank to improve Internet and mobile services. A number of other organisations have also providing financial assistance in recent years with the US government, the United Nations, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), International Telecommunication Satellite Organisation (ITSO), and Kacific Broadband Satellites being examples of some of the organisations offering funding and donations to improve various conditions for the country.

In 2013 the World Bank provided US$3 million in funding to be used to improve mobile and internet services. The World Bank hoped to encourage the telecoms market to be opened up to competition in order to improve access and bring services prices down. It also hoped to improve regulatory and legal frameworks which would be more conducive to telecoms progress as well as develop incentives to attract private investment, as seen in other South Pacific countries.

In 2014, the ITU, on behalf of the United Nations, was working with Kacific Broadband Satellite to develop satellite capacity in the Pacific islands. Kacific agreed to donate a one-year supply of 50Mb/s of dedicated bandwidth for eleven Pacific Island nations, including the Marshall Islands, as well as 40 terminals. The ITU and ITSO were also providing significant funding for this project.

In 2016 the Marshall Islands is facing severe drought which is heavily impacting upon overall progress. However, as a result of the telecoms infrastructure improvements made in recent years, the Marshall Islands can now claim a mobile penetration of more than 30% and a significant rise in Internet users at around 19%.

Key developments:

  • In 2016 the Marshall Islands are suffering from a severe drought after only a quarter of the usual rainfall was received during the November – February period. The US is providing emergency drought relief funding.
  • In recent years the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) has been the fortunate recipient of funding from of a number of international organisations, in addition to the ongoing financial support it receives from the US government.
  • The World Bank identified the Marshall Islands as being particularly susceptible to sea-level rises and climate change along with the atoll nations of Kiribati and Tuvalu.
  • Mobile penetration in the Marshall Islands sits at around 30%.
  • Radio communication is still an important platform, especially for the more remote islands.

Companies covered in this report include:

Marshall Islands National Telecommunications Authority (NTA), The World Bank, The International Telecommunication Union, Kacific Broadband, International Telecommunication Satellite Organisation (ITSO).

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