Papua New Guinea - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses
New submarine cable to provide better services for Papua New Guinea
Over the past few years, Papua New Guinea has experienced positive GDP growth and the government is currently introducing its national strategy, Vision 2050 which is hoped will further address long-term infrastructure requirements; improve general living conditions and maintain economic stability. Papua New Guinea is also being guided by its medium-term plan, The Papua New Guinea Development Strategic Plan.
Network deployment costs are high in PNG due to the relatively low subscriber base, the impervious terrain, and the high proportion of the population living in rural areas. As a result, fixed telecom infrastructure is almost non-existent outside urban centres, leaving most of the population un-serviced. The existing submarine cable infrastructure is also no longer adequate and Internet services are expensive and slow.
Internet access is expected to improve however with the 2018 build-out of a new submarine cable known as the Coral Sea Cable System which will link PNG to the Solomon Islands, with a connecting cable to the Australian (Sydney) landing station. It will provide increased capacity and reliability as well reduce Internet costs for consumers.
There have been recent improvements to mobile infrastructure as well, with additional 3G launches and 4G LTE deployment in some urban areas. This has resulted in growth for the mobile broadband sector which took a big leap forward in the past couple of years in terms of subscriber growth.
A significant pricing development occurred in Papua New Guinea in September 2018 when the Communication Minister rejected a Retail Service Determination (RSD) recommendation, due to concerns over its social and economic impact.
The Coral Sea Cable System is under development in 2018.
Bmobile and Citifon (Telikom PNG) plan to merge together to form Kumul Telecom. This was given ICCC approval towards the end of 2017.
In May 2018 the ICCC granted approval for DataCo to join the Kumul Telecom consortium as well.
The World Bank assisting PNG with funding to build mobile infrastructure in remote and rural areas.
In terms of Internet access, PNG has traditionally lagged other nations in terms of access and penetration. A need to bridge the digital divide continues to exist.
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