Last updated: 26 Oct 2021 Update History
Report Pages: 89
Analyst: Sebastien De Rosbo
Fixed-line teledensity in Papua New Guinea has seen little change over the past two decades. Progress in the country’s telecom sector has come primarily from mobile networks, where accessibility has expanded considerably in recent years, with population coverage increasing from less than 3% in 2006 to more than 90% by early 2021. The two MNOs operate networks offering services based on GSM, 3G, and LTE, depending on location. GSM is prevalent in many rural and remote areas, while 3G and LTE are centred more on urban areas. GSM still represents the majority of all mobile connections.
Network deployment costs are high, partly due to the relatively low subscriber base, the difficult 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. PNG is the Pacific region’s largest poorly developed telecom market, with only around 22% of its people connected to the internet.
The existing submarine cable infrastructure is insufficient to serve the country’s needs. Low international capacity has meant that internet services are expensive and slow. Internet access has improved, however, with the Coral Sea Cable System which came online in 2019. The cable links PNG to the Solomon Islands and Australia (landing at Sydney). The PIPE Pacific Cable is in the process of being upgraded to a capacity of 12Tb/s, with the work expected to be completed by the end of 2021.
In a bid to challenge the encroaching influence of China, the Australian government and Telstra jointly acquired the troubled Digicel Pacific, including the latter’s units in Fiji, Nauru, PNG, Samoa, Tonga, and Vanuatu. As part of its efforts to promote itself in the region, and to counter the growing influence of China’s telcos, the Australian government provided the bulk of the funds to complete the deal.
By September 2021 progress had been made on the merger of the state-owned telcos Bmobile, Telikom, and DataCo, creating a more efficient vertically integrated operator.
Kumul Telikom, Telikom PNG, PNG DataCo, Bmobile (Vodafone), Digicel, Kacific Broadband Satellites
Paul has been a consistent champion of improving broadband in Australia, and is most deserving of the industry's ongoing support.
B Beckor, Callpoint, Australia
BuddeComm's strategic business reports contain a combination of both primary and secondary research statistics, analyses written by our senior analysts supported by a network of experts, industry contacts and researchers from around the world as well as our own scenario forecasts.
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