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

Executive Summary

Internet services to improve for the Solomon Islands

The Solomon Islands relies upon 3G mobile and satellite services as it primary means of both communication and Internet access. In recent years, the country has stabilised both politically and economically – and this, along with improvements to mobile infrastructure – has led to a sharp rise in mobile penetration.

Recent 3G mobile network expansions and upgrades by the two major operators, Our Telekom (operating as Breeze) and Bmobile-Vodafone, are improving mobile services and in turn driving uptake, including an increase in mobile broadband subscriptions. While the first 4G LTE services were launched in late 2017 in the capital Honiara; it is still 3G, and in many cases 2G, which is the main source of mobile telephony.

Improvements to Internet services are expected 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 Internet capacity and reliability as well reduce Internet costs for consumers’. The Solomon Islands will also benefit from a domestic cable which will be extended to key major islands.

Various international organisations such as The World Bank and Asian Development Bank have taken a special interest in seeing communication services improved in both the Solomon Islands and Pacific region in general. The Australian government is assisting by providing the majority of funding for the new submarine cable system, with contributions and support also coming from both governments from the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea.

Key developments:

  • Internet penetration has only reached around 20% and the majority of citizens are accessing the internet via 3G mobile services.
  • The first 4G LTE network was launched in November 2017 by Our Telekom.
  • Bmobile-Vodafone has been improving its backhaul cellular network in order to offer 3G data services in more parts of the Solomon Islands.
  • The first interconnection adjudication was required by the Telecommunications Commission of the Solomon Islands in 2017.
  • The government of the Solomon Islands has acknowledged that improving the ICT sector needs to be a priority and has addressed this in its current National Development Strategy.
  • Companies covered in this report include:

Our Telekom (Breeze); Bmobile-Vodafone; Kacific Broadband Satellite, O3b, Solomon Island Submarine Cable Company.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Executive Summary
  • 2. Key statistics
  • 3. Country overview
  • 4. Telecommunications market
    • 4.1 Historical overview
    • 4.2 Market analysis
    • 4.3 National Development Strategy 2016 - 2035
  • 5. Regulatory environment
    • 5.1 Historic overview
    • 5.2 Regulatory authority
      • 5.2.1 Telecommunications Commission of Solomon Islands (TCSI)
    • 5.3 Telecommunications Bill 2009
    • 5.4 Licensing fees
      • 5.4.1 Telecommunications supplementary licence fee regulations 2017
    • 5.5 Interconnection adjudication
    • 5.6 Spectrum management
    • 5.7 Broadcasting policy
    • 5.8 Network sharing
  • 6. Fixed network operator in Solomon Islands
    • 6.1 Solomon Telekom Co Ltd (Our Telekom)
  • 7. Telecommunications infrastructure
    • 7.1 Overview of the national telecom network
    • 7.2 International infrastructure (submarine, satellite)
      • 7.2.1 Satellite networks
      • 7.2.2 Submarine cable
  • 8. Fixed-line broadband market
    • 8.1 Market analysis
      • 8.1.1 Internet downloading
  • 9. Digital economy/digita media
  • 10. Mobile communications
    • 10.1 Market analysis
      • 10.1.1 Historical overview
      • 10.1.2 Current market
    • 10.2 Mobile statistics
    • 10.3 Mobile broadband statistics
    • 10.4 Mobile infrastructure
      • 10.4.1 GSM, 3G
      • 10.4.2 4G LTE
    • 10.5 Major mobile operators
      • 10.5.1 Breeze
      • 10.5.2 Bmobile / Vodafone
  • 11. Mobile content and applications
    • 11.1 m-Banking (payments/loans)
  • 12. Mobile handsets
  • 13. Related reports
  • Table 1 – Top Level Country Statistics and Telco Authorities- Solomon Islands – 2018 (e)
  • Table 2 – Evolution of GDP and inflation in Solomon Islands – 2012 - 2019
  • Table 3 – Internet subscribers by technology (actual) – 2016; 2017
  • Table 4 – telecommunications sector revenue – 2016; 2017
  • Table 5 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 2005 - 2018
  • Table 6 – International bandwidth – 2004 - 2017
  • Table 7 – Fixed broadband subscribers and penetration – 2004 - 2018
  • Table 8 – mobile subscriptions and penetration rate – 2005 - 2018
  • Table 9 – annual mobile sector ARPU – 2016; 2017
  • Table 10 – Mobile broadband subscribers and user penetration rate – 2010 - 2018
  • Chart 1 - Mobile subscriptions versus mobile broadband subscriptions - 2011 - 2018
  • Exhibit 1 – Our Telekom at a glance
  • Exhibit 2 – Vodafone moved into the market in 2014

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