This unique report on the telecommunications sector in the South Pacific provides information on trends and developments in this increasingly progressive region. A number of drivers are leading to investment in telecoms improvements for many South Pacific islands, including the growing need to offer fast and reliable telecoms services for the tourism sector which is important to the economy. Telecoms infrastructure and technologies are also being applied to assist in the growing need to create more sustainability in the South Pacific region in the wake of natural disasters. This report provides valuable information on the telecoms sectors for a selection of island nations from the South Pacific, including: : Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, New Caledonia, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Tonga, Vanuatu.
Researcher:- Kylie Wansink
Current publication date:- November 2016 (13th Edition)
The geography of the South Pacific region has made internet connectivity a serious problem for many of the remote islands. Submarine fibre-optic networks are expensive to build and maintain, with capital costs prohibitive for the smaller island communities. Some countries have to rely solely on geostationary satellites. As a result, bandwidth is limited and broadband prices are high.
In this environment, it is mobile technology which has thrived. In recent years BuddeComm has noticed an increase of mobile subscribers generally speaking across the board in the South Pacific – at the expense of fixed lines which are declining.
There are a number of reasons for this; including the realisation that mobile technologies are far more suited to providing services to the many islands spread across a vast geography. In addition, there are limited funds available for building telecommunications infrastructure so it must be directed towards the most economical and suitable technologies.
While mobile penetration is still low when compared to more developed markets; in most of the Pacific Island nations there is good mobile coverage in the capital cities and in some cases, there is also reasonable coverage across some of the more remote atolls.
Having access to communication services is crucial to these island nations. They are all vulnerable to natural disasters such as cyclones and drought, as well as rising sea levels. In emergency situations the islanders need access to the outside world. In addition; telecommunications can assist in alleviating the isolation experienced by many of the more remote islands as well as provide important access to health care, education and government services.
Telecommunications also play an important part in economic stability. The Pacific Islands are highly dependent upon the tourism industry and the World Bank has recognised that improving connectivity in the Pacific is vital for growth in this sector. Complaints are often made by tourists regarding the poor network coverage and high service prices across the region.
In recent years, there have been significant progress in improving telecommunications services in the Pacific. Concern regarding climate change has ignited international interest towards the South Pacific as it is in the frontline for rising sea levels and natural disasters. Telecoms and digital technologies are being used to monitor the growth of climate change as this serious issue has repercussions for the entire international community.
As a result; various international funding, grants and private investment has been directed towards improving conditions, including telecoms infrastructure. International submarine cables are being deployed in some instances and satellite services are also being upgraded. One significant development underway is the agreement that Kacific Broadband Satellite has made with a number of Pacific Islands which will see vast improvements in satellite broadband access and speed.
Companies mentioned in this report include:
Alcatel-Lucent, Amalgamated Telecom Holdings (ATH), Amalgamated Telecom Holdings Kiribati Limited (ATHKL), Amper SA, Asia Broadcast Satellite (ABS), A-Tel, Bmobile, Blue Sky Samoa, Citifon, Click TV, Computer Services Limited (CSL), DataNets, Datec, Digicel, DoCoMo Pacific, EMTV, Fiji International Telecommunications Limited (FINTEL), Fintel Internet Services (Kidanet), FSM Telecom Corporation (FSMTC), Galileo, Global Internet, Global Telecom Pacific Ltd, Greencom, GTA, Hawaiki Cable Ltd, HiTRON, Honotua Cable; Huawei, Inkk Mobile, Intelia, Interchange Cable Network, International Telecommunication Satellite Organisation (ITSO), IT&E, Kacific Broadband Satellite, O3b, Office des Postes et Télécommunications de Nouvelle-Calédonie (OPT-NC), Office des Postes et Télécommunications (OPT); Online South Pacific, Our Telekom (Breeze), Pacific Emerging Technologies (PET), PACTEL, Palau National Communications Corporation (PNCC), Palau Telecom, PNG DataCo, Samoa.ws, Southern Cross Cable Network (SCCN), Spim Ltd, Tahiti Nui Telecommunications, Telikom PNG, Telecom Fiji Limited (TFL), Telecom Services Kiribati Ltd (TSKL), Telecom Vanuatu Ltd (TVL), Telsat Broadband, Tonga Communications Corporation (TCC), Tonga Digicel (formerly TonFon), Tonga Cable, Tuvalu Telecommunications Corporation (TTC), The Asian Development Bank, The International Telecommunication Union, The World Bank, Unwired Fiji, Vihaan Networks Limited (VNL), Vini; Vodafone, WanTok Network.
Number of pages 202
Last updated 2 Nov 2016
Analyst: Kylie Wansink
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Kristan J. Wheaton, Mercyhurst College Institute of Intelligence Studies
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