Timor-Leste has been pressing ahead with the regeneration of its economy and the rebuilding of infrastructure. The effort to roll out telecommunications infrastructure in particular has been a key part of this. Despite the considerable energy that has been going into this rebuilding, the prevailing social and political environment continues to present major challenges to those seeking to improve the country.
The country’s telecommunications sector has been expanding with the mobile telephone sector experiencing a particularly strong and sustained surge. After recording huge annual growth rates over a number of years from 2006 onwards, by 2015 the country’s mobile subscriber base had increased rapidly in a short period of time and penetration had moved past the 100% mark.
Most other sectors in the telecom market in Timor Leste however remain in relatively early stages of development.
The mobile broadband subscriber base in Timor Leste has been growing strongly in term of annual growth rates however only from a very small base.
Fixed-line network expansion continues to languish, however, with fixed teledensity down around 0.3% and seemingly stuck there. Although it is difficult to get accurate figures on the internet market, it is clear that growth in this sector remained highly constricted and there is little optimism about online activity in Timor Leste in the short term. Whilst there is a limited fixed broadband service in the country, the number of subscribers for this type of access remains extremely low. The advent of mobile broadband internet access has provided a boost to the internet sector; however, again, the initial penetration figures were not as yet having a major impact on the overall market.
While the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) does provide some statistical information on this market, the information is limited. It has continued to be a difficult task to obtain official statistics for the country’s telecom sector. Where official statistics are not available, BuddeComm has attempted to provide estimates.
Number of pages 27
Last updated 18 Jan 2017
Analyst: Phil Harpur
As you know, I have resigned from the Labor Ministry and have decided not to re-contest the seat of Charlton at the next election – both for personal reasons.
Before leaving Parliament, I particularly wish to record my thanks to you for your generous and constructive participation in the deliberations that generated significant economic policy reforms for the Australian community. Continuous economic transformation is a key challenge that faces all Governments.
The development of sound public policy should always be contestable. Ultimately, good and equitable outcomes are not concessions to any particular interest group, but the careful balancing of interests to create the greatest possible benefit for the nation. You have contributed to that, and I sincerely thank you for it.
Greg Combet, Former Minister for Climate Change, Industry and Innovation
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