Timor Leste (East Timor) Telecoms Market Report

Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

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Publication Date: December 2023

Report Pages: 72

Analyst: Sebastien De Rosbo

Timorese government approves submarine cable link to Australia

Timor-Leste has been moving forward with the regeneration of its economy and rebuilding key infrastructure, including telecommunications networks, that were destroyed during the years of civil unrest.

Fixed-line and fixed broadband penetration in Timor-Leste remains extremely low, mainly due to the limited fixed-line infrastructure and the proliferation of mobile connectivity. However, in an effort to boost e-government services, in 2018 the government contracted Timor Telecom to build a national terrestrial fibre network. The project, completed in 2019, has helped boost fixed broadband subscriber growth and will continue to do so over the next few years. The number of subscribers through to 2026 is expected to develop steadily, though from a low base. However, market penetration will remain very low compared to other nations.

By August 2020, Timor-Leste had three telecom service providers who jointly achieved a 98% network coverage nationally. All three major mobile operators - Timor Telecom, Telkomcel and Telemor - launched LTE services during 2019.

Timor-Leste has seen a rapid increase in mobile broadband penetration over the last few years, driven by a rising proportion of mobile subscribers having smartphones. While the mobile broadband market is still at an early stage of development, strong growth is predicted over the next five years.

At the end of 2020, the government issued new policy guidelines to maximise the use of spectrum in Timor-Leste. It invited mobile operators to submit applications for the allocation of spectrum in the 1800MHz, 2300MHz and 2600MHz bands.

In November 2020, the government approved the deployment of a submarine fibre link connecting the south of the country to Australia via the North Western Cable System (NWCS).

Key developments:

  • Government approves deployment of a submarine fibre link connecting the south of the country to Australia;
  • New policy guidelines issued by the Ministry of Transport and Communications to maximise the use of radio spectrum in Timor-Leste;
  • ANC invites mobile operators to submit applications for the allocation of spectrum in the 1800MHz, 2300MHz and 2600MHz bands;
  • Kacific-1 satellite improves international connectivity for Timor-Leste;
  • Kacific Broadband Satellites Group plans its next satellite, Kacific-2;
  • Timor-Leste’s three telcos achieve 98% national network coverage;
  • Report update includes ITU data to 2019, regulator market data for 2019; telcos' financial and operating data, recent market developments.

Companies covered in this report include:

Timor Telecom, Telkomcel, Telemor, Kacific Broadband Satellites, Viettel, Portugal Telecom, Ceslink, Vocus, PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia International (Telin)

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