Vanuatu - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Rural satellite broadband and new LTE services come to Vanuatu

Telecoms services have progressed significantly in Vanuatu in recent years and in 2016 there have been two milestones reached with both the launch of LTE services by one of the leading players, Digicel, and the introduction of a rural satellite broadband service by Kacific.

Mobile phones have become the primary mode of communication across the country, bringing deep social changes. As of 2015, more than 92% of the population is covered by a mobile network – TVL’s reaches about 80% of the population, and Digicel’s around 90%. However, in rural areas mobile phone use is sometimes limited by electricity shortage, having to rely on solar cells, batteries, and diesel generators.

While fixed broadband penetration remains low in Vanuatu (1.63% per 100 inhabitants in 2015), it did grow significantly between 2013 and 2014 when operators began investing more heavily in fibre optic cables and the ICN1 submarine cable landed. This resulted in an increase in capacity and subsequent reduction in broadband pricing.

Following this, mobile broadband infrastructure also expanded and improved with pricing drops also applied to mobile internet subscriptions. Mobile and fixed broadband penetration in Vanuatu now sits at a more robust penetration rate of around 45%.

Vanuatu has developed a Universal Access Policy (UAP) which aims to make the following ICT services available to 98% of the population by 2018:

  • voice communication;
  • narrowband data services, including text messaging;
  • broadband with a download speed of at least 21Mb/s and an upload speed of at least 12Mb/s.

The UAP fund is subsidised primarily by AusAID. In September 2015 the TRR announced it had signed Undertaking Agreements in regards to the UAP with Telecom Vanuatu, Telsat Broadband and Digicel Vanuatu.

Key developments:

  • Mobile subscriber growth grew strongly in 2015, despite the devastating impact of Cyclone Pam in March of the same year. This was attributed to the fast recovery efforts by the mobile operators to both fix the damaged networks and reconnect users as quickly as possible.
  • Multiple SIM ownership continues to be common in Vanuatu, with many customers subscribing to both mobile networks in order to take advantage of discounts and special offers.
  • Mobile broadband internet growth is expected to remain strong in Vanuatu in the coming years, in comparison to other Pacific islands where adoption is already high.

Companies covered in this report include:

Telecom Vanuatu Ltd (TVL), Digicel Vanuatu, WanTok Network, Telsat Broadband, Spim Ltd, Global Telecom Pacific Ltd, Kacific, O3b, Interchange Cable Network , Hawaiki Cable Ltd.

Table of Contents

  • Key statistics

  • Country overview

  • Telecommunications market

    • Market analysis
    • Recent developments
  • Regulatory environment

    • Historic overview
    • Regulatory projects
    • Regulatory authority
      • Telecommunications and Radiocommunications Regulator (TRR)
    • Privatisation of Telecom Vanuatu
    • Liberalisation
    • Interconnect
    • Spectrum
    • National ICT Policy
    • Universal Access Policy (UAP)
  • Competition issues

  • Fixed network operators

    • Telecom Vanuatu Ltd
  • Telecommunications infrastructure

    • National telecom network
    • International infrastructure
      • Submarine
      • Satellite broadband
  • Smart infrastructure

    • Smart energy
  • Broadband access market

    • Introduction and statistical overview
      • Market analysis
    • Broadband statistics
  • Digital economy

    • Introduction
    • e-Government
    • e-Health
    • e-Education
  • Mobile communications

    • Market analysis
    • Mobile statistics
    • Mobile broadband statistics
  • Mobile infrastructure

    • GSM, 3G
    • 4G LTE
    • Major mobile operators
      • Telecom Vanuatu Ltd
      • Digicel Vanuatu
  • Mobile handsets

  • Related reports

List of Tables

  • Table 1 – Country statistics – 2015
  • Table 2 – Telephone network statistics – 2015
  • Table 3 – Broadband statistics – 2015
  • Table 4 – Mobile statistics – 2015
  • Table 5 – National telecommunications authorities
  • Table 6 – Evolution of GDP in Vanuatu – 2000 – 2016
  • Table 7 – Key telecom parameters – 2013; 2015
  • Table 8 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 1997 – 2015
  • Table 9 – Percentage of Internet users – 2010 – 2016
  • Table 10 – Fixed broadband subscribers and penetration rate – 2005 – 2015
  • Table 11 – Mobile subscribers and penetration – 2002 – 2016
  • Table 12 – Mobile broadband subscribers and penetration – 2011 – 2015

List of Exhibits

  • Exhibit 1 – Telecommunications licences
  • Exhibit 2 – Telecom Vanuatu at a glance
  • Exhibit 3 – Kacific satellite broadband

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In 2009 Paul contacted me and we engaged in the brainstorming sessions that led to the development of the UN Broadband Commission for Digital Development.

Paul is a visionary with a keen strategic approach. He is a powerful communicator, provides succinct analyses and has a complete knowledge of all the key information and communications technologies relating to broadband.

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