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

February 2021 | 69 pages | ID: SC6558519DC4EN
BuddeComm

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Coral Sea Cable System alleviates international bandwidth constraints

Telecommunication infrastructure in the Solomon Islands requires significant investment due to the geographical make-up of the islands. Although various international organisations such as the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank have taken a special interest in having communication services improved in both the Solomon Islands and the Pacific region in general, internet and broadband penetration remain low. The provision of broadband infrastructure, particularly to rural areas, is also hindered by land disputes.

Internet services have, however, improved with the build-out of the Coral Sea Cable System linking Papua New Guinea to the Solomon Islands, as also with a connecting cable to a landing station at Sydney. The Australian government provided most of the funding for the Coral Sea Cable System, with contributions and support from the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea governments.

The launch of the Kacific-1 satellite in late 2019 also improved broadband satellite capacity for the region.

In recent years, the country has stabilised both politically and economically and this, along with improvements to mobile infrastructure, has led to a rise in mobile penetration and the slow uptake of broadband services. While the first LTE services were launched in late 2017 in the capital Honiara, the main platform for mobile voice and data services remains 3G, while in outlying areas GSM is still an important technology for the provision of services.

BuddeComm notes that the outbreak of the Coronavirus continues to have a significant impact on production and supply chains globally. During the coming year the telecoms sector, to various degrees, is likely to experience a downturn in mobile device production, while it may also be difficult for network operators to manage workflows when maintaining and upgrading existing infrastructure. Overall progress towards 5G may be postponed or slowed down in some countries.

On the consumer side, spending on telecoms services and devices is under pressure from the financial effect of large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes. However, the crucial nature of telecom services, both for general communication as well as a tool for home-working, will offset such pressures. In many markets the net effect should be a steady though reduced increased in subscriber growth.

Key developments:
  • Coral Sea Cable System alleviating international bandwidth constraints, focus shifts to improving last mile connectivity;
  • Solomon Islands Domestic Cable Network connecting to Coral Sea Cable System;
  • Kacific-1 providing additional international bandwidth;
  • Possible amendment to the Telecommunications Act to address cyber-bullying, SIM card registration required;
  • Growth in mobile data consumption driven by high proportion of consumers under the age of 25;
  • Mobile market remaining dominated by prepaid subscribers;
  • Report update includes an assessment of the global impact of Covid-19 on the telecoms sector, recent market developments.
Companies covered in this report include:

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

2 COUNTRY OVERVIEW

3 COVID-19 AND ITS IMPACT ON THE TELECOM SECTOR

3.1 Economic considerations and responses
3.2 Mobile devices
3.3 Subscribers
3.4 Infrastructure
3.5 Impact on the Solomon islands

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
5.3 Telecommunications Act 2009
5.4 Licensing fees
5.5 Interconnection adjudication
5.6 Spectrum management
5.7 Broadcasting policy
5.8 Network sharing

6 MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS

6.1 Market analysis
6.2 Mobile statistics
6.3 Mobile broadband statistics
6.4 Mobile infrastructure
6.5 Major mobile operators
6.6 Mobile content and applications
6.7 m-Banking (payments/loans)
6.8 Mobile handsets

7 FIXED-LINE BROADBAND MARKET

7.1 Market analysis

8 FIXED NETWORK OPERATOR

8.1 Our Telekom (Solomon Telekom)

9 TELECOMMUNICATIONS INFRASTRUCTURE

9.1 Overview of the national telecom network
9.2 International infrastructure

10 APPENDIX HISTORIC DATA

11 GLOSSARY OF ABBREVIATIONS

12 RELATED REPORTS

LIST OF TABLES

Table 1 Top Level Country Statistics and Telco Authorities- Solomon Islands 2020 (e)
Table 2 Evolution of GDP and inflation in Solomon Islands 2011 2022
Table 3 Internet subscribers by technology 2010 - 2019
Table 4 Solomon Islands - telecommunications sector revenue 2016 - 2019
Table 5 Growth in the number of mobile subscriptions and penetration 2011 2026
Table 6 Annual mobile sector ARPU 2015 - 2018
Table 7 Growth in the number of mobile broadband subscribers and user penetration 2011 2026
Table 8 Percentage of mobile connections by technology 2018; 2025
Table 9 Fixed broadband subscribers and penetration 2011 2026
Table 10 Fixed lines in service and teledensity 2011 2026
Table 11 Solomon Islands - International bandwidth 2010 2018
Table 12 Historic - Solomon Islands - International bandwidth 2004; 2009
Chart 1 Growth in the number of mobile subscriptions and penetration 2011 2026
Chart 2 Growth in the number of mobile broadband subscribers and user penetration 2011 2026
Chart 3 Mobile subscriptions versus mobile broadband subscriptions 2010 2019
Chart 4 Fixed broadband subscribers and penetration 2011 2026
Chart 5 Fixed lines in service and teledensity 2011 2026
Chart 6 Current mobile subscriber and mobile broadband penetration rates in countries to benefit from the Kacific-1 satellite
Exhibit 1 Vodafone moved into the market in 2014
Exhibit 2 Our Telekom at a glance
Exhibit 3 Major submarine cables with landing points in Solomon Islands 2020


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