Bhutan - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses


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Bhutan - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

The number of fixed telephone lines in Bhutan is gradually declining from a relatively small base as the mobile segment continues to expand driven by the mobile broadband segment.
Fixed broadband penetration continues to grow strongly but from a very small base. Over the next five years to 2024 low to moderate growth is expected from this small base. Fixed broadband penetration rates will continue to be much lower in the longer term than mobile broadband penetration rates as mobile networks will continue to dominate fixed line networks.
Bhutan Telecom and Ericsson have deployed a disaster resilient, emergency telecom core network as part of a Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) project and in partnership with Toyota Tsusho Corporation.
The mobile market in Bhutan has grown moderately over the past few years however the growth rate has subsided over the past few years as the mobile market begins to mature.
The mobile networks have provided a major boost to internet access in the country, with 4G platforms now gaining traction in Bhutan with both major mobile operators offering 4G services. 4G/WiMAX networks now cover well over half of the country. Slower and declining growth is predicted to continue over the next five years to 2024 as the mobile subscriber market further matures.
The mobile broadband market in Bhutan has grown very strongly over the past few years. However slower and declining growth is predicted to continue over the next five years to 2024 as the mobile broadband subscriber market further matures.
BuddeComm notes that the outbreak of the Coronavirus in 2020 is having 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.
Although it is challenging to predict and interpret the long-term impacts of the crisis as it develops, these have been acknowledged in the industry forecasts contained in this report.
The report also covers the responses of the telecom operators as well as government agencies and regulators as they react to the crisis to ensure that citizens can continue to make optimum use of telecom services. This can be reflected in subsidy schemes and the promotion of tele-health and tele-education, among other solutions.

Key developments:

Bhutans telecom sector has been continuing a steady development path.
TashiCell has been bridging the gap over the past few years in the mobile market.
Mobile broadband has seen strong growth and this is expected to continue at a slower rate.
4G LTE networks have now gained strong traction in Bhutan.
Assessment of the global impact of COVID-19 on the telecoms sector.

Companies mentioned in this report

Bhutan Telecom, B-Mobile, DrukNet, Samden Tech, Tashi InfoComm, TashiCell, Ericsson, Reliance, Airtel.


1 Key statistics
2 Country overview
2.1 Background
2.2 Economy
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
4 Telecommunications market
4.1 Market Overview and Analysis
4.2 Regional Asian Market Comparison
5 Regulatory environment
5.1 Bhutan Telecommunications Act 1999
5.2 Bhutan Information Communications and Media (BICM) Act 2006
5.3 BICMA legislation
5.4 Licensing
5.5 Telecommunications Numbering Plan
5.6 Cable TV
6 Fixed Network Operators
6.1 Bhutan Telecom
7 Telecommunications infrastructure
7.1 Overview of the national telecom network
7.2 International infrastructure
8 Fixed-line broadband market
8.1 Broadband statistics and Forecast
8.2 Fixed Broadband Service Providers
9 Mobile market
9.1 Mobile Statistics and Forecast
9.2 Mobile broadband Statistics and Forecast
9.3 Mobile infrastructure
9.4 Major mobile operators
10 Digital economy
10.1 Introduction
10.2 e-Banking
10.3 e-Education
11 Glossary of abbreviations
12 Related reports
Table 1 Top Level Country Statistics and Telco Authorities 2019 (e)
Table 2 Percentage of Population Covered by Type of Mobile Network
Table 3 Fixed Lines and Penetration 2009 2024
Table 4 Historic - fixed lines in service and Penetration 1995 2005
Table 5 Fixed Broadband Subscribers and Penetration (with Forecast) 2009 2024
Table 6 - Internet Users and annual growth - 2009 2019
Table 7 - Historic - Internet users and penetration rate - 1999 2006
Table 8 Historic - Dial-up internet subscribers 2001 2008; 2010 2014
Table 9 Historic - Broadband / Internet subscribers by access (fixed and wireless) 2008; 2012 2017
Table 10 International internet bandwidth 2000 2018
Table 11 Lit/Equipped International Bandwidth Capacity 2015 2018
Table 12 Historic - ADSL Broadband Subscribers by Service Provider 2017
Table 13 Historic - Leased-Line Broadband Services by Service Provider 2017
Table 14 Historic - Broadband, Leased Line and Mobile Broadband by Service Provider 2016
Table 15 Mobile Subscribers and Penetration (with Forecast) 2009 2024
Table 16 - Historic - Mobile subscribers, annual change and penetration 2003 2009
Table 17 Mobile Broadband Subscribers and Penetration (with Forecast) 2010 2024
Table 18 Mobile operators and systems
Table 19 Mobile subscribers and market share by operator 2019
Table 20 Historic - 4G Mobile subscribers and market share by operator 2017
Table 21 B-Mobile's subscribers 2003 2019
Table 22 TashiCell mobile subscribers 2010 2019
Chart 1 Mobile, Mobile Broadband & Fixed Broadband Penetration 2019; 2024[
Chart 2 Asian Telecoms Maturity Index by Market Category
Chart 3 Asian Telecoms Maturity Index vs GDP per Capita
Chart 4 Telecoms Maturity Index Central Asia
Chart 5 Fixed Lines and Penetration 2009 2024
Chart 6 Fixed Broadband Subscribers and Penetration (with Forecast) 2009 2024
Chart 7 Mobile Subscribers and Penetration (with Forecast) 2009 2024
Chart 8 Mobile Broadband Subscribers and Penetration (with Forecast) 2010 2024
Exhibit 1 Key Market Characteristics by Market Segment
Exhibit 2 Central Asia -Key Characteristics of Telecoms Markets by Country
Exhibit 3 Level of competition by market segment
Exhibit 4 Licences issued by service category

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