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French Polynesia - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband

The French Polynesia - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband report includes all BuddeComm research data and analysis on this country. Covering trends and developments in telecommunications, mobile, internet, broadband, infrastructure and regulation.


Executive summary

French Polynesia, like many South Pacific Islands, relies on tourists, modern communications, foreign aid and sometimes Reality TV shows to support its economy in the digital age.

The tourist economy which contributes about 25% of GDP of French Polynesia has taken a hit in recent years, with some hotels closing for refurbishment, others closing permanently, thereby putting further economic pressure on the local economy. Tourism numbers in 2010 were the lowest for a number of years. Pearls which are major export contribute over 50% of exportable income.

French Polynesia was expected to receive more than US$200 million in aid from the French Development Agency in 2009/10 to help the islands cope with the tougher economic conditions.

A new submarine cable (Honotua) with expanded capacity (20Gb/s) linking the islands to the US was established in 2010 allowing the digital era to move forward across the islands. BuddeComm anticipates that this will bring lower prices to consumers and businesses and also expand the single supplier in the ISP market.

While communications across the islands have been traditionally run by the incumbent (OPT), in 2010/11 there is a possibility that other operators may launch services thereby driving lower prices and providing more customer services and choices across the current single supplier telecoms market. The only company providing mobile phone services today in French Polynesia is Tikiphone which had over 210,000 subscribers by mid-2010.

Vodafone, Digicel and Papeete-based Mara Telecom have all expressed interest in offering mobile phone services in the French Polynesia and have received the conditional go-ahead from the government, albeit with some licensing issues.

Estimated Internet penetration in selected South Pacific countries - 2010
CountryPopulation(thousand)Internet penetration
Cook Islands1330%
Fiji89012%
Guam17961%
Nauru1230%
Niue265%
Palau2126%
Papua New Guinea6,1002%
Vanuatu2418%
(Source: BuddeComm, various industry sources)
Please note that this report is updated infrequently due to limited availability of information on the local telecoms market.

  • Executive summary
    • Table Estimated Internet penetration in selected South Pacific countries - 2010
  • Key statistics
    • Table Country statistics French Polynesia - 2010
    • Table Telephone network statistics - 2009
    • Table Internet statistics - July 2010
    • Table Broadband statistics - 2009
    • Table Mobile statistics - March 2010
  • Country overview
  • Telecommunications market
    • Overview of French Polynesia's telecom market
  • Fixed network operators in French Polynesia
    • OPT
    • Tahiti Nui Telecom
  • Telecommunications infrastructure
    • National and international
      • Overview
        • Table Fixed lines in service, teledensity and public phones - 2000 - 2011
    • VSAT networks
    • Submarine cable networks
      • Honotua cable
        • Table Major submarine cable with landing points in French Polynesia - 2010
  • Internet access market
    • Overview
      • Table Internet users and Internet subscribers - 2000 - 2011
    • ISP market
  • Broadband access market
    • Overview
      • Table Fixed broadband subscribers and penetration rate - 2003 - 2011
    • Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)
    • Wireless broadband
      • WiFi
        • Table Price comparison of prepaid WiFi in French Polynesia - August 2010
      • Broadband via satellite
  • Digital media
    • Overview of broadcasting market
      • Table Key broadcasting statistics − 2010
    • Pay TV
      • Table TNS subscribers and penetration rate - 2000 - 2010
    • Web based TV
  • Digital economy
    • E-education
      • One Laptop Per Child Program (OPLC)
  • Mobile communications
    • Overview of French Polynesia's mobile market
      • Table Mobile subscribers - pre/postpaid and annual change - 1995 - 2011
    • Mobile technologies
    • New mobile operators - a possibility by 2011
    • Mobile messaging
    • Mobile Broadband (Access)
      • Table Price comparison of mobile Internet downloads in French Polynesia - August 2010
    • Mobile content and applications

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