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.
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
Papua New Guinea6,1002%
(Source: BuddeComm, various industry sources)
Please note that this report is updated infrequently due to limited availability of information on the local telecoms market.