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Macau - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband

Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

The Macau - 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

Macau, a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China, remains very low profile compared with its bustling sister SAR, Hong Kong. The country has quietly built itself a strong modern telecoms infrastructure, the equal of any country in the region, with very significant penetration of telecom services.

While fixed lines reached an effective saturation point a few years ago, the country’s mobile market has been growing strongly and had become one of the most highly penetrated in the world. Macau has been busy adopting the Internet and the administration appears keen to encourage this. Broadband Internet, using mainly DSL, has been developing quickly.

The territory of Macau has a fully integrated telecom network which compares well with the best in Asia. The last remaining Portuguese colony in Asia, Macau reverted to Mainland Chinese rule in 1999, becoming a SAR of China. The Macau Government privatised its telecommunications system very early on - in 1981 - and chose Cable & Wireless to operate and expand the service.

As fixed-line numbers plateau and decline, the mobile telephone market has taken off strongly. There were over 1 million mobile subscribers going into 2010, representing a penetration rate of over 190%. In the meantime, fixed-line penetration was languishing closer to 31%.

Rapid growth in the mobile sector can be attributed to the opening of the mobile market in 2001 to two new operators, providing competition to Macau Telecom. The licences allowed Hutchison and SmarTone to provide and operate mobile networks based on 2G technology and the transitional 2.5G technology platforms.

Further competition entered the market in 2005 when the government awarded mainland China mobile giant China Unicom a licence to set up a CDMA network in Macau. The move by China Unicom into the Macau market was the first example of a Chinese telecom company setting up a network outside the mainland.

By late 2006, Macau had awarded 3G licences to Hutchison Telephone Macau and CTM to provide WCDMA services. This was followed by China Unicom winning a licence in 2007 to provide services based on the alternative 3G standard CDMA2000 1x EV-DO. In late 2008, the China Unicom brand changed to China Telecom Macau, following restructuring of the telecommunications industry in China. In 2009 SmarTone was awarded the fourth 3G licence in Macau and was already planning to introduce HSPA+.

Mobile communications and Internet-related services look like continuing to be among the better performing segments of the industry, boosted by the partial liberalisation of Macau’s telecom services market. A new contract between the government and CTM signed in 1999 has allowed gradual and partial liberalisation of the market (mobiles, Internet and other value-added services) to take place.

Macau - Internet, broadband and telecoms statistics - 2004; 2009 Sector20042009
Internet users215,000368,000
Broadband (million subscribers)
Subscribers to telecoms services
Fixed-line telephones173,900171,400
Mobile phones428,4001,037,400
(Source: BuddeComm based on industry data)
Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.

1. Executive summary
2. Key statistics
2.1 Country overview
3. Telecommunications market
3.1 Overview of Macau’s telecom market
3.2 Investment in Macau’s telecom market
3.3 The future challenges for Macau’s telecom market
4. Regulatory environment
4.1 The regulator
4.2 Legal and regulatory environment for ICT development
4.3 Liberalisation
5. Major player in the market
5.1 Compahnia de Telecomunicações de Macau (CTM)
6. Telecommunications Infrastructure
6.1 Domestic and international
7. Data market
7.1 Data network
7.2 Macaupac
7.3 Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN)
8. Internet market
8.1 Overview
8.1.1 Internet statistics
8.2 Macau international Internet bandwidth
8.3 ISP market
8.4 Online services
8.4.1 E-Macao
9. Broadband market
9.1 Overview
10. Convergence
10.1 Overview of the broadcasting market
10.2 Cable TV
10.3 Satellite TV
11. Mobile communications
11.1 Overview of Macau’s mobile market
11.1.1 Mobile statistics
11.2 Major mobile operators
11.2.1 CTM
11.2.2 Hutchison Telecom Macau
11.2.3 SmarTone Mobile Communications (Macau) Ltd
11.2.4 China Unicom
12. Forecasts
12.1 Forecast mobile subscribers - 2010; 2015; 2020
13. Related reports
Table 1 - Country statistics Macau -2009
Table 2 - Telecommunications revenue and investment statistics - 2009
Table 3 - Telephone network statistics - 2009
Table 4 - Internet user statistics - 2009
Table 5 - Broadband statistics - 2009
Table 6 - Mobile statistics - 2009
Table 7 - National telecommunications authorities
Table 8 - Number of operators by service - 2009
Table 9 - Macau telecommunications investment and revenue - 1995 - 2008
Table 10 - Fixed-lines and teledensity - 1985 - 2011
Table 11 - Internet users and penetration rate - 1994 - 2011
Table 12 - Internet subscribers - 1996 - 2011
Table 13 - Growth of online household computers - 2003 - 2009
Table 14 - Macau International Internet bandwidth - 1997 - 2008
Table 15 - e-Government services used - 2008
Table 16 - Broadband subscribers and households - 2009
Table 17 - Broadband subscribers - 2001 - 2009
Table 18 - DSL Internet subscribers - 2001 - 2009
Table 19 - Broadcasting statistical overview - 2008
Table 20 - Mobile subscribers total and prepaid and penetration rate - 1990 - 2011
Table 21 - Mobile subscribers by operator and annual change - March 2009
Table 22 - Mobile subscribers 2G and 3G - 2007 - 2011
Table 23 - Local SMS statistics: Christmas, Lunar & New Years holidays - 2008 - 2009
Table 24 - Forecast mobile subscribers and penetration rate- 2010; 2015; 2020

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