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Macau - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts


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Moving to fixed-line competition

Macau is situated at the Pearl River Delta on the southeast coast of Mainland China, only 60km southwest of Hong Kong. Colonised by the Portuguese in the 16th century, Macau was the first European settlement in the Far East. Pursuant to an agreement signed by China and Portugal in 1987, Macau became the Macau Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People’s Republic of China in 1999 after 400 years of Portuguese rule. In this agreement Macau would enjoy a high degree of autonomy in all matters except foreign and defence affairs for the next 50 years. The Basic Law provides for an independent executive, legislature and judiciary.

Macau’s economy slowed in 2009 as a result of the global economic slowdown, but strong growth resumed in 2010 largely on the back of strong tourism and gaming sectors. GDP grew by over 25% in 2010 and by a further 20% in 2011. The city of over 550,000 hosted nearly 25 million visitors in 2010 and almost 53% came from mainland China.

Macau has a low profile compared with its bustling sister SAR, Hong Kong. The country has built itself a strong modern telecoms infrastructure and large scale infrastructure projects continue to provide opportunity for expansion to telecommunications operators.

While fixed lines reached an effective saturation point a few years ago and penetration is steadily declining, the country’s mobile market is one of the most highly penetrated in the world. There were close to 1.4 million mobile subscribers going into 2012, representing a penetration rate of over 240%, although many of these are prepaid subscriptions. Rapid growth in the mobile sector can be attributed to strong competition since the opening of the market in 2001. The advent of 3G in 2007 has seen the 2G share of the market slip to 11% and it will further decline to 2015 by which time 4G services should have entered the market.

SmarTone launched its new 3G service in Macau in 2010, part of a MOP180 million investment over a four-year period. 3 Macau (Hutchison Telecom) has also upgraded its network to HSPA+ offering mobile transmission speeds up to 21Mb/s rising to 42Mb/s into 2012.

Macau’s internet user penetration rates are amongst the highest in the world at close to 70%. Broadband population penetration remains below 25%, an indication of the lack of competition in the fixed-line sector. However, the incumbent CTM launched FttX broadband services in 2010 and expects to have 100% coverage by 2015.

In December 2011 CTM’s exclusive telecommunications concession for fixed-line services in Macau came to an end although new licenses had yet to be awarded by June 2012. One important area going forward will be allowing new entrants to provide wired broadband services. Macau also needs a very clear licensing policy to encourage investment in future innovative networks and services. IPTV and other TV and video services that offer choice to the public such as mobile TV should be permitted and liberalised. Macau has a unique opportunity in 2012 to complement the liberalisation of the casino sector with a fully open, competitive and innovative telecoms and new media sector.

Macau – internet, broadband and mobile statistics – 2005 ; 2011 ; 2012
Sector | 2005 | 2011 | 2012 (e)
Internet users | 252,000 | 400,000 | 415,000
Broadband subscribers | 68,000 | 137,000 | 141,000
Mobile subscribers | 533,000 | 1,353,000 | 1,500,000
3G percentage | - | 89% | 97%
(Source: BuddeComm based on industry data and BuddeComm forecasts)
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
3. Country overview
3.1 Background
3.2 Macau’s economy
4. Telecommunications market
4.1 Overview of Macau’s telecom market
4.2 Investment in Macau’s telecom market
4.3 The future challenges for Macau’s telecom market
4.4 The end of telecoms concession – way forward for Macau
4.5 Macau poised for full market liberalisation
5. Regulatory environment
5.1 The regulator
5.2 Legal and regulatory environment for ICT development
5.3 Liberalisation
6. Fixed-line infrastructure
7. Internet market
7.1 Background
7.2 Internet statistics
7.3 Internet survey results
7.4 Macau international internet bandwidth
7.5 Online services
7.5.1 E-Macao
7.6 Country code domain names
8. Broadband market
8.1 Overview
8.2 Statistics
8.3 WiFi
8.4 E-commerce
8.5 Cloud computing
8.5.1 Cloud computing - CTM
9. Mobile communications
9.1 Overview of Macau’s mobile market
9.2 Mobile statistics
10. broadcasting market
10.1 Cable TV statistics
10.2 MCTV (Macau Cable TV) conflict
10.3 Satellite TV
11. Major operators
11.1 Compahnia de Telecomunicações de Macau (CTM)
11.1.1 Background
11.1.2 Overview
11.1.3 Mobile
11.1.4 Broadband
11.1.5 Operational statistics
11.2 3 Macau (Hutchison Telecom Macau)
11.3 SmarTone Mobile Communications (Macau) Ltd
11.4 China Telecom
12. Forecasts
12.1 Forecast mobile subscribers – 2012-2013; 2017
12.2 Forecasting methodology
13. Related reports
Lists
Table 1 – Country statistics Macau – 2012
Table 2 – Telecommunications revenue and investment statistics – 2011 (e)
Table 3 – Telephone network statistics – April 2012
Table 4 – Internet user statistics – December 2011
Table 5 – Broadband statistics – April 2012
Table 6 – Mobile statistics – April 2012
Table 7 – National telecommunications authorities
Table 8 – Number of operators by service – April 2012
Table 9 – Macau telecommunications investment and revenue – 1995 – 2011
Table 10 – Fixed-lines and teledensity – 1985 - 2013
Table 11 – Internet users and penetration rate – 1994 - 2012
Table 12 – Internet subscribers – 1996 - 2013
Table 13 – Macau international internet bandwidth – 1997 - 2010
Table 14 – E-government services used – 2010
Table 15 – Number of registered domain names of ‘mo’ – 1998 – 2010
Table 16 – Broadband subscribers and households – April 2012
Table 17 – Broadband subscribers – 2001 – 2013
Table 18 – Growth of online household computers – 2003 – 2010
Table 19 – WiFi Hotspots – 2008 – 2012
Table 20 – Mobile subscribers total and prepaid and penetration rate – 1990 – 2013
Table 21 – Mobile subscribers by operator and annual change – March 2009
Table 22 – Mobile subscribers 2G and 3G – 2007 – 2013
Table 23 – Local SMS statistics: Christmas, Lunar and New Years holidays – 2008 – 2012
Table 24 – Broadcasting statistical overview – 2009
Table 25 – Household cable TV connections 2003 – 2010
Table 26 – CTM mobile, fixed-line and broadband subscribers and ARPU: 2007 - 2011
Table 27 – Forecast mobile subscribers and penetration – higher band: 2012 - 2013; 2017
Table 28 – Forecast mobile subscribers and penetration – lower band: 2012 - 2013; 2017
Chart 1: Fixed and mobile subscribers: 2000 - 2013
Chart 2: Internet adoption rate and digital dividend index – 2001 - 2010
Chart 3: Location of access to the internet by users – 2004; 2010
Chart 4: Major activities by internet users aged 18-84 – 2010
Chart 5: Internet adoption by age – 2001 – 2010
Chart 6: Internet household penetration by access type – 2001 – 2010
Chart 7: Mobile subscribers by technology – 2000 – 2013
Exhibit 1 – Map of Macau

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