Market Research Logo

Malta - Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts


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

The Malta - Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts report includes all BuddeComm research data and analysis on this country. Covering trends and developments in telecommunications, mobile, internet, broadband, infrastructure and regulation. Please review the Executive Summary and Table of Contents for more details.


Executive summary

Since 2003 Malta’s telecom regulator, the MCA, has successfully lifted market restrictions which had previously held back effective market competition. By 2009, the country enjoyed one of the most competitive and vibrant telecom sectors in Europe.

The mobile market’s control by the duopoly of Vodafone and GO Mobile came to an end with the launch of Melita Mobile in February 2009. Vodafone was the first operator to upgrade its network to HSDPA, quadrupling speeds for customers. When GO Mobile also launched HSPA, both operators reduced data tariffs to make services more affordable to a wider range of users. Melita followed in February 2009, claiming to be the first mobile operator in the world to integrate HSPA into a cable platform, adding mobile broadband to its TV, Internet and fixed telephony offerings. The operator also introduced substantially cheaper prices than its two competitors. Together, these offerings will provide a solid technological foundation for the developing mobile data market in coming years.

Broadband penetration remains comparatively low by European standards, though broadband speeds are relatively fast: about 95% of subscribers have 2Mb/s connections compared to 75% in the EU. Malta enjoys effective cross-platform competition, with 52% of broadband connections being through Melita’s cable network, 46% through GO’s DSL network, and the remaining 2% through Vodafone’s WiMAX national network - itself the first of its kind in Europe. Mobile broadband has also emerged as a strong contender in coming years, with three competing HSPA services.

Malta’s telecom market since 2007 has also been characterised by a drive to create converged services, as seen in the takeover by GO of the DTTV operator Multiplus, the acquisition by Melita Cable of a controlling share in the third licensed 3G operator, and the launch by Vodafone of its WiMAX and fixed line services. By February 2009 GO and Melita both offered quad play services, while Vodafone had successfully moved into the triple play arena.

Malta - Key telecom parameters - 2004; 2008
Sector20042008
Fixed-line service:
Total subscribers (thousand)206239
Annual change-1.5%2.1%
Fixed-line penetration (population)51%57%
Broadband:
Subscribers (thousand)38101
Annual change63%22%
Broadband penetration (population)9%24%
Mobile services:
Total subscribers (thousand)306386
Annual change5%4%
Mobile penetration (population)76%94%
(Source: BuddeComm)

Key highlights:

  • Malta’s telecom sector revenue increased 7.4% in 2008, bucking the trend across Europe for slow or stagnant growth. The island’s small size benefits from having a population concentrated in a few towns, resulting in a high population density enabling national coverage with relatively limited resources.
  • With mobile, DSL and cable networks having undergone the bulk of planned upgrades, operators will focus their attention on developing improved convergent services. The Maltese enjoy the competitive benefits of two quad play operators, complemented by a triple play service from one of Europe’s largest providers. By mid-2009 over 7% of the population subscribed to bundled offers.
  • Malta’s digital TV sector has kept up with developments in Europe. GO’s pay-TV platform by July 2009 had been extended to all parts of the island and surrounding coastal areas.Vodafone deployed its first WiMAX network in Malta in 2007, providing broadband and VoIP services. This network was complemented in June 2009 when GO switched on its nationwide 3.5GHz frequency band WiMAX network, augmenting its HSDPA coverage. The number of WiMAX subscribers increased by more than 200% in 2008.

1. Executive summary
2. Key statistics
3. Telecommunications market
3.1 Overview of Malta’s telecom market
4. Regulatory environment
4.1 History
4.2 Regulatory authority
4.3 Digital Society initiatives
4.4 Telecom sector liberalisation in Malta
4.5 Privatisation of Telemalta
4.6 Interconnect
4.7 Access
4.8 Carrier PreSelection (CPS)
4.9 Number portability
5. Fixed network operators in Malta
5.1 GO
5.2 Melita Cable
6. Telecommunications infrastructure
6.1 National telecom network
6.2 International infrastructure
7. Fixed voice market
7.1 Overview
8. Broadband market
8.1 Overview
8.1.1 Broadband statistics
8.2 Bitstream access: DSL and cable networks
8.3 Cable modems
8.4 Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)
8.5 Satellite
8.6 Wireless broadband
8.6.1 WiFi
8.6.2 WiMAX
8.7 Wholesaling
9. Convergence
9.1 Overview of media convergence
9.2 Quadruple play models
9.3 Digital TV
9.3.1 Digital Terrestrial TV (DTTV)
9.3.2 TV-over-DSL (IPTV)
9.3.3 Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
10. Mobile communications
10.1 Overview of Malta’s mobile market
10.1.1 Mobile statistics
10.2 Regulatory issues
10.2.1 Roaming
10.2.2 Mobile termination rates
10.2.3 Mobile number portability
10.2.4 Spectrum regulations and spectrum auctions
10.3 Mobile technologies
10.3.1 Digital
10.3.2 Third Generation (3G) mobile
10.4 Major mobile operators
10.4.1 Vodafone Malta
10.4.2 GO mobile
10.4.3 Melita Mobile
10.4.4 MVNOs
10.5 Mobile voice services
10.5.1 Prepaid
10.6 Mobile data services
10.6.1 Short Message Service (SMS)
10.6.2 Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
10.6.3 General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)
10.6.4 Enhanced Data for GSM evolution (EDGE)
10.6.5 High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA)
10.6.6 Mobile broadband
10.6.7 Mobile TV
11. Forecasts
11.1 Forecasts - broadband subscribers to 2018
11.1.1 Scenario 1 - higher broadband subscriber growth
11.1.2 Scenario 2 - lower broadband subscriber growth
11.1.3 Notes on scenario forecasts
12. Related reports
Table 1 - Country statistics Malta - 2008
Table 2 - Telephone network statistics - January 2009
Table 3 - Internet user statistics - March 2009
Table 4 - Broadband statistics - 2008
Table 5 - Mobile statistics - March 2009
Table 6 - National telecommunications authority
Table 7 - Telecom market value (Lm) - 2003 - 2007
Table 8 - Telecom market value (€) - 2006 - 2008
Table 9 - Time of day interconnection rates in Malta - 2009
Table 10 - Number porting charges by sector - 2008
Table 11 - Fixed-number portings - 2007 - 2008
Table 12 - Fixed-line subscribers - 2005 - 2008
Table 13 - GO financial data (Lm) - 2004 - 2007
Table 14 - GO Group financial data (€) - 2007 - 2008
Table 15 - GO revenue by sector - 2007 - 2008
Table 16 - Fixed lines in service and penetration rate - 2001 - 2008
Table 17 - Outgoing fixed-line traffic - 2005 - 2008
Table 18 - Fixed-line market share by operator - 2007 - 2008
Table 19 - Total Internet subscribers - 2002 - 2008
Table 20 - Internet subscribers by technology - 2005 - 2008
Table 21 - Broadband technologies: availability and coverage - 2009
Table 22 - Broadband market share by operator - 2007 - 2008
Table 23 - Dial up traffic in minutes - 2005 - 2008
Table 24 - Proportion of households with Internet access by technology - 2003 - 2008
Table 25 - Broadband penetration rate - 2002 - 2009
Table 26 - Broadband subscribers by access method - 2002 - 2008
Table 27 - Broadband subscribers by operator - 2006 - 2008
Table 28 - Cable broadband penetration rate - 2000 - 2008
Table 29 - Forecast WiMAX network national coverage timetable, by operator - 2007 - 2009
Table 30 - WiMAX subscribers - 2007 - 2008
Table 31 - Wholesale broadband access market share by operator - 2003 - 2008
Table 32 - TV subscribers by connection type - 2006 - 2008
Table 33 - Broadcasting market share by operator - 2007 - 2008
Table 34 - VoIP market share by operator - 2007
Table 35 - VoIP Minutes of Use (MOU) - 2005 - 2007
Table 36 - Mobile ARPU; contract and prepaid - 2004 - 2008
Table 37 - Mobile operators, subscribers and annual change - March 2009
Table 38 - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate - 1998 - 2009
Table 39 - Mobile market share by operator - 2007 - 2008
Table 40 - Mobile traffic - 2005 - 2008
Table 41 - European roaming charges - 2007 - 2009
Table 42 - Mobile termination rates by operator - 2005 - 2008
Table 43 - Mobile number portings - 2006 - 2008
Table 44 - Vodafone Malta subscribers and ARPU - 2005 - 2009
Table 45 - Proportion of contract and prepaid subscribers, all operators - 2005 - 2008
Table 46 - SMS messages - 2005 - 2008
Table 47 - MMS messages - 2006 - 2008
Table 48 - Forecast broadband subscribers - higher market growth scenario - 2007 - 2012; 2018
Table 49 - Forecast broadband subscribers - lower market growth scenario - 2007 - 2012; 2018
Exhibit 1 - Overview of media convergence
Exhibit 2 - Mobile operators and spectrum allocation range - 2006
Exhibit 3 - 3G licence allocations - 2005; 2007

Download our eBook: How to Succeed Using Market Research

Learn how to effectively navigate the market research process to help guide your organization on the journey to success.

Download eBook

Share this report