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Malta - Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts


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

Investment in fibre networks stimulates national FttH ambitionsMalta’s small telecom sector has been stimulated by a number of regulatory measures designed to increase competition and reduce consumer prices, as also to pave the way towards a national FttH telecom infrastructure.

The broadband market remains largely controlled by two operators, with Melita retaining a monopoly on cable services and GO commanding an near complete dominance in the DSL market. By mid-2012 alternative broadband players had only a 0.5% share of the DSL market by subscribers. An alternative island-wide WiMAX service is provided by Vodafone. Broadband penetration, which for long was comparatively low by European standards, has risen sharply in recent years, while average broadband speeds have also increased rapidly on the back of operator investments in new technologies.

The value of Malta’s telecom market, as also its contribution to the overall economy, has fallen since 2009. The decline is in line with other telecom markets in Europe and follows the global context of the economic downturn. Investment in telecoms networks was maintained into 2010, though this was mainly made up of investment from mobile operators which compensated for lower investment by other operators providing fixed-line services, which fell by more than 50% year-on-year.

In the mobile market Vodafone Malta, and GO Mobile and Melita Mobile have been joined by a few MVNOs which are gradually extending market share, though the sector remains dominated by GO Mobile and Vodafone. These operators offer quad-play services including mobile combinations of voice, cable TV, IPTV and telephony, which as bundles make it hard for other operators to gain a foothold other than within narrow markets. Nevertheless, a sympathetic regulatory regime is having a marked effect on operator behaviour as they struggle to retain existing customers in an increasingly competitive market.

The key issue for coming years will be the continuing effort by the regulator to encourage an NGN through developing regulations attractive as investment opportunities, and so maintain momentum in one of Europe’s smallest markets.

Malta – Key telecom parameters – 2010; 2012 (e)
Fixed-line | 2010 | 2012
Subscribers (thousand) | 247,000 | 230,000
Fixed-line penetration (population) | 57% | 52%
Broadband
Subscribers | 121,000 | 138,000
Broadband penetration (population) | 30% | 33%
Mobile service
Subscribers | 455 | 475
Mobile penetration (population) | 110% | 134%
(Source: BuddeComm)

Market highlights:

The number of pay TV subscribers fell in 2012 as subscribers cut the cord and began to rely increasingly on IPTV: the number of IPTV subscribers doubled in the six months to June 2012.

In late 2012 GO began expanding its FttH network and capabilities, offering speeds of up to 200Mb/s for its ‘rapido’ service.

In mid-2012 the regulator published a decision notice regarding the assignment of spectrum in the 3400–3800MHz band for Broadband Wireless Access services. Licensees for a sub-band must provide national coverage within two years.

The government in early 2012 called for a national FttH network to be built, with a minimum broadband service being upgraded from 4Mb/s to 100Mb/s.

Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.

This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Malta’s telecommunications market. The report analyses the mobile, internet, broadband, digital TV and digital media sectors.

Subjects include:

Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
Facts, figures and statistics;
Industry and regulatory issues;
Infrastructure;
Major players, revenues, subscribers, ARPU, MoU;
Internet, VoIP, IPTV;
Mobile voice and data markets;
Broadband (FttH, DSL, cable TV, wireless);
Convergence and digital media;
3G subscriber and mobile ARPU forecasts to 2015;

Broadband market

forecasts for selective years to 2020.

Key developments:

Mobile network operators invest for future 4G deployment; falling revenue set to stabilize to 2012; investment confidence emerging post- economic downturn; Malta’s first VoD service launched by Melita; regulator market data to Q2 2012, telcos’ operating and financial data to June 2012; market developments to November 2012.

Companies covered in this report include:

Vodafone, GO, Melita, SIS, Ozone, Redtouchphone, PING.

This report is essential reading for those needing high level strategic information and objective analysis on the telecom sector in Malta.

It provides further information on:

Market liberalisation and regulatory issues;
The impact of the global economic crisis;
Telecoms operators – privatisation, acquisitions, new licences;
Mobile data market developments in coming years in light of spectrum auctions and new license awards in 2010;
3G developments, regulatory issues and technologies including HSPA;
Broadband migration to an FttH architecture;
Historical and current subscriber statistics and forecasts;

ARPU statistics and forecasts.


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 (NP)
5. Fixed-network operators in Malta
5.1 GO
5.2 Melita
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 E-Commerce
8.1.2 Broadband statistics
8.2 Bitstream access: DSL and cable networks
8.3 Cable modems
8.4 Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)
8.5 Fibre-to-the-Home (FttH)
8.6 Satellite
8.7 Wireless broadband
8.7.1 WiFi
8.7.2 Mobile broadband
8.7.3 WiMAX
8.8 Wholesaling
9. Digital media
9.1 Overview of digital media
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 Video-on-Demand
9.3.4 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 (MNP)
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 Packet Access (HSPA)
10.6.6 Mobile broadband
10.6.7 Mobile TV
11. Forecasts
11.1 Forecasts – broadband subscribers 2010-2012, 2020
11.1.1 Notes on scenario forecasts
12. Related reports
List of Tables, Charts and Exhibits
Table 1 – Country statistics Malta – 2012 (e)
Table 2 – Telephone network statistics – 2012 (e)
Table 3 – Internet user statistics – June 2012
Table 4 – Broadband statistics – 2012 (e)
Table 5 – Mobile statistics – 2012 (e)
Table 6 – National telecommunications authority
Table 7 – Telecom market value (€) – 2006 - 2012
Table 8 – Telecom market investment – 2009 - 2012
Table 9 – Telecom economic contribution to Maltese economy – 2009 - 2012
Table 10 – Annual fixed numbers ported – 2007 - 2012
Table 11 – Fixed-line subscriber market share by operator – 2007 - 2012
Table 12 – GO financial data (Lm) – 2004 - 2007
Table 13 – GO Group financial data (€) – 2007 - 2012
Table 14 – GO revenue by sector – 2007 - 2012
Table 15 – Melita Group financial data – 2010 - 2012
Table 16 – Fixed lines in service and penetration rate – 2001 - 2012
Table 19 – Dialup internet subscribers – 2005 - 2010
Table 20 – Broadband technologies: availability and coverage – 2012
Table 21 – E-commerce usage – 2006 - 2012
Table 22 – Broadband subscriptions by platform – 2002 - 2012
Table 23 – Broadband connections by data rate – 2008 - 2010
Table 24 – Broadband connections by data rate – 2009 - 2012
Table 25 – Broadband market share by operator – 2007 - 2010
Table 26 – Broadband penetration – 2005 - 2012
Table 27 – Broadband ARPU – 2009 - 2012
Table 28 – Cable broadband penetration rate – 2000 - 2012
Table 29 – Mobile broadband connections – 2010 - 2012
Table 30 – Fixed wireless subscribers – 2007 - 2012
Table 31 – BWA share of broadband market – 2007 - 2012
Table 32 – Fixed-line subscribers to bundled services, by type – 2009 - 2012
Table 33 – Digital cable TV subscribers – 2008 - 2012
Table 34 – Pay TV subscribers by connection type – 2005 - 2012
Table 35 – Pay TV market share by operator – 2009 - 2012
Table 36 – DTTV subscribers – 2008 - 2012
Table 37 – IPTV subscribers – 2008 - 2010
Table 38 – Annualised mobile ARPU – contract and prepaid – 2008 - 2012
Table 39 – Mobile operators, subscribers and annual change – June 2012
Table 40 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 1998 - 2013
Table 41 – Mobile subscribers by 2G and 3G platform – 2009 - 2012
Table 42 – Mobile market share by operator – 2007 - 2012
Table 43 – Mobile traffic – 2005 - 2013
Table 44 – European roaming charges – 2007 - 2011
Table 45 – Mobile termination rates by operator – 2005 - 2010
Table 46 – Annual mobile number portings – 2006 - 2012
Table 47 – Vodafone Malta subscribers and ARPU – 2005 - 2012
Table 48 – Proportion of contract and prepaid subscribers, all operators – 2005 - 2012
Table 49 – Prepaid subscribers, all operators – 2005 - 2012
Table 50 – SMS messages – 2005 - 2012
Table 51 – MMS messages – 2006 - 2012
Table 52 – Forecast broadband subscribers – higher market growth scenario – 2010 - 2012; 2020
Chart 1 – Telecom market value (€) – 2006 – 2012
Chart 2 – GO Group financial data – 2007 - 2012
Chart 3 – GO revenue by sector – 2007 – 2012
Chart 4 – Fixed lines in service and penetration rate – 2001 – 2012
Chart 5 – Broadband subscriptions by platform – 2005 – 2012
Chart 6 – Broadband market share by operator – 2007 – 2010
Chart 7 – Subscribers to bundled services, by type – 2009 – 2012
Chart 8 – Pay TV subscribers by connection type – 2005 – 2012
Chart 9 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 1998 – 2013
Chart 10 – Mobile market share by operator – 2007 – 2012
Chart 11 – SMS messages – 2005 – 2012
Exhibit 1 – Overview of digital media
Exhibit 2 – Mobile operators and spectrum allocation range
Exhibit 3 – 3G licence allocations – 2005; 2007

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