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Malta - Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts

Malta - Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts

Investment in fibre networks stimulates national FttP ambitions

Malta'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 FttP telecom infrastructure.

The broadband market remains largely controlled by two operators, with Melita retaining a monopoly on cable services and GO commanding a 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 2014 (e)
Penetration of services | 2014 (e)
Fixed-line | 54%
Broadband | 35%
Mobile | 139%
(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 2012.
In late 2012 GO began expanding its FttP 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 34003800MHz 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 FttP network to be built, with a minimum broadband service being upgraded from 4Mb/s to 100Mb/s.
GO in late 2012 launch the first commercial FttP network, offering data rates at up to 200Mb/s;
Vodafone launches commercial LTE service;
Melita extends its 250Mb/s broadband service.

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 (FttP, 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 Q1 2013, telcos' operating and financial data to June 2013;
market developments to August 2013.

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 FttP 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-Premise (FttP)
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 (MTRs)
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 Long-term Evolution (LTE)
10.6.7 Mobile broadband
10.6.8 Mobile TV
11. Forecasts
11.1 Forecasts broadband subscribers 2010-2012, 2020
11.1.1 Notes on scenario forecasts
12. Related reports
Table 1 Country statistics Malta 2012 (e)
Table 2 Telephone network statistics 2013 (Mar)
Table 3 Internet user statistics 2012
Table 4 Broadband statistics 2013 (Mar)
Table 5 Mobile statistics 2013 (Mar)
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 - 2013
Table 11 Fixed-line subscriber market share by operator 2007 - 2013
Table 12 GO financial data (Lm) 2004 - 2007
Table 13 GO Group financial data () 2007 - 2013
Table 14 GO revenue by sector 2007 - 2012
Table 15 Melita Group financial data 2010 - 2013
Table 16 Fixed lines in service and penetration rate 2001 - 2013
Table 17 Fixed-line traffic (fixed-to-fixed) 2005 - 2012
Table 18 Total outgoing fixed-line traffic 2008 - 2013
Table 19 Dialup internet subscribers 2005 - 2010
Table 20 Broadband technologies: availability and coverage 2013
Table 21 E-commerce usage 2006 - 2012
Table 22 Broadband subscriptions by platform 2002 - 2013
Table 23 Proportion of broadband connections by data rate 2009 - 2013
Table 24 Broadband market share by operator 2007 - 2013
Table 25 Broadband penetration 2005 - 2014
Table 26 Broadband ARPU 2009 - 2013
Table 27 Cable broadband penetration rate 2000 - 2013
Table 28 Melita cable broadband subscribers 2009 - 2013
Table 29 Mobile broadband connections 2010 - 2013
Table 30 Fixed wireless subscribers 2007 - 2013
Table 31 BWA share of broadband market 2007 - 2013
Table 32 Fixed-line subscribers to bundled services, by type 2009 - 2012
Table 33 Pay TV ARPU 2009 - 2013
Table 34 Digital cable TV subscribers 2008 - 2013
Table 35 Pay TV subscribers by connection type 2005 - 2013
Table 36 Pay TV market share by operator 2009 - 2013
Table 37 DTTV subscribers 2008 - 2013
Table 38 IPTV subscribers 2011 - 2013
Table 39 Annualised mobile ARPU contract and prepaid 2009 - 2013
Table 40 Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 1998 - 2004
Table 41 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 2005 - 2014
Table 42 Mobile subscribers by 2G and 3G platform 2009 - 2012
Table 43 Mobile market share by operator 2007 - 2013
Table 44 Mobile traffic 2005 - 2013
Table 45 European roaming charges 2007 - 2011
Table 46 Mobile termination rates by operator 2005 2010; 2012
Table 47 Annual mobile number portings 2006 - 2013
Table 48 Vodafone Malta subscribers and ARPU 2005 - 2013
Table 49 Proportion of contract and prepaid subscribers, all operators 2005 - 2013
Table 50 Prepaid subscribers, all operators 2005 - 2013
Table 51 SMS messages 2005 - 2013
Table 52 MMS messages 2006 - 2013
Table 53 Forecast broadband subscribers higher market growth scenario 2010 - 2012; 2020
Chart 1 Telecom market value () 2006 2012
Chart 2 GO Group financial data 2007 - 2013
Chart 3 GO revenue by sector 2007 2012
Chart 4 Melita Group financial data 2010 2013
Chart 5 Fixed lines in service and penetration rate 2001 2013
Chart 6 Broadband subscriptions by platform 2005 2013
Chart 7 Broadband market share by operator 2007 2013
Chart 8 Subscribers to bundled services, by type 2009 2012
Chart 9 Pay TV subscribers by connection type 2005 2013
Chart 10 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 2005 2014
Chart 11 Mobile market share by operator 2007 2013
Chart 12 SMS messages 2005 2013
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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