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Papua New Guinea - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses


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Papua New Guinea - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Telikom Papua New Guinea prepares for LTE launch

Network deployment costs are high in PNG due to the relatively low subscriber base, the impervious terrain, and the high proportion of the population living in rural areas. As a result, fixed telecom infrastructure is almost inexistent outside urban centres, leaving most of the population unserviced. With fixed teledensity having seen little change over the past two decades, progress in telecommunications has come primarily from mobile networks, where accessibility has expanded from less than 3% population coverage in 2006 to over 80% by early 2016.0
This impressive growth was triggered by the start of mobile competition in 2007. When it entered the market, competing mobile operator Digicel brought mobile services to previously unserviced areas and at the same time slashed prices. The result was a substantial increase in mobile penetration from 1.6% in 2006 to 49% by early 2016. This remains low by international standards, and though there remains considerable room for growth this could be stymied by the latent difficulties within the market, including the high cost of deploying infrastructure, the relatively low income base among potential subscribers, and the geographical dispersal of the population. As a result of these conditions PNG remains one of the least affordable mobile markets in the Pacific.

Despite the opening of the market to competition, internet access is expensive in PNG and far beyond the means of most of the population. Throughout much of the country, internet access is simply unavailable. Mobile coverage into 2016 is extensive, though most rural areas still have only 2G services.

Nevertheless, mobile broadband is proving far more successful than fixed-line broadband, and both Telikom and Digicel are planning to provide LTE services by the end of 2016. The number of mobile broadband users is expected to continue to grow strongly as these operators expand their 3G and LTE networks in the coming years.

To overcome the country's communication shortcomings, the government is deploying a National Transmission Network, which is expected to boost bandwidth and encourage market competition. It is managed by the state-owned PNG DataCo, which acts as wholesaler.

Given the underdeveloped telecom services, PNG's telecom market has enormous growth potential. Despite the challenges, the country offers many investment opportunities. An increasing number of Papuans are embracing the digital age, particularly the younger generation, and mobile phones in particular are becoming a more important source of social interaction.

Key developments:

Digicel Pacific extends capacity with new O3b Networks deal;
Telikom PNG expecting LTE launch by end-2016;
PNG's state-owned incumbent Telikom is being restructured to focus on retail services while its network is transferred to the state-owned company DataCo;
Telikom PNG reduces retail and wholesale internet charges to stimulate take-up of services;
PNG's National Transmission Network has international connectivity via the PPC1 submarine cable landing in Madang, offering additional bandwidth to the APNG-2 cable landing near Port Moresby;
Submarine cable network ICN2, connecting PNG to Vanuatu, expected to be lit by mid-2016;
PNG's telecom regulator, NICTA, enforces SIM card registration, proposes mandatory sharing of mobile network infrastructure.

Market penetration rates in PNG's telecoms sector 2015 (e)
Penetration of telecoms services: | Penetration
Fixed-line telephony | 1.9%
Fixed internet users | 9.4%
Mobile SIM (population) | 49%
(Source: BuddeComm)

Companies mentioned in this report

Telikom PNG, PNG DataCo, Digicel, bmobile, Vodafone, Citifon, Greencom, A-Tel, EMTV, HiTRON, Digicel Play, Click TV, Global Internet, Online South Pacific, DataNets, Datec, PACTEL, Facebook, Telstra, Optus, NZ Telecom, Kacific Broadband Satellite, O3b Networks.


1. Executive summary
2. Key statistics
3. Country overview
4. Telecommunications market
4.1 Historical overview
4.2 Telecom sector development targets for 2030
5. Regulatory environment
5.1 Historical overview
5.2 Regulatory authority
5.2.1 Independent Public Business Corporation (IPBC)
5.3 Telecom sector liberalisation
6. Fixed network operators
6.1 Telikom PNG
6.2 PNG DataCo
7. Telecommunications infrastructure
7.1 National telecom network
7.2 National Transmission Network (NTN)
7.3 International infrastructure
7.3.1 Satellite
7.3.2 Submarine cables
7.3.3 Connecting the Pacific islands
8. Broadband market
8.1 Introduction and statistical overview
8.2 Major ISPs
9. Digtal media
9.1 Introduction
9.2 Major players
9.2.1 HiTRON
9.2.2 Digicel Play
9.2.3 Click TV
9.3 Social Media
10. Mobile market
10.1 Market analysis
10.2 Mobile statistics
10.3 Mobile broadband
10.4 Mobile infrastructure
10.4.1 Long-term Evolution (LTE)
10.5 Regulatory issues
10.5.1 SIM registration
10.6 Mobile infrastructure
10.6.1 Third generation mobile
10.6.2 4G / LTE
10.7 Major mobile operators
10.7.1 Digicel
10.7.2 Bemobile (bmobile)/ Vodafone
10.7.3 Citifon (Telikom)
11. Related reports
Table 1 Country statistics Papua New Guinea 2015 (e)
Table 2 Telephone network statistics 2015 9(e)e0
Table 3 Internet statistics 2015
Table 4 Broadband statistics 2015 (e)
Table 5 Mobile statistics 2015 (e)
Table 6 National telecommunications authority
Table 7 Evolution of GDP in PNG 2000 - 2016
Table 8 Fixed/mobile market share - 2000 - 2015
Table 9 Telecom sector development goals 2010; 2015; 2020; 2025; 2030
Table 10 Historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 1995 - 2009
Table 11 Fixed lines in service and teledensity 2010 - 2016
Table 12 International bandwidth 2004 - 2014
Table 13 Internet users and penetration rates 2000 - 2016
Table 14 Fixed broadband subscribers and penetration rates 2008 - 2016
Table 15 Fixed-line broadband subscribers 2008 - 2016
Table 16 Facebook users and penetration rates 2010 - 2015
Table 17 Historic Mobile subscriptions and penetration - 1997 - 2009
Table 18 Mobile subscriptions and penetration 2010 - 2016
Table 19 Active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration 2012 - 2016
Table 20 Digicel PNG financials 2013 - 2015
Table 21 Digicel PNG mobile subscribers 2013 - 2015
Chart 1 Fixed/mobile market share 2000 - 2015
Chart 2 Mobile market evolution in PNG 2005 - 2016
Exhibit 1 Map of Papua New Guinea
Exhibit 2 Privatisation of Telikom PNG historic overview
Exhibit 3 Telikom PNG at a glance
Exhibit 4 National Transmission Network map
Exhibit 5 Major submarine cables with landing points in Papua New Guinea 2014
Exhibit 6 The laying of APNG-2 a recycled submarine cable
Exhibit 7 VSAT connects remote Manus Islands
Exhibit 8 Mobile operators and technology used

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