Samoa - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

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

Samoa - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Various parties interested in acquiring Digicel's Pacific operations

Samoa was one of the first Pacific Island countries to establish a regulatory infrastructure and to liberalise its telecom market. In 2006, it became the first in the region to see the market entrance of Digicel, which has since launched services in other Pacific nations. The advent of competition in the mobile market saw prices fall by around 50% and network coverage increase to more than 90% of the population.

LTE is developing on the back of its initial launch in 2016 by Digicel Samoa, followed by BlueSky Samoa (now Vodafone Samoa) in early 2017. Digicel Samoa completed its LTE network in September 2020.

Similar to other countries in the Pacific Islands, Samoa's telecoms sector has been inhibited by a lack of international connectivity. While Samoa has had access to the Samoa-America-Samoa (SAS) cable laid in 2009, this cable has insufficient capacity to meet the country's future bandwidth needs.

This issue was addressed with two new submarine cables which became available in 2018 and 2019. These, combined with the Samoa National Broadband Highway (SNBH), have improved internet data rates and reliability, and have reduced the high costs which were previously associated with internet access in Samoa.

BuddeComm notes that the outbreak of the Coronavirus in 2020 is continuing to have a significant impact on production and supply chains globally. During the coming year the telecoms sector to various degrees is likely to experience a downturn in mobile device production, while it may also be difficult for network operators to manage workflows when maintaining and upgrading existing infrastructure. Overall progress towards 5G may be postponed or slowed down in some countries.

On the consumer side, spending on telecoms services and devices is under pressure from the financial effect of large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes. However, the crucial nature of telecom services, both for general communication as well as a tool for home-working, will offset such pressures. In many markets the net effect should be a steady though reduced increased in subscriber growth.

The report also covers the responses of the telecom operators as well as government agencies and regulators as they react to the crisis to ensure that citizens can continue to make optimum use of telecom services. This can be reflected in subsidy schemes and the promotion of tele-health and tele-education, among other solutions.

Key developments:

Manatua cable certified ready for service;
Australian government attempts to block Chinese companies from acquiring the Pacific operations of Digicel;
Report includes assessment of the global impact of Covid-19 on the telecoms sector.

Companies covered in this report include:

Amalgamated Telecom Holdings (ATH), Vodafone Samoa, Amper, Blue Sky Samoa, Digicel Samoa, Kacific Broadband Satellite, O3b.

1 Key statistics
2 Country overview
3 Covid-19 and its impact on the telecom sector
3.1 Economic considerations and responses
3.2 Mobile devices
3.3 Subscribers
3.4 Infrastructure
3.5 Impact on Samoa
4 Telecommunications market
4.1 Historical overview
4.2 Market analysis
4.3 Financial budgets
5 Regulatory environment
5.1 Historic overview
5.2 Regulatory authority
5.3 Telecom sector liberalisation
5.4 Privatisation of SamoaTel
5.5 Spectrum management
5.6 Access
6 Mobile market
6.1 Market analysis
6.2 Mobile statistics
6.3 Mobile infrastructure
6.4 Major mobile operators
6.5 Mobile Content and Applications
6.6 Mobile handsets
7 Fixed-line broadband market
7.1 Historical overview
7.2 Market analysis
8 Digital Economy
8.1 E-Learning
8.2 Smart infrastructure
9 Fixed network operator
9.1 Vodafone Samoa (formerly BlueSky)
10 Telecommunications infrastructure
10.1 National telecom network
10.2 International infrastructure
11 Glossary of abbreviations
12 Related reports
Table 1 Top Level Country Statistics and Telco Authorities - Samoa 2020 (e)
Table 2 Evolution of GDP in Samoa 2011 2022
Table 3 Growth in the number of mobile subscribers and penetration 2011 2026
Table 4 Growth in the number of mobile broadband subscriptions and penetration 2013 2026
Table 5 Internet users and user penetration rate 2008 - 2020
Table 6 Fixed broadband subscribers and penetration 2011 2026
Table 7 Fixed lines in service and teledensity 2011 - 2026
Chart 1 Growth in the number of mobile subscribers and penetration 2011 2026
Chart 2 Mobile broadband subscriptions and penetration 2013 2026
Chart 3 Fixed broadband subscribers and penetration 2011 2026
Chart 4 Fixed lines in service and teledensity 2011 2026
Chart 5 Current mobile subscriber and mobile broadband penetration rates in countries to benefit from the Kacific-1 satellite
Exhibit 1 The start of the internet in Samoa
Exhibit 2 Regulations guiding international telecom connectivity in Samoa
Exhibit 3 Major submarine cables with landing points in Samoa 2020

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