Solomon Islands - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses
Internet penetration is low in the Solomon Islands
While mobile penetration is considered to be quite high in the Solomon Islands; internet penetration remains very low. Some rural and remote areas still lack access to mobile networks and in areas where it is available - the cost can be prohibitive. Many rural mobile base stations in the Solomon Islands also only support voice services; further inhibiting growth of mobile broadband services.
Satellite internet services have traditionally been too costly for citizens to access on a regular basis and ADSL is only available in limited locations. There are also geographic difficulties in deploying fibre-optic cables in the Solomon Islands. Remote islands are separated by large distances of open ocean, and almost all rural villages have no reliable power - if power is available at all. Around 85% of Solomon Islanders live in tiny functioning rural communities scattered across 100 populated islands.
The Solomon Islands is also vulnerable to the seasonal natural disasters including cyclones and earthquakes. Despite these significant challenges, the Solomon Islands government has acknowledged it is time to prioritise improving the telecoms sector and has outlined plans in its current National Development Strategy to do so.
Key telecom parameters 2014; 2017
Sector | 2014 | 2017
Subscribers to telecoms services: (e)
Mobile broadband subscribers | 74,457 | 79,976
Fixed-line telephony | 7,525 | 7,298
Mobile phone | 376,000 | 497,000
(Source: BuddeComm based on industry data)
In 2017 internet penetration remains low despite the reasonably high penetration of mobile phones.
There are two proposed submarine cables in the pipeline for the Solomon Islands.
Bmobile-vodafone has been improving its backhaul cellular network in order to offer 3G data services in parts of the Solomon Islands.
Mobile banking allows the unbanked to transact financially and services are available to mobile broadband users in the Solomon Islands.
The government of the Solomon Islands has acknowledged that improving the ICT sector needs to be a priority and has address this in its current National Development Strategy.
Companies covered in this report include:
Our Telekom (Breeze); Bmobile-Vodafone; Kacific Broadband Satellite, O3b.