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Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Market Insights and Statistics -Cook Islands

Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Market Insights and Statistics -Cook Islands

Competition to reach the Cook Islands, but Spark/Telecom New Zealand pulls out

BuddeComm's report Cook Islands - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Market Insights and Statistics provides a comprehensive overview of the trends and developments in the telecommunications market of the Cook Islands, including industry and operator data updates and estimates through to 2014.


With its small, declining population spread over a wide area of ocean, the mainstay of the Cook Islands' telecom market is tourism. Although the Cook Islands shares with other Pacific islands the difficulties associated with having a small, remote market, its per capita income is much higher because of its ties to New Zealand, and customers expect a high level of telecom services.

Telecom monopoly

Telecom Cook Islands (TCI) is the only telecom operator, providing fixed line telephony, broadband, and mobile voice and data services for residential and business customers. TCI is owned 60% by Spark New Zealand (previously Telecom New Zealand) and 40% by the Cook Islands Government.

Proposed sale of Telecom Cook Islands

Spark New Zealand is looking to sell its 60% interest in TCI. The company is in the process of choosing a buyer out of three applicants: Irish-owned Digicel with operations in the Caribbean and the Pacific, and two Cook Islands consortiums, one led by KukiCel and backed by Hong-Kong based Distacom, and one led by Baudinet and backed by Samoan telco BlueSky.


Competition legislation in the Cook Islands has traditionally been problematical due to the country's narrow economic base. Discussions on liberalising the telecom market have been ongoing since 2006, but negotiations between the government and Spark New Zealand have not been easy. However, a new Telecommunications Bill opening up the market is waiting to be submitted to parliament.

Key telecom parameters 2011 - 2013
Sector | 2011 | 2012 | 2013

Subscribers to telecoms services:

Fixed-line telephony | 7,100 | 7,500 | 7,800
Mobile telephony | 8,500 | 10,000 | 11,000
(Source: BuddeComm)

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

Market highlights:

Under the new telecom bill, a Telecommunications Commissioner will promote sustainable and efficient competition in the Cook Islands;
Despite its small market, Telecom Cook Islands (TCI) makes profits of around $6 million a year;
Digicel has offered $23 million to Spark New Zealand for a 60% stake in TCI;
TCI has launched the world's first broadband service using O3b Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellites, with greatly reduced latency compared to standard satellites.
TCI has launched an HSPA network in Rarotonga.

This report provides an overview of trends and developments in the Cook Islands' telecommunications market.

Subjects covered include:

Market and industry overviews;
Facts, figures, and statistics;
Telecommunications policies and regulatory issues;
Major player (fixed, mobile, and broadband);
Fixed-line market and infrastructure;
Internet and broadband market;
Mobile market.

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

1. Executive summary
2. Key statistics
3. Country overview
4. Telecommunications market
4.1 Overview of Cook Islands' telecom market
4.2 Proposed sale of Telecom Cook Islands
5. Regulatory environment
5.1 Background
5.2 Regulatory authority
5.3 Telecommunications Bill
6. Fixed network operator in Cook Islands
6.1 Telecom Cook Islands Ltd
7. Telecommunications infrastructure
7.1 National telecom network
7.2 International infrastructure
8. Broadband access market
8.1 Overview
9. Mobile communications
9.1 Overview of Cook Islands' mobile market
10. Related reports
Table 1 Country statistics 2013
Table 2 Telephone network statistics 2013
Table 3 Fixed broadband statistics 2013
Table 4 Mobile statistics 2013
Table 5 Evolution of GDP in the Cook Islands 2009 - 2014
Table 6 Fixed lines in service and teledensity 2008- 2014
Table 7 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 2000 - 2014
Chart 1 Mobile market evolution at a glance 2004 - 2014
Exhibit 1 Telecom Cook Islands at a glance
Exhibit 2 TCI mobile network history

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