Kylie Wansink, Senior Analyst Global, BuddeComm

Kylie Wansink, Senior Analyst Global, BuddeComm

Kylie gained a degree in Information Management and began her career in the management consulting sector. She now has around fifteen years experience as a business researcher/analyst and has specialised in the telecommunications and technology sector for around ten years. Kylie has been responsible for our extensive range of global market reports since joining us in 2006 and has published a number of articles on global trends in independent publications.

Posts by Kylie:

Samoa’s mobile broadband internet users grow sharply

Samoa has experienced a sharp increase in Internet users in recent years – while in contrast fixed lines have declined. Internet user penetration has reached over 30% and the majority of users are accessing services via mobile broadband. Between 2015 and 2016, the teledensity of mobile broadband subscriptions increased from around 10% to nearly 27%.

In 2017 mobile broadband services are improving for Samoan’s with both the previous launch of a 4G LTE services by Digicel Samoa in 2016 – as well as an LTE-A network by Bluesky Samoa in 2017. The acquisition of Bluesky Samoa by Amalgamated Telecom Holdings (ATH) is expected to be finalised in due course, with formal approval for the sale given approval by the Office of the Regulator in Samoa in July 2017.

Samoa is beginning to address its international capacity issues with a major public-private project underway. Facilitated by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), World Bank (WB) and the Samoan government, it will see high-speed telecom improvements in Samoa via a fibre optic submarine cable which will connect Samoa (Upolu and Savai’i) with the Southern Cross Cable Network in Fiji (Suva). The Tui Samoa cable, as it known, will be co-financed by the ADB, the WB, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) as well as the Samoa Submarine Cable Company (SSCC) which also incorporates other smaller investors. The project is expected to cost around US$49 million and should be available by the end of 2017.

The consensus is that a mix of technologies will be used to service the Pacific region in general going forward, including mobile, satellite as well as fibre-optic submarine cables, and that a coordinated planning approach at the regional level is essential for network resilience, performance, value for money, and extent of coverage.

For detailed information, table of contents and pricing see: Samoa – Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband – Statistics and Analyses

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Fixed broadband is a key infrastructure for future progress

It has become very clear that innovation related to ICT and digital technologies is one of the key components for future economic and social strength. Countries with a sophisticated fixed and mobile telecoms infrastructure are well placed to take advantage of these future technological and societal developments.

Countries without the necessary infrastructure however are expected to lag behind, especially once innovations around the Internet of Everything, M2M and Big Data gather pace. We are already seeing the beginnings of sophisticated Smart Cities emerge in some parts of the world.

Asia makes a strong claim to be leading the world when it comes to the general development of broadband internet. While mobile broadband is already a large and fast growing segment of the region’s internet market, fixed broadband continues to underpin the delivery of internet services to households and businesses. Fibre-based fixed broadband services have taken on a major significance and are shaping up to define the broadband market of the future.

A new BuddeComm report aims to capture the progress of the current fixed broadband market around the world, supported by statistics, case studies and analysis. In addition, the report includes unique regional case studies written by BuddeComm’s senior analysts, and includes: Europe, USA, Asia-Pacific, Latin America and the Middle East.

For detailed information, table of contents and pricing see: Global Fixed Broadband Market – Trends, Statistics and Progress

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Telecommunications revenues rising in the Kingdom of Bahrain

There are many positive developments occurring in the liberalised telecoms market of Bahrain. The major telecoms operators include Bahrain Telecommunications Company (Batelco), Mena Telecom and Zain Bahrain and also operating in the mobile sector is Viva Bahrain (owned by Saudi Telecommunications Company (STC).

Telecommunications industry revenues are rising, mobile subscribers continue to grow and mobile broadband subscriptions dominate. There are now well over 2.8 million mobile subscriptions in the Kingdom and penetration sits at over 200%.

Consumers are reaping the benefit of competition which has led to a decline in prices for services.  While this has led to a drop in licensed revenues – it is the unlicensed sector, led by handset devices, which has resulted in a revenue growth of 88% between 2014 and 2015.

With mobile subscribers accounting for the majority of broadband subscriptions in Bahrain, the operators are focusing heavily on mobile infrastructure. LTE networks are well established and the operators are looking towards new services like VoLTE, M2M and the potential of 5G in the future.

Bahrain’s Fourth National Telecommunications Plan was prepared by the end of 2015 and given approval by the Ministry in May 2016. It will focus on fibre-optic infrastructure and affordable prices for high-speed access. It also includes 5G development and readiness.

For detailed information, table of contents and pricing see: Bahrain – Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband – Statistics and Analyses

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Lebanon’s new telecoms minister focuses on fixed network improvements

Significant improvements are planned for Lebanon’s fixed network, according to Lebanon’s new telecoms minister Jamal Jarrah. The plans should result in 500,000 new landlines becoming available in 2017, the installation of fibre-optic networks and faster DSL services. Ogero Telecom is working in conjunction with the government to deploy the planned works.

The improvements will be welcomed by consumers and enterprises alike. Lebanon has trailed behind other countries in the region in almost all aspects of broadband networks and services. ADSL services were not launched until 2007 and broadband has been available at only low speeds and at high prices. This has changed somewhat in the last couple of years with proactive measures being made to reduce prices but speed is still an issue.

4G services have been available in Lebanon since 2013 and initially the coverage was only small. During 2016 both Touch and Alfa implemented substantial 4G upgrades and expansions, supported by Huawei, Nokia and Ericsson. By the end of March 2017, according to the Telecoms Minister, there would be an 85% coverage of 4G mobile broadband across most parts of Lebanon.

The improvements to Lebanon’s broadband infrastructure will boost the already flourishing digital economy as well as the start-up culture that has attracted international interest and recognition.

For detailed information, table of contents and pricing see: Lebanon – Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband – Statistics and Analyses

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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.

For detailed information, table of contents and pricing see: Solomon Islands – Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband – Statistics and Analyses

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