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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