60% of the Population Is Below the Age of 25 and Are Keen to Gain Improved Access to Communication and Digital Services
Coral Sea Cable System alleviates international bandwidth constraints
Mobile services have continually expanded in the Solomon Islands. 3G services became available in 2010, leading to an increase in mobile broadband uptake. Solomon Islands currently host three ISPs: Solomon Telekom, Bmobile and SATSOL. Fixed broadband services which underpin the development of a digital economy are largely limited to government, corporations, and educational organisations in the Solomon Islands.
Telecommunication infrastructure in the Solomon Islands requires significant investment due to the geographical make-up of the islands. This presents a great challenge to rural connectivity in the country. Although various international organisations such as the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank have taken a special interest in having communication services improved in both the Solomon Islands and the Pacific region in general, internet and broadband penetration remain low. The provision of broadband infrastructure, particularly to rural areas, is also hindered by land disputes.
Internet services have, however, improved with the build-out of the Coral Sea Cable System linking Papua New Guinea to the Solomon Islands, as also with a connecting cable to a landing station at Sydney. The Australian government provided most of the funding for the Coral Sea Cable System, with contributions and support from the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea governments.
The launch of the Kacific-1 satellite in late 2019 also improved broadband satellite capacity for the region, though for telcos in Solomon Islands satellite services are now largely used as backup for international traffic.
In recent years, the country has stabilised both politically and economically and this, along with improvements to mobile infrastructure, has led to a rise in mobile penetration and the slow uptake of broadband services. While the first LTE services were launched in late 2017 in the capital Honiara, the main platform for mobile voice and data services remains 3G, while in outlying areas GSM is still an important technology for the provision of services.
Geopolitical concerns have also come to the fore as the government pursues stronger ties with China. This is a growing source of tension with Australia, which is the Solomon Islands' largest aid donor. In April 2022, the country signed a security agreement with China, although the full details of the agreement have not been published.
The publisher notes that the outbreak of the pandemic had a significant impact on production and supply chains globally. However, the telecoms sector, has benefited from a rebound in mobile device production during 2021.
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, has offset such pressures. The market is thus expected to continue a positive growth trajectory through 2022.
- Coral Sea Cable System and Kacific-1 helping to alleviate international bandwidth constraints, focus shifts to improving last mile connectivity
- Our Telekom plans large scale network upgrade
- Government signs a SBD37.6 million funding agreement with Australia to build additional telecom towers
- Bmobile enters into an agreement with Lynk Global to provide satellite mobile services
- Bills and Legislation Committee presents inquiry into the Telecommunications (Amendment) Bill 2021, to address SIM card registration requirements
- Growth in mobile data consumption driven by high proportion of consumers under the age of 25
- Report update includes the regulator's market data report for 2020, recent market developments.
Companies covered in this report include:
Our Telekom (Breeze); Bmobile-Vodafone; Kacific Broadband Satellite, O3b, Interchange Limited, Solomon Island Submarine Cable Company.
Table of Contents
- Country overview
- Telecommunications market
- Historical overview
- Market analysis
- National Development Strategy 2016 2035
- Regulatory authority
- Telecommunications Act 2009
- Licensing fees
- Interconnection adjudication
- Spectrum management
- Broadcasting policy
- Network sharing
- Market analysis
- Mobile statistics
- Mobile infrastructure
- Mobile broadband
- Major mobile operators
- Mobile content and applications
Fixed-line broadband market
- Market analysis
Fixed network operator
- Our Telekom (Solomon Telekom)
- Overview of the national telecom network
- International infrastructure
Appendix historic data
- Glossary of abbreviations
- Related reports
List of Tables
- Table 1 Top Level Country Statistics and Telco Authorities- Solomon Islands 2022 (e)
- Table 2 Evolution of GDP and inflation in Solomon Islands 2012 2022
- Table 3 Internet subscribers by technology 2012 2020
- Table 4 Development of telecom sector revenue 2012 2020
- Table 5 Change in fixed and mobile voice traffic (million minutes) 2019 2020
- Table 6 Growth in average fixed and mobile data traffic (MB/month) 2014 2020
- Table 7 Growth in the number of mobile subscriptions and penetration 2012 2027
- Table 8 Annual mobile sector ARPU 2012 2020
- Table 9 Percentage of mobile connections by technology 2018 2025
- Table 10 Growth in the number of mobile broadband subscribers and user penetration 2012 2027
- Table 11 Growth in the number of fixed broadband subscribers and penetration 2012 2027
- Table 12 Growth in the number of fixed broadband subscribers by technology 2012 2020
- Table 13 Change in the proportion of internet traffic by platform 2014 2020
- Table 14 Increase in internet traffic by platform (GB) 2014 2020
- Table 15 Decline in the number of fixed lines in service and teledensity 2012 2027
- Table 16 Increase in international bandwidth 2012 2018
- Table 17 Historic - Solomon Islands - International bandwidth 2004 2011
List of Charts
- Chart 1 Development of telecom sector revenue 2012 2020
- Chart 2 Change in fixed and mobile voice traffic 2019 2020
- Chart 3 Growth in average fixed and mobile data traffic 2014 2020
- Chart 4 Growth in the number of mobile subscriptions and penetration 2012 2027
- Chart 5 Annual mobile sector ARPU 2012 2020
- Chart 6 Growth in the number of mobile broadband subscribers and user penetration 2012 2027
- Chart 7 Growth in the number of fixed broadband subscribers and penetration 2012 2027
- Chart 8 Growth in the number of fixed broadband subscribers by technology 2012 2020
- Chart 9 Change in the proportion of internet traffic by platform 2014 2020
- Chart 10 Increase in internet traffic by platform (PB) 2014 2020
- Chart 11 Decline in the number of fixed lines in service and teledensity 2012 2027
- Chart 12 Increase in international bandwidth 2012 2018
List of Exhibits
- Exhibit 1 Major submarine cables with landing points in Solomon Islands 2020
- Our Telekom (Breeze)
- Kacific Broadband Satellite
- Interchange Limited
- Solomon Island Submarine Cable Company.