Previously Bhutan had been isolated from the rest of the world for a long time, both generally, and particularly in terms of its telecommunications. Its mountainous landscape made it especially difficult to build the necessary telecoms infrastructure.
Fixed broadband penetration remains very low mainly due to the dominance of the mobile platform. Over the next five years to 2023 low to moderate growth is expected from this small base.
The mobile market in Bhutan has grown moderately over the past few years however the growth rate has subsided over the past few years as the mobile market begins to mature.
B-Mobile is the leading mobile operator in Bhutan. TashiCell is its only market competitor, and has been bridging the gap over the past few years.
The mobile networks have provided a major boost to internet access in the country, largely on the back of EDGE/GPRS, 3G and more recently 4G platforms are now gaining traction in Bhutan with both major mobile operators offering 4G services. Slower and declining growth is predicted to continue over the next five years to 2023 as the mobile subscriber market further matures.
Bhutan's mobile broadband has grown sharply over the past five years from a small base driven by a mature mobile market. Strong growth is predicted over the next five years to 2023 but at a declining rate due to a maturing market. The mobile broadband market will be driven by increasingly faster speeds offered by the mobile operators as they further roll out their 4G networks.
Bhutan's telecom sector has been continuing on a steady development path.
TashiCell has been bridging the gap over the past few years in the mobile market.
The mobile market in Bhutan has grown moderately over the past few years.
Mobile broadband has seen strong growth and this is expected to continue at a slower rate.
4G LTE networks have now gained strong raction in Bhutan.
Companies mentioned in this report:
Bhutan Telecom, B-Mobile, DrukNet, Samden Tech, Tashi InfoComm, TashiCell, Ericsson, Reliance, Airtel.
2. Key statistics
3. Country overview
4. Telecommunications market
4.1 Market Overview and Analysis
4.2 Regional Asian Market Comparison
5. Regulatory environment
5.1 Bhutan Telecommunications Act 1999
5.2 Bhutan Information Communications and Media (BICM) Act 2006
5.3 BICMA legislation
5.5 Telecommunications Numbering Plan
5.6 Cable TV
6. Fixed Network Operators
6.1 Bhutan Telecom
7. Telecommunications infrastructure
7.1 Overview of the national telecom network
7.1.2 Bhutan Telecom's infrastructure roll-out
7.1.3 Fixed-line statistics
7.1.4 Fibre networks
7.1.5 Universal Service Fund (USF)
7.1.6 Remote communities and Rural communications programs
7.2 International infrastructure
7.2.2 Very Small Aperture Terminals (VSATs)
8. Fixed-line broadband market
8.2 Broadband statistics and Forecast
8.3 Fixed Broadband Service Providers
8.3.3 Samden Tech
9. Mobile market
9.2 Mobile Statistics and Forecast
9.3 Mobile broadband Statistics and Forecast
10. Mobile infrastructure
10.2 4G LTE
11. Major mobile operators
11.1 Operator Statistics
11.3 Tashi InfoComm (Tashicell)
12. Digital economy
13. Related reports
List of Tables
Table 1 Top Level Country Statistics and Telco Authorities 2018 (e)
Table 2 Percentage of Population Covered by Type of Mobile Network
Table 3 Key Metrics - Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) - 2018 - 2023
Table 4 Fixed Lines, Penetration and Annual Growth 2007 - 2018
Table 5 Historic - fixed lines in service and Penetration 1995 - 2005
Table 6 Fixed Broadband Subscribers and Penetration (with Forecast) 2008 - 2023
Table 7 - Internet Users, Penetration and Annual Growth (with forecast) - 2007 - 2019
Table 8 - Historic - Internet users and penetration rate - 1999 2006
Table 9 Historic - Dial-up internet subscribers 2001 2008; 2010 - 2014
Table 10 Broadband / Internet subscribers by access (fixed and wireless) 2008; 2012 - 2017
Table 11 International internet bandwidth 2000 - 2018
Table 12 Lit/Equipped International Bandwidth Capacity 2015 - 2018
Table 13 ADSL Broadband Subscribers by Service Provider 2017
Table 14 Leased-Line Broadband Services by Service Provider 2017
Table 15 Broadband, Leased Line and Mobile Broadband by Service Provider 2016
Table 16 Mobile Subscribers and Penetration (with Forecast) 2007 - 2023
Table 17 - Historic - Mobile subscribers, annual change and penetration 2003 2009
Table 18 Mobile Broadband Subscribers and Penetration (with Forecast) 2010 - 2023
Table 19 Mobile operators and systems
Table 20 Mobile subscribers and market share by operator 2018
Table 21 3G Mobile subscribers and market share by operator 2017
Table 22 4G Mobile subscribers and market share by operator 2017
Table 23 Historic - Mobile subscribers and market share by operator 2016
Table 24 Historic - Mobile subscribers by operator 2014
Table 25 B-Mobile's subscribers 2003 - 2018
Table 26 B-Mobile's 3G subscribers 2008 - 2017
Table 27 TashiCell mobile subscribers 2010 - 2018
List of Charts
Chart 1 Mobile, Mobile Broadband & Fixed Broadband Penetration 2018; 2023
Chart 2 Asian Telecoms Maturity Index by Market Category
Chart 3 Asian Telecoms Maturity Index vs GDP per Capita
Chart 4 Telecoms Maturity Index Central Asia
Chart 5 - Fixed Lines and Penetration 2007 - 2018
Chart 6 Fixed Broadband Subscribers and Penetration (with Forecast) 2008 - 2023
Chart 7 Mobile Subscribers and Penetration (with Forecast) 2008 - 2023
Chart 8 Mobile Broadband Subscribers and Penetration (with Forecast) 2010 - 2023
List of Exhibits
Exhibit 1 Key Market Characteristics by Market Segment
Exhibit 2 Central Asia -Key Characteristics of Telecoms Markets by Country
Exhibit 3 Level of competition by market segment
Exhibit 4 Licences issued by service category