TFL announces plan to expand fibre infrastructure to more parts of the country
Fiji has a relatively sophisticated communications infrastructure with the highest mobile and internet penetration in the Pacific Islands.
It is the leading market to watch in terms of both LTE and 5G development in this region.
The Fijian mobile operators, including Digicel Fiji and Vodafone Fiji, continue to invest in LTE and LTE-A technologies, and these networks now account for the largest share of mobile connections. Concentrating on the more highly populated areas, the operators are preparing for the next growth area of mobile data. The operators also have 5G in mind and are preparing the networks to be 5G ready.
Fiji presents a challenging geographic environment for infrastructure developments generally, due to its population being spread across more than 100 islands. However, the majority of Fijians live on the two main islands of Viti Levu and Vanua Levu.
In July 2018, the two islands were linked by the Savusavu submarine cable system, which provides a more secure link between the two islands in times of emergency weather events such as the regular tropical cyclones which often cause much destruction to this area. These natural disasters often destroy essential infrastructure including electricity and telecoms equipment.
BuddeComm notes that the outbreak of the Coronavirus is continuing to have a significant impact on production and supply chains globally. During the coming year the telecoms sector to various degrees is likely to experience a downturn in mobile device production, while it may also be difficult for network operators to manage workflows when maintaining and upgrading existing infrastructure. Overall progress towards 5G may be postponed or slowed down in some countries.
In Fiji, the COVID-19 pandemic has devastated the economy which is reliant of the hospitality and tourism sectors. With many countries still in lockdown and cross-border travels largely restricted, it is predicted that 2021 will also pose a challenging business environment.
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, will offset such pressures. In many markets the net effect should be a steady though reduced increased in subscriber growth.
The report covers the responses of the telecom operators as well as government agencies and regulators as they react to the crisis to ensure that citizens can continue to make optimum use of telecom services. This can be reflected in subsidy schemes and the promotion of tele-health and tele-education, among other solutions.Key Developments:
Companies mentioned in this report include:
- Australian government considers blocking Chinese companies from acquiring Digicel’s Pacific operations;
- TFL announces a five-year plan to expand fibre infrastructure to more parts of the country;
- Gondwana-2 international submarine cable to Fiji due for completion in early 2022;
- Vodafone completes network upgrade and expansion program;
- Digicel upgrades and expands LTE coverage;
- Report update includes the regulator’s market data to December 2020, telcos’ financial and operating data to Q3 2020, recent market developments.
Amalgamated Telecom Holdings (ATH), Telecom Fiji (TFL), Fiji International Telecommunications (FINTEL), Kacific Broadband Satellites, Southern Cross Cable Network (SCCN), Vodafone Fiji (VFL), Digicel Fiji, Inkk Mobile, Unwired Fiji, Fintel Internet Services (Kidanet)