Political Stability Boosts Mobile Penetration in Solomon Islands – R&M
By James Barton, Developing Telecoms
June 12, 2019
In recent years, the Solomon Islands have stabilised both politically and economically and this, along with improvements to mobile infrastructure has led to a sharp rise in mobile penetration.
According to a new report from Research & Markets, improvements to Internet services are expected with both the build-out of a new submarine cable known as the Coral Sea Cable System which will link PNG to the Solomon Islands, with a connecting cable to the Australian (Sydney) landing station.
In addition, the planned launch of the Kacific-1 satellite in late 2019 should also improve broadband satellite capacity for the Solomon Islands.
Recent 3G mobile network expansions and upgrades by the two major operators, Our Telekom (operating as Breeze) and Bmobile-Vodafone, are improving mobile services and in turn driving uptake, including an increase in mobile broadband subscriptions. While the first 4G LTE services were launched in late 2017 in the capital Honiara, it is still 3G – and in many cases 2G – which is the main source of mobile telephony.
Various international organisations such as The World Bank and Asian Development Bank have taken a special interest in seeing communication services improved in both the Solomon Islands and Pacific region in general. The Australian government is assisting by providing the majority of funding for the new submarine cable system, with contributions and support also coming from both governments from the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea.