SI current has 428, 909 mobile users & 133,148 internet subscribers

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There are currently 428, 909 mobile subscribers with less than half of it, 133, 148, have subscribed to the internet, the Telecommunication Commission Solomon Islands 2020 Annual Report launched this morning reveals.

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This means that more than 60% of the country’s 704, 482 population have now scribed to one of the two mobile networks, Solomon Telekom and Bmobile.

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The Report which was launched by the Minister of Communication and Aviation Peter Shanel Agovaka says in terms of mobile subscriber penetration, the penetration of mobile subscribers declined from 66% in 2019 to 59% in 2020.

The report states a slight decline is recorded from 2018 to 2019, and from 2019 to 2020 and this may be due to a number of reasons, but it is expected that as economic activities increase and the financial environment continues to improve, the number of mobile subscribers will increase.

Overall, the mobile broadband penetration has increased from 7% in 2010 to 31% in 2020, but over the last number of years, penetration continues to increase with a 4% increase from 2019 to 2020.

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“With continued drops in the cost of data and voice plans, and with increasing demand for mobile internet usage, mobile broadband penetration is only expected to rise,” the report says.

Agovaka said since 2010 mobile subscribers and coverage have both grown four times, but mobile data usage as well as users have grown exponentially between 14 to 16 times respectively.

“Annualized growth has been negative, but this is consistent with global economic trends in a global pandemic, with a drop in mobile and fixed subscribers, but a clear uplift in data usage nonetheless,” said the minister.

He adds upon the implementation of the International Submarine Cable, this has seen total monthly data usage increase by 60% in the 10 months between February to December 2020, with this continuing to grow.

Agovaka said the Solomon Islands first undersea optic fiber cable made possible by the support of the Australian Government has been timely and clearly shown its worth in the statistics.

The Report states that although the mobile subscriber’s market has decreased by 10.3% from 2019, there is an increase in mobile broadband/internet subscribers by 3.3% to 133,148 in 2020 from the previous year.

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