|Maldives Telecommunications Research|
Maldives - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband
The tiny nation of the Maldives has a booming mobile market and, now, strong broadband growth.
With its relatively small population of less than 350,000 living on many islands across the archipelago, providing good communications for the Maldives has been paramount. The nation has addressed this challenge with considerable success. It now prides itself on having built one of the most advanced telecommunications systems in the region. With the country's well-developed national network, the capital Malé is particularly well served, as are the tourist resort islands; this has been further enhanced by the provision of a major submarine cable connection to Sri Lanka; at the same time the opportunity has been taken to provide undersea links between the main atolls, thereby substantially strengthening the domestic connectivity. Efficient telecommunications services have been established to all inhabited islands by the national telco, Dhivehi Raajjeyge Gulhun Pvt Ltd (Dhiraagu). Dhiraagu, a joint venture between the government (65%) and Cable & Wireless plc (35%), has played a major role in setting up the country's infrastructure. Despite having been criticised in the past for its high tariff structure, the company has played an undeniably important role in establishing and delivering telephone services across the archipelago.
Dhiraagu was initially granted an exclusive licence to provide all telecommunications services in the country. With its licence renewal in 1995, the operator was given a more clearly stated mandate to provide telephone access to all inhabited islands by the year 2000. The Dhiraagu monopoly was officially set to run out in 2008. However, the government moved to open up the market earlier than that. The licensing of a second ISP by the government in 2002 signalled its intention to proceed with deregulation ahead of time. A second mobile licence was issued in 2004, but the new operator Wataniya Telecom did not become operational until 2006. Despite the slow start, the introduction of a level of competition quickly saw the telecom market boom. By 2010 Wataniya had around 100,000 mobile subscribers or around one quarter of the market. At the same time the incumbent was also continuing to vigorously grow its mobile subscriber base. Mobile penetration in the Maldives had reached a remarkable 160% by early 2010. Both operators had launched 3G services.
The Maldives has continued to benefit from its newly competitive market, with overall service improving greatly since the arrival of Wataniya Telecom;
Wataniya quickly grabbed and held onto about a quarter of the mobile market;
Despite a penetration in excess of 150% (reached in 2010), the mobile market was continuing to expand at a good pace into 2011;
Launch of Third Generation (3G) services in the Maldives has seen Dhiraagu and Wataniya competing strongly for customers;
With the incumbent Dhiraagu also continuing to promote fixed-line services, fixed subscriber numbers have continued to move steadily upwards;
With internet services predominately broadband based (more than 90% of the total Internet subscribers), growth in this market segment was encouraging; but Internet subscriber penetration was still well below 10% coming into 2011;
An overall slowing in the national economy had not surprisingly affected the country's telecom sector; nevertheless, there were encouraging signs for the economy in 2010/2011.Maldives - key telecom parameters - 2010 - 2011
Total number of subscribers51,00045,000
Fixed-line penetration (population)16%15%
Total number of subscribers22,50025,000
Internet subscriber penetration (population)7%8%
Total number of subscribers494,000560,000
Mobile penetration (population)157%179%
This report provides an overview of the trends and developments in the telecommunications markets in Maldives. Subjects covered include:
Market and Industry Overviews;
Major Operators (Mobile and Fixed)
Internet Market, including Broadband.
Last Update: 13 Jul 2011 Number of Pages: 24
Single User: USD $420.00 ex-GST View Table of Contents