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Mobile Operators and Networks

The Mobile Economy Pacific Islands 2023 Executive Summary

Mobile connectivity is central to delivering digital transformation and improving the lives of citizens in the Pacific Islands – in particular, accelerating socioeconomic advancement across areas such as healthcare, education, digital commerce, agritech and tourism.

Although the number of smartphone connections in the Pacific Islands has increased annually, the overall unique mobile subscriber rate remains low at 47% for 2022. Similarly, mobile internet usage remains in the minority, at 27% of the population – despite coverage of mobile broadband networks reaching 86%. Around 60% of the population are covered by a fast enough mobile network but are not using the mobile internet. This is known as the usage gap. Key reasons include affordability of mobile service and handsets/devices in relation to income, a lack of digital skills, and online safety and security concerns.

In the 5G era, mobile connectivity will play an even greater role in society, reflecting the potential for the technology to enable a range of new use cases and applications for citizens, enterprises and the public sector. In this context, governments and policymakers across the region should prepare for the 5G opportunity, using a whole-of-government approach.

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