By EDDIE OSIFELO
THE Telecommunication industry in Solomon Islands has seen a drop in revenue by 14 percent to $369 million from 2019.
As such it is affecting a fall in the revenue of Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) to $862 in 2020 from $901 in 2019.
This was revealed in the Telecommunications Commission 2020 annual report released recently in Honiara.
“Although the fall in total revenue in 2020 can be indirectly linked to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic causing global and local economic recession, the trend can also indicate that the marginal revenue generated by the industry through the value-added services such as data and voice plans has not yet been realized,” the report states.
The report also states that it is noteworthy to mention that this is despite the rapidly declining cost of data since early 2020 to an estimated SBD$0.06 since the opening of the undersea cable.
Furthermore, the report states that although the mobile subscriber’s market has decreased by 10.3 percent from 2019, there is an increase in mobile broadband/internet subscribers by 3.3 percent to 133,148 in 2020 from the previous year.
However, due to limited time and availability of data, the report does not cover any new local investments in the industry and comparison of local industry with those of the regional service providers.
“Nor does it cover the accessibility of the telecommunications services to the remote areas of the country.
“It should be noted that with the use of the recent 2019 national census projected figures, the estimates for the mobile and broadband/internet penetration are slightly different from the previous figures used in the previous annual reports of TCSI,” the report states.
The report further states that the Telecommunication industry continues to maintain its share of the annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at 3 percent and is likely to grow given the trend in the global and local demand for the telecommunications services.
The current Solomon Islands service providers that use the cable and satellite services are Solomon Telekom Company Ltd, Bmobile SI Ltd, Satsol Limited, Pacific Vaizeds Enterprises Ltd, Patrico Communications Ltd and Solitech Limited.