Despite the considerable deleterious effects of TC PAM on the industry, Vanuatu has sustained significant growth in subscribers of mobile services this year to achieve record numbers in 2015. There has been a year-on-year increase by 16% in average monthly mobile subscribers.
Telecommunications Radiocommunications and Broadcasting Regulator (TRBR) is pleased to note that the number of monthly subscribers to mobile services throughout 2015 continued to remain higher than the peak total, 159148, achieved in December 2014, including the months directly after TC PAM. This indicates the significant growth achieved in Q4 of 2014 was retained and built on, and that it was not only a temporary uptake in mobile use due to promotions or other factors such as the traditional peak in sales in the run-up to Christmas.
The number of monthly subscribers is defined as the total number of pre-paid and post-paid subscribers to have initiated a chargeable event within the last 90 days. Due to the considerable and wide-ranging damage to the networks and infrastructure this sustained level of monthly subscribers in 2015 indicates that the majority of users were accessing the network within three months of TC PAM. However, due to the lag-effect of this indicator - as it includes mobile use from the 3 previous months - there was still a clear drop in subscribers in June as some users were unable to regain access to the network post cyclone.
Although the cyclone evidently slowed growth in mobile uptake, growth was sustained to achieve a peak of 190,424 in December 2015; over 30,000 users more than the same month in 2014.This was testament to urgent recovery works done by both mobile operators to repair their networks and reconnect users so quickly after the cyclone.