Mobile and Broadband Coverage

The 2013 Government Universal Access Policy (UAP) has been implemented and the deadline for deliverable has now passed. Technically, all stakeholders involved in the implementation of the Policy have delivered on what was expected in terms of population coverage.

 

Important Information for viewers and readers to note

As you have heard and read in various reports, the coverage is predictive meaning thatit is the best estimate that coverage is available in an area based on a combination of software modelling and on site testing. Actual coverage may be different dependent on many local factors.

It is predictive due to several factors that are beyond the implementers’ capabilities and importantly boundaries of functions:

  1. First and foremost, the percentage of population adopted in the 2013 Government UAP Policy established was based on 2009 population census statistics. The example of the impact of this factor is that in some villages identified to be covered under the UAP have in fact seen the population migrate from that village to other settlements.
  2. The geographical terrain that each community is facing. Some villages identified by the Government are in the low valleys and suffer from shadowing effects. Operators have done their best to deliver the access for them.
  3. Major land disputes amongst landowners have stopped operators completing two sites on time.

  • Purple indicates – mobile data coverage, light Blue indicates mobile coverage in the area, white indicates no coverage at all.

Coverage prediction is not absolute, but a best estimate of the likely coverage. Likewise physical coverage is not absolute due to a myriad of factors that can affect coverage in an area but, like any radio-based network, coverage is going to vary in quality and availability. This could be because of the type of device, how close the subscriber is to the nearest mobile tower, or how many people are using the Network at that particular location. Most importantly, local conditions such as mountains, hills, valleys, and foliage as well as concrete structures will affect reception even though coverage has been predicted within that area.

Under the Telecommunications and Radiocommunications Act No. 30 of 2009, the Telecommunications Radiocommunications and Broadcasting Regulator (TRBR) can only publically report on aggregated data. The Vanuatu Coverage Map is the aggregation of coverage for all operators in Vanuatu. Therefore depending on the operator you use that operator may not may coverage in that area, even if the aggregated data indicates that coverage is available.

In this case you should initially look at each operator’s coverage maps and secondly speak to the operator directly to clarify your issues. For more detail on each operator’s coverage please visit the following links

Digicel Coverage Information

TVL Coverage information

Wantok Coverage Information

 

Confirmation of 98% Population Coverage

TRBR engaged an independent consultancy firm, SAT Pty Ltd (SAT), that specialises in mobile and radiocommunications to undertake drive testing and predictive modelling to confirm the provision of coverage to 98% of the population of Vanuatu following the completion of the UAP Undertakings as at the 1st of January, 2018. Details of this study can be found here: https://www.trr.vu/en/telecom-industry/universal-access/report/stakeholders-update-report-no-8

The following table provides an aggregated summary of the increase in coverage over the course of the UAP activity. Population coverage, mobile voice has increased by 11.8% from 87% to 98.8%. Similarly mobile data coverage has increased significantly from 52% to 86.2%, which is an increase of 34.2%. (Further details here: https://www.trr.vu/en/telecom-industry/universal-access/report/stakeholders-update-report-no-8)

 

Percentage of Predictive Population Coverage

If you have any further questions on coverage, please do not hesitate to contact the TRBR on (+678) 27621 .