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The Mobile Economy Pacific Islands 2019

Mobile technology is playing a pivotal role in the digital transformation of the Pacific Islands, providing access to life-enhancing services and acting as a catalyst for increasing productivity and efficiency. However, the region is seeing only modest mobile subscriber growth at a time when subscriber penetration rates remain well below regional and global averages. Although 38% of the population subscribed to a mobile service as at the end of 2018, this trails the average for least developed countries (44%).

The Pacific Islands continues its transition to mobile broadband and digital transformation: 4G connections are set to account for more than half of total connections by 2023, doubling the figure from the end of 2018. Yet, many countries in the region continue to face issues relating to infrastructure. Several are yet to complete the digital switchover process, including Papua New Guinea, Tonga and Solomon Islands.

To unlock the full potential of existing and future mobile networks, collaboration between governments and players from across the mobile ecosystem is key, ensuring affordable, high-quality mobile services. The upcoming World Radiocommunication Conference will be one of the best opportunities for governments and industry to collaborate to enable access to sufficient spectrum for better coverage and capacity.

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