4 - 10 April 2001

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NSO registers trebling of mobile penetration rate
- satellite licenses up 74%

Last year saw a remarkable rise in Malta's mobile penetration rate, according to figures released by the National Statistics Office yesterday.

The NSO reported that over the twelve-month period between December 1999 and December 2000 an increase of 367 per cent was registered. This data signifies that at the end of 2000, 29.1 per cent of the total population owned a mobile phone compared to the mere 6.3 per cent during the same period in 1999.

Other sectors are more moderate in their penetration rates. Satellite receiver licenses increased by 74 per cent during 2000, from 2,697 to 4,695, while Internet subscriptions increased by 39 per cent from 24,794 to 34,409.

The number of telephone sets for 2000 were, however, unavailable due to the liberalised market for terminal equipment. However, statistics showed an increase of 148 per cent in the number of telephone sets imported from 38,236 in 1999 to 94,747 during 2000.

Yesterday's statistical release represented the second release on Malta's budding information society.

The NSO also drew comparisons against the EU-15 and the Central European Candidate Countries. However, comparisons had to be based on 1998 and 1999 data, as 2000 data was not yet available for the comparison countries.

When compared to the EU-15, Malta was still lagging behind in the mobile phone penetration rate up till 1999. However, the incredible increase during 2000 will undoubtedly bring Malta much closer to the EU-15's average. When compared to CEC countries, Malta compared quite well during 1998 and 1999, and is expected to have an above average rating when 2000 figures become available for all CEC countries.

In the PC sector Malta had a higher penetration rate than Greece, Portugal and Spain, and was on level with Italy, when compared to the EU-15 (during 1998 and 1999). Malta had the second highest penetration rate (after Slovenia) during the same period when compared to CEC countries.

The Business Times, Network House, Vjal ir-Rihan San Gwann SGN 07
Tel: (356) 382741-3, 382745-6 | Fax: (356) 385075 | e-mail: editorial@networkpublications.com.mt