NEWS | Wednesday, 16 April 2008
The latest figures issued by the National Statistics Office (NSO) show that at the end of December 2007, for the first time, the number of broadband subscriptions has outstripped the number of narrowband subscriptions, with 57.72 per cent broadband subscriptions as against 42.26 per cent narrowband subscriptions.
At the end of December last year, there were 100,035 internet subscriptions, an increase of 4,901 or 5 per cent over a year ago, while the total number of internet subscriptions stood at 95,134.
The number of broadband internet subscriptions stood at 57,762 at the end of December last year, an increase of 57.4 per cent or 21,066 over a year ago.
In spite of recent initiatives aimed at boosting broadband subscriptions, the actual penetration rate stands at 14.15 per cent, almost 6 per cent short of the current EU average.
On the other hand, the number of narrow band subscriptions stood at 42,273 at the end of December last year, a decrease of 27.7 per cent or 16,165 over a year ago.
The rate of internet subscriptions per 100 persons of the population reached 24.5, an increase of 9.4 per cent over the same period last year, when the rate stood at 22.4 per cent.
The internet subscription index rose by 5 per cent, from 303.2 as at the end of December 2006 to 318.5 as at the end of the corresponding period in 2007.
The NSO figures showed that the absolute number of mobile telephone subscriptions reached 371,178, which roughly translates into 91 per cent of the population, an increase of 8.2 per cent over a year ago.
Contract-based mobile telephone subscriptions stood at 37,113, amounting to 9.99 per cent of all mobile phone subscriptions sold in Malta, while card-plan subscriptions stood at 334,065, amounting to 90.81 per cent of all mobile phone subscriptions.
The fixed-telephone subscription index increased by 8.3 per cent from 104.1 in quarter four 2006 to 112.7 in the comparable quarter last year.
Minutes used in fixed-line telephony amounted to around 195 million, while international fixed-telephony traffic comprised 550,941 calls, equivalent to around 1.7 million minutes.
Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) minutes were estimated at around 5.0 million in the quarter under review, an increase of 11.9 per cent or 534,284 over the same period a year ago.
The cable and digital subscriptions index also increased by 6.1 per cent. Cable and digital television subscriptions were recorded at 29.3 per 100 persons of the population as at the end of December 2007.
Total postal traffic for the fourth quarter of 2007 amounted to around 14.3 million items of which the absolute bulk represented letters and other printed items.
During the same reference period, courier traffic totalled 65,447 items, of which 50 per cent were letters or documents, and the rest parcels, the NSO figures showed.
16 April 2008
ISSUE NO. 531