Mobile communication is how Maltese society stays connected, authority survey shows

A Malta Communications Authority survey shows that demand for fixed and mobile internet service is strong among Maltese customers


Demand for telecommunication services remains strong, particularly for fixed and mobile internet services, a survey by the Malta Communications Authority (MCA) has shown.

In a statement, the authority said that more robust demand for mobile data materialised along with a rise in voice minute volumes in the mobile segment, further showing that mobile communications are the primary way Maltese stay connected.

The MCA said that the latest data indicated that many end-users sought fixed data offers with faster download speeds on a general level while also upgrading to mobile data plans that offered more significant allowances.

The authority added that this happened in the context of continued investment by local services providers, such as companies investing in fibre networks and 5G networks.

However, the postal service continued to decline. Postal volumes in the first three quarters of 2021 were 4% lower than the same period in 2020.

The authority said a reason for this was that inbound cross border mail was in decline, partly due to the drop in e-commerce volumes originating from China and the UK.

94% of all fixed broadband subscriptions are part of bundle sets

By the end of September, there were 219,460 fixed broadband subscriptions. This amounts to 8,931 more than the previous year, which equates to a 4% rise in subscriptions.

94% of all fixed broadband subscriptions were part of bundle sets, the authority said.

The majority of end-users in Malta have access to fast and ultra-fast internet, with download speeds of 100Mbps or more.

The share of such users based on the local subscriber base was up by nine percentage points year-on-year, from 51% at the end of September 2020 to 60% at the end of September 2021.

SMS volume 8.5% lower than the previous year

Subscriptions picked up over the last year as Malta saw ex-pats return to the island alongside domestic growth.

In terms of voice and data usage, voice minute traffic volumes in the first three quarters of 2021 were 1.1% higher than the previous year, going from 865 million minutes to 875 minutes, while domestic data Mb volumes were 4.9% higher, going from 23,887 million Mbs to 35,679 million Mbs.

SMS volumes recorded from January to September 2021 were 8.95 lower than in the same period of the same year.

Regarding inbound romancing, minute volumes consumed in the first nine months of 2021 were 7.2% lower than consumed in 2020.

Nonetheless, data volumes were 66.6% higher.

Subscriptions rose by 2.7%

The TV segment continued to see an upward trend, with subscriptions rising by 4,656 or 2.7% year-on-year to 176,286 by the end of September 2021.

81.1% of subscriptions were purchased in a bungle alongside other electronic commendation products.

The fixed-line telephony sector saw small decline

The fixed-line telephony segment reported a slight decline of 827 subscriptions year-on-year, from 259,509 at the end of September 2020 to 258,682 a year later.

The number of pre-paid subscriptions also dropped from 5,422 to 15 over the 12-month period ending last September.

However, the number of post-paid subscriptions went up by 4,129 or 1.7% year-on-year, to 258,667 by the end of September 2021.

84.4% of all fixed telephony subscriptions recorded at the end of September were purchased in a bundle plan.

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