For internet subscriptions, a significant change became apparent in 2009, when a number of new small and medium sized internet service providers entered the market. They contributed to the steady increase in internet subscriptions by driving the trend towards wireless access as opposed to traditional land line access. With the smaller providers impacting on the price and packaging of wireless internet, it became affordable for many households within the two key business and municipality areas, Port Vila and Luganville.
Registered internet subscribers continue to increase significantly in 2013 to now nearly 40,000. The increased demand for internet services is a response to competition and the increasing availability and affordability of multiple types of devices that can access the internet. This means around 15% of the population is now subscribing to internet services; a significant increase from 2012.
As mobile services were introduced into the telecommunications market in the period 2007 to 2009, fixed services subscriptions decreased as consumers found it more efficient, easier and more affordable to use mobile services compared to fixed services. In addition, as wireless internet services became popular in the market, fixed line subscriptions dropped further. However, in the period 2012-2013, fixed retail subscriptions can now be seen to be slightly increasing. This is because Digicel started to compete in the fixed retail services market and TVL focused more on utilizing its underground fiber cable by targeting key customers. Such increase also reflects the recent expansion in fixed wireless services and if the trend continues, fixed services subscriptions could be expected to increase further, even if slightly, in the coming years.
Figure 3 represents the gross revenue collected by the entire Telecommunications Market industry over the last 6 years. It indicates that the market was relatively stable until 2013 when revenue was shown a slight increase indicating that the market appears to be on the rise due to higher demand for, and usage of telecommunications products and services.