The 2016 Annual Report of the Telecommunications Commission Solomon Islands has revealed that the use of mobile data services continued to grow during the year following upgrades to both mobile 3G networks, and the availability of less expensive smartphones.
By the end of the year the number of mobile data users stood at 77,100 an increase of 16% on 2015.
The users of social media in Solomon Islands has also risen sharply, at the end of 2016 there were 61,000 facebook accounts user in the country. The report states that active use of social media was made possible by the special pricing offers and very competitive mobile data plans offered by Our Telekom and Bmobile-Vodafone.
Also in the last year, some 538 terabytes of data were downloaded via fixed line (ADSL) an increase of 57% on 2015. In the same period, some 317 terabytes were downloaded via mobile services, an annual increase of 162% in Solomon Islands.
Likewise, in 2016 the number of international traffic minutes increased by 1% to 653 million minutes. Of the total, 26% was conveyed via mobile network services, and 76% by fixed network services. There were 3.4 million outgoing international connections and 3.6 million incoming.
Meanwhile Solomon Telekom remains the only fixed line telephony provider. The report notes that traditional voice service on the fixed network is gradually declining in popularity. The report also states that commercial customers are concentrated in Honiara, with minimal use in the provincial centres.
The annual report also states that fixed line internet has continued to remain flat since 2010 and the slight decrease compared to 2015 by 8 percent. Solomon Telekom and Satsol were the service providers of fixed line internet with 80 percent of the users connected to Solomon Telekom.
Although the users remain minimal, the download and upload speed at times were at 3-5Mps higher than mobile network speed to its high capacity. Commercial clients are the main users of these services with high download volume compared against mobile data in the same period.