Solomon Islands continued to rely exclusively on satellite for its international gateway during 2018. So although domestic costs remained effectively moderated by competition, the country still does not enjoy the benefits which some other Pacific nations have in terms of faster internet access speed and lower charges for international interconnectivity, because their connections are via high capacity undersea cable.
This situation will be overcome in the years ahead with the arrival of the two planned undersea cable projects, and a number of new high throughput satellite constellations. The new capacity of the Coral Sea Cable alone, will be some 2,000 times larger than the country’s current usage.
Notwithstanding the arrival of the planned undersea cables, the established mobile network operators will still require satellite and microwave connectivity for telecommunications distribution around provincial locations. In addition the new international Low Earth Orbit, and Near Earth Orbit constellations will be accessible from throughout Solomon Islands, meaning that local internet connectivity can be achieved without a ubiquitous nationwide network. Moreover the new satellite services will have very low signal latency, making them comparable with cable services for sensitive applications such as financial transactions.
International bandwidth capacity reported for 2018 was 1,400MB, compared with 900MB in 2017.