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Samoa Telecommunications 

In terms of access to basic telecommunications services, Samoa is well positioned. Mobile phone and internet services are already available throughout the country. There are more than 110,000 mobile phone customers and a further 15,000 landline connections. Competition and private sector involvement in the telecommunications sector has been a strong force driving these developments, with Digicel entering the market as the second mobile service operator in 2006 and the privatisation of SamoaTel in early 2011.

...

The telecommunications infrastructure is well-established and almost 90% of the country has telephone and Internet coverage. There are 2 major telecommunication companies present, Blue Sky and Digicel, providing a competitive marketplace. There are no restrictions on obtaining SIM cards and mobile numbers, other than providing ID. Data plans are readily available through either of these 2 companies, or several smaller ISP companies.

E-Sky is a privatized Public Body. 25% is still held by the Unit Trust Of Samoa (UTOS), an investment vehicle that lets Samoan citizens take a stake in the company.

Digicel is a company owned by the Irish billionaire Dennis O’Brian, incorporated in Bermuda, and based in Jamaica.

For more information on telecoms contacts, please see the following link: HQ staff will input a link to section 4.11 Additional Services Contact List here.

(Yes / No)(Yes / No)

Telephone Services

Is there an existing landline telephone network?

Yes

 

Does it allow international calls?

Yes

 

On average, number and length of downtime periods

n/a

Mobile phone providers (List)

n/a

Estimated availability and coverage

(Approximate percentage of national coverage)

n/a

For addditional information on the current and future situation of samoan telecommunications as well as for an overview of prices for basic telecommunication services, please select the following document:

Samoa Telecommunications Additional Information

Telecommunication Regulation

Regulatory functions such as licensing and frequency management are the responsibilities of the Office of the Regulator (OoTR).

The Office of the Regulator was established in 2006 under the Telecommunications Act 2005 to provide regulatory services for the telecommunications sector in Samoa. However, the Broadcasting and Postal Services Acts 2010 were recently approved by Parliament, which also provide regulatory framework for broadcasting and postal sectors in Samoa. These Acts require the Regulator to establish a fair, unbiased and ethical regime for implementing the objects of these Acts including licensing of telecommunications, broadcasting and postal services, promotion of new services and investment, consumer protection, prevention of anti-competitive activities by service providers, and management of the radio spectrum and national number plans.

Yes / No

Regulations

Regulations on usage or import of:

Number and Length of Downtime Periods (on average)

 nil

Mobile Phone Providers

Blue Sky

Digicel

Approximate Percentage of National Coverage

 99%

Telecommunications Regulations

The Office Of The Regulator is responsible for the issuing of all licenses in regards telecommunications and wireless transmissions.  There are regulations in place for all the forms of communication listed below and permission must be granted before.

For VSAT devices such as handheld Thurayas, they may be brought into the country and used with no special permission, provided an external link provider has already connected them.

 

radio handheld base mobile repeaters

Regulations on Usage and Import

 

Regulations in Place?

Regulating Authority

Satellite

Yes

OoTR

Office of the Regulator

HF Radio

Yes

OoTR

Yes 

Office of the Regulator

UHF/VHF/HF

Radio:

Handheld,

Base and

Mobile

Yes

OoTR

Yes 

Office of the Regulator

UHF/VHF

Repeaters

Yes

OoTR

Yes 

Office of the Regulator

GPS

Yes

OoTR

Yes 

Office of the Regulator

VSAT

Yes

OoTR

Office of the Regulator

Individual Network Operator Licenses Required

 n/a

Yes

Frequency Licenses Required

n/a 

Yes

Existing Humanitarian Telecoms Systems

Only the larger UN agencies have VSAT phones (see table below). All agencies have radios, however since UNDSS agency left the country in 2015, they do not have a dedicated frequency to operate on.

 

Organisations 

Existing UN Telecommunication Systems

 

UNDP

WFP

Red Cross

Police

DMO

Fire Division

VHF frequencies

n/a

 

n/a

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

HF frequencies

n/a

n/a

n/a

Yes

n/a

Yes

Repeaters

(Locations)

n/a

n/a

Yes

n/a

n/a

Yes

VSAT

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

FAO

 ILO, UNEP, WMO, UNWomen, UNFPA

UNICEF

WHO

UNESCO

VHF Frequencies

No

No

No

No

No

N0

HF Frequencies

N0

No

No

No

No

No

Locations of Repeaters

 N/A

 N/a

N/a

N/a

N/a

N/a

VSAT

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

 

The Disaster Management Office and Red Cross are the only agencies that use the Emergency Radio Network (ERN).

 

DMO

Red Cross

CARITAS

Adventist Development & Relief Agency (ADRA)

VHF Frequencies

 

 

Emergency Radio Network (ERN)

 

 

N/a

N/a

HF Frequencies

N/a

N/a

Locations of Repeaters

 Upolo - Mt. Vaea, Mt. Fiamoe, Mt. Tafua Upolu, Vaovai, Afulilo Dam, Fagaloa PAS, Faleapuna & Richarson Road

Savai’i - Mt. Tagotala, Mt. Lepiu, Mt. Tufutafoe, Mt. Olomanu.

N/a

N/a

VSAT

Yes

Yes

N/a

N/a



Internet Service Providers (ISPs)

 

There are a number of ISPs available that organizations are able to contract through, used by Samoan businesses. Reliability and bandwidths are good (4G is readily available). Netvo provides a VSAT connection, and the other providers do so via cable connection (leased from Blue Sky’s).

 

Internet Service Providers

Are there ISPs available?

Yes

If yes, are they privately or government owned?

Both

Dial-up only?

No

Approximate Rates (local currency and USD - $)

Dial-up

N/A

Broadband

T$500/unlimited/month

Max Leasable ‘Dedicated’ Bandwidth

10 MGB/Sec

 

Mobile Network Operators (MNOs)

There are 2 MNO companies operating; Sky has 100% 3G coverage of the country, and Digicel which has 75% country coverage.

Both offer similar services including mobile money. Blue Sky has superior coverage and 4G+ in urban areas, whilst Digicel has lesser coverage and achieves a maximum of 3G speeds.

 

For information on MNOs please visit the GSM Association website.

Company

Number of Agent Outlets by Area

Network Strength by Area

Contracted for Humanitarian or Government Cash Transfer

Programmes?

Services Offered

 

Blue Sky

7 nationwide

Urban 4G+

Rural 3G

No

Merchant Payment, bulk disbursement, receive and make payments

Digicel

7 nationwide

Urban 4G

Rural 2-3G

No

Merchant Payment, bulk disbursement, receive and make payments