In a periodic review on electronic communications and post usage in Malta, the Malta Communications Authority (MCA) gave an overview on broadband, TV, mobile, telephone and fixed connections during the first quarter of 2020.
This time period (January to March) coincides with the first days of measures (Mid-to-end March) aimed to check the spread of the coronavirus.
Significantly, many people were asked to work remotely from their homes, thus requiring telecom operators to step up efforts to meet stronger demand for connectivity and an accelerating rise in mobile data consumption, the MCA noted.
“Effectively, subscriptions for telecoms were up across the board, boosted by domestic demand compensating for a good number of foreign workers that returned home prior to the Malta airport suspending all inbound flights as of 11:59 p.m. on 20th March.”
Year-on-year growth was strongest for fixed broadband, with subscriptions at the end of March 2020 up by 6.6 per cent compared to 12-months earlier.
During the same period, the pay TV segment registered a 3.3 per cent increase in subscriptions, whilst the mobile segment recorded an increase of 3 per cent. Year-on-year growth for fixed telephony stood at 0.9 per cent.
All new subscriptions with telecom operators were registered in a bundle set-up, and as a result the proportion of telecom subscriptions in a bundle edged up further during the first quarter of this year.
A significant 92 per cent of all fixed broadband subscriptions recorded at the end of March were purchased in a bundle, with two thirds of these buying two or three more services (from pay TV, fixed telephony and mobile telephony) alongside the fixed broadband service.
This brought in more money to telecom operators and served to increase end-user loyalty.
As for the postal segment, mail activity during the first quarter of this year was slightly down compared to the same period a year earlier, with postal mail volumes down by 0.4 per cent, pretty much in line with long term market developments. More insights for the telecoms and postal segments are provided here.