Kiribati offers 15-year mobile licence

30 Sep 2015

The Government of Kiribati and the Communications Commission of Kiribati (CCK) have launched a tender for a 15-year renewable licence to provide mobile cellular communications services in Kiribati.

The tender represents the small Pacific nation’s next phase of telecoms liberalisation following the adoption of the Communications Act 2012, establishment of the CCK as sector regulator in 2013, licensing of several wireless ISPs and other providers in 2014, and privatisation of the national operator Telecommunications Services of Kiribati Limited (TSKL) in 2015.

Kiribati is a country of over 100,000 inhabitants located in the central Pacific Ocean, about 2,500km east of Papua New Guinea and 4,000km southwest of Hawaii. Its population is relatively concentrated, with about 65,000 people (65% of the population) living on the largest island or on three islands within microwave link distance from it. Kiribati’s telecoms market is underserved, having very low penetration and high prices in all markets. Kiribati has approximately 10,000 GSM mobile subscribers and about 8,000 3G subscribers, representing a penetration rate of mobile services of roughly 17%. The number of fixed line subscribers as a percentage of population is around 6.5%, while approximately 12% of the population use the internet.

Applications for the licence are due by 30 October 2015. Copies of the Request for Applications and information about the regulatory regime and the market will be available on the CCK’s website, or from the tender process advisers by email to The government and CCK are advised by the specialist ICT law firm Macmillan Keck, Attorneys & Solicitors (


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