Symbol image: cell tower

Mobile communications and Internet in Kiribati

Compared to the United States, Kiribati is massively lagging behind in the development of telecommunications. Under the country code +686, there were a total of 52,647 connections in 2021. Among them were 52,632 mobile phones, which corresponds to an average of 0.41 per person. In the US, this figure is 1.1 mobile phones per person.

With about 327 webhosts, Kiribati is below the world's average by population. At the end of 2020, five of these, or about 2 percent, were secured with SSL or comparable encryption.

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Mobile phone rates in Kiribati

Every year, the International Telecommunication Union calculates for many countries what a mobile phone contract costs to use. A monthly budget averaging US$ 33.00 was calculated Kiribati in 2021. Compared to the previous year, this amount decreased by 10 cents.

The ITU refers to the costs for monthly use and includes 140 telephony minutes, 70 text messages and a data transfer of 2 GBytes. The transfer speed should be the minimum of a 3G connection, i.e. at least UMTS, which is already outdated in many parts of the world. 2 GBytes do not sound much. However, this is already quite a high consumption in a worldwide comparison. If one does not take a fixed amount in US dollars, but converts it to the economic output per inhabitant, a user in Kiribati spends 14.47% of his gross national income on mobile telephony. Worldwide, this rate is around 6.6 percent.

In the USA, the monthly cost was around $38.10.

Lack of network coverage with 5G

A modern 5G network does not yet exist in Kiribati (as of 2021). The penetration rate of 4G, i.e., mobile communications with at least LTE speed, was recently 54 percent. In other words, 59,282.04 people in the country had to make do with a maximum Internet speed of the outdated UMTS standard (or even less).

The following diagrams show the development of the various telephone and internet connections as a percentage of the country's population. Values above 100 percent mean that, on average, every inhabitant has more than one connection.

Access to the internet in Kiribati from 1990 - 2021

Broadband internet in Kiribati 2005 - 2021

Symbol image: cell towerKiribati is lagging behind in the expansion of broadband internet connections. Around 54 percent of all residents have access to the internet. Around 0 percent have their own fast internet connection, which is at least faster than the former ISDN (more than 256 kbit/s). All fixed connections via DSL, cable or satellite were counted here, but not those connected to the internet via mobile communications.

Landlines 1990 - 2021

Mobile phones 1990 - 2021

The increasing prevalence of cell phones and the simultaneous decline in landline phones clearly indicate a change in Kiribati. While the number of landlines has fallen significantly in recent years, the spread of cell phones has risen to 41 cell phone subscriptions per 100 people at last count. Such a clear shift does not occur in all countries, but the trend points in the same direction internationally.

All international calling codes

Distribution in 2021Kiribati
Internet users69,111.3153.63 %304.52 m91.75 %
Broadband users300.000.23 %125.89 m37.93 %
Landlines15.000.01 %97.82 m29.47 %
Mobile cellulars52,632.0040.84 %361.66 m108.97 %

United States of America: TelecommunicationTelecommunication in the United States of AmericaComparison of technological development and communication in the United States of America with the countries of the European Union
Japan: Public HolidaysPublic holidays in Japan 2023-2027Statutory and inofficial holidays in Japan for 2023 to 2027
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