Homeworking, Zoom meetings and Islandwide lockdowns all had an impact on the Channel Islands telecoms sector last year, according to a new report published this week.
The Telecommunications Statistics and Market Report 2020 was compiled by Statistics Jersey on behalf of the Guernsey Competition & Regulatory Authority (GCRA) and the Jersey Competition Regulatory Authority (JCRA). It shows the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and provides a wider overview of the telecommunications market, including detailed analysis of specific networks such as fixed-line broadband, the mobile market and an overview of off-Island links.
The report shows, overall revenues were down slightly but the sector still made a valuable contribution to the Islands’ economies:
- Generated turnover, including fixed, mobile, Internet access, associated services and the sale of handsets of £166.6m; £62.6m in Guernsey and £104.1m in Jersey
- Employed 794 full-time equivalent staff as at the end of 2020; 211 in Guernsey and 583 in Jersey
- Contributed £20.5m to the exchequers through corporate, staff, and social taxes (including GST payments in Jersey); £6.1m in Guernsey and £14.4m in Jersey
- Invested £21.1m in capital projects; £3.6m in Guernsey and £17.5m in Jersey
The effects of the pandemic can be seen clearly in changes to the way we used our telecoms services:
- In 2020, both Islands showed a rise in the number of fixed call network minutes (Guernsey by 7.6% and Jersey by 10.8%) following a period of continuing decline over the last 6 years
- Continuing a strong upward trend, both Islands experienced accelerated increases in data usage per subscriber per month in 2020: in Guernsey data usage rose by 38.1% while in Jersey it increased by 42.8%
- The total number of mobile call minutes increased by 26.9% in Guernsey in
2020 and 22.5% in Jersey
- Mobile data volumes have increased by 38.2% in Guernsey and by 25.6% in
- Despite increases in mobile minutes and data volume, mobile revenue has fallen, driven partly by a 69% decrease in out-roaming revenues (caused by the dramatic reduction in the number of people travelling)
In a joint statement the GCRA and JCRA said, “2020 was a challenging year for all sectors of the economy, but the Islands’ telecoms operators have demonstrated their resilience and flexibility in managing a very complex situation. Businesses and their staff had to adapt to new ways of working very quickly, and robust telecoms networks were essential to the success of that transition.
“Our telecoms sectors are well regulated, enjoy a healthy level of competition and are invested in technological innovation and infrastructure.
“This independent report shows that while the sector did not grow overall in terms of revenue, it managed to hold its ground and continue to play an important part in the overall strength of our economies, not just in financial but in human and technological terms. We would like to thank Statistics Jersey and the telecom
operators for their work in compiling this snapshot of the industry.”
The full report is available on the Statistics Jersey web page and will be published on
both the GCRA and JCRA websites as well.