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Flag of Kiribati.svg
Kiribati is an island nation with over 100,000 inhabitants located in the central Pacific Ocean, about 2,500 km east of Papua New Guinea and 4,000 km southwest of Hawaii. Its population is concentrated with about 2/3 living on the largest island or on 3 islands within microwave link distance from it.  

Kiribati’s telecoms market is underserved, having low penetration and high prices. Kiribati has approximately 10,000 2G/GSM mobile subscribers and about 10,000 3G/4G subscribers. For internet it highly depends on satellite connections so far. 

Basics Edit

There is only one mobile network operator:

  • Amalgamated Telecom Holdings Kiribati Ltd. (ATH or ATHKL)

The old former state-owned telco Telecom Services Kiribati Ltd. (TSKL) was sold by the Government of Kiribati by a public tender process to telecoms group Amalgamated Telecom Holdings (ATH) based in Fiji for AUD 7.5 million in 2015.

ATH or ATHKL is operating a 2G mobile network recently complemented by 3G and 4G in central islands with a total of about 20,000 subscribers. In addition to mobile broadband and voice, the company offers fixed-wireless WiMAX data services plus ADSL on its fixed telephony network as sole provider.

To strive competition the Government of Kiribati has launched a tender for a 15-year renewable licence to provide mobile services in Kiribati in 2016, but nobody seemed to be interested in a 2nd license for this small isolated market.

ATH Kiribati (ATHKL) Edit

ATH

ATH or ATHKL (for Amalgamated Telecom Holdings Kiribati Ltd.) operates a 2G, 3G, 4G/LTE network on the islands. 3G and 4G/LTE was started in 2013 already by TKSL making it the first 4G/LTE network in the South Pacific.

Frequencies Edit

These are not quite clear: 2G is on 900 MHz for sure. 3G is according to ATH on 900 MHz too, but Wikipedia says 850 MHz and GSMA Intelligence 2100 MHz instead. 4G/LTE has started on 700 MHz (band 12) according to various news reports in the media, but ATH talks about LTE on 1800 MHz in its documents now. So take your choice.

3G is transmitted only through 10 sites and 4G/LTE 5 base stations on the central islands listed here. That's why it's hard to independently confirm it.

Nevertheless visitors say that 3G/4G speeds are pretty good and have been tested successfully for video calls, Skype, VoIP, YouTube, which is remarkable for an isolated island without a fibre link yet.

Availability Edit

SIM cards are sold only in ATHKL office, no ID needed. Their main office is located in 72 Main Street, Bairiki, Tarawa. SIM card costs AUD 5 with zero balance.

You can top-up in almost any kiosk, just look for ATH logo. Top-ups are by recharge cards of AUD 5, 10, 20 or 50 giving 30-180 days of validity. To top-up enter *141*<voucher code>#. To check balance, type *142#.

Data feature packages Edit

Volume Period Price
150 MB 24 hours AUD 2
250 MB 7 days AUD 5
800 MB 7 days AUD 10
1600 MB 30 days AUD 30

To activate a package, dial *111# and choose a plan.

For the weekend valid only on SAT and SUN all day long ATH has introduced 2 Kakakibotu passes:

  • 500 MB: AUD 1.99
  • 1 GB: AUD 2.99

Data-only plans Edit

They sell these data plans together with an USB dongle for AUD 29 called Flashnet:

Volume Period Price
150 MB 6 days AUD 5
320 MB 11 days AUD 10
700 MB 20 days AUD 20
1800 MB 30 days AUD 50

To be used in routers and on 4G/LTE only these monthly router plans are sold with an router for AUD 39:

Name Volume Price
Birimaka 100 10 GB AUD 100
Birimaka 150 15 GB AUD 150
Birimaka 200 20 GB AUD 200
Birimaka 250 25 GB AUD 250
Birimaka 300 30 GB AUD 300

To activate open a browser and enter IP 192.168.0.1

More info Edit

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