The electronic communications sector experienced a surge in subscriptions across all communications segments with mobile phone subscriptions leading the charge with a 6.8% year-on-year increase, the Malta Communications Authority said.

In key market indicators for electronic communications and postal services from quarter one 2019 to quarter four 2023, the MCA said this segment remained characterised by an evident shift to data-centric plans, with postpaid subscriptions gaining more ground due to a stronger demand for mobile data.

The TV segment

The year-on-year increase in subscriptions for the TV segment, at 3.5%, materialised within the context of further adaptation to new technology and increased competition by a new entrant in this segment.

Operators are providing a mix of conventional channel plans, app-based TV functionalities, and bundled TV packages, which also helps fend off competition from online streaming services.

The number of fixed broadband subscriptions also went up by 2.8% year-on-year. This rise is particularly noteworthy when considering the significant shift towards plans supporting higher data rates.

The latter change, the MCA said, is likely driven by a combination of growing user demand for faster internet and potential migrations implemented by operators themselves.

Subscriptions for plans with download speeds between 100Mbps and 500Mbps saw a 5.8% year-on-year rise, while subscriptions for plans exceeding 500Mbps of download speed surged by 17.3%.

Fixed broadband

Fiixed broadband continued to be heavily bundled with other services, as 91.2% of internet subscribers bundled their service in a package encompassing different electronic communications services.

Fixed-line telephony subscriptions saw a marginal year-on-year increase of 0.2%

The MCA said this figure needed to be viewed in the context of a steadily declining usage trend

Traffic volumes were significantly down year-on-year, as the number of outgoing calls dropped by 21.3% while outgoing minutes declined by 24.1%.

Postal sector

The postal sector experienced a 5.9% decline in traditional mail volume throughout 2023. The drop in volume held true for all categories except parcel mail, which saw a 4.7% increase.

Mail items sent outside the scope of the universal service surged by 33.3%. This shift suggests a rise in e-commerce activity and a growing preference for parcel delivery services, the MCA noted.

It said another interesting observation concerned the destination of mail. While 85.6% of the 20.4 million mail items sent within the scope of the universal service in 2023 were domestic, the rest of the share was accounted for by outbound mail (at 3.5%) and inbound cross-border mail (at 10.9%).

Meanwhile, mail volumes outside the scope of the universal area cater primarily to inbound cross-border mail, which accounted for 80.9% of their volume in 2023.

This increase, the MCA said, likely reflected the rise in e-commerce and the associated growth in parcel deliveries. (

Mobile Telephony

Mobile telephony subscriptions by the end of 2023 amounted to 749,302, showcasing a year-on-year increase of 6.8%.

This increase was mainly brought by a continued shift to post-paid plans.

The number of post-paid subscriptions were up by 17.3% year-on-year, rising from 318,895 by the end of 2022 to 374,182 by the end of the current reporting period.

Whereas historically, more subscribers were opting for a pre-paid mobile telephony service, post-paid contracts have been on the rise.

Even though, by December 2023, there were still more pre-paid contracts at face-value, the margin between the two decreased from almost 64,000 in the last quarter of 2022 to  938 subscribers by the end of 2023.

Domestic mobile data volumes witnessed a 49% year-on-year increase, reaching 117,866 million megabytes by the end of 2023.

Concurrently, roaming mobile volumes experienced a similar growth, with total megabytes reaching 15,030 million by the end of 2023.

Among these roaming data volumes, 77% were inbound, while the remaining 23% were outbound.

Both voice minute traffic volumes and SMS volumes continued the downward trend, decreasing by 3.2% and 10.3% respectively in the 12 months ending December 2023.


The Pay-TV segment in Malta continued its steady climb in 2023, with subscriptions reaching 189,913 by year-end, reflecting a solid 3.5% year-on-year increase.

Digital cable subscriptions declined by 1.3%, totalling to 106,276 subscribers by the 12-months ending December.

By the second half of the year, DTTV subscriptions were completely phased out.

The Pay-TV ARPU experienced a year-on-year decline of 1.95%, decreasing from €177.82 in 2022 to €174.35 in 2023.

Fixed telephony

The number of subscribers in the fixed telephony segment amounted to 259,180 by the end of 2023, reflecting a 0.02% year-on-year increase.

But the declining trend in call and minute volumes is further amplified by a year-on-year drop of 21.3% in the number of outgoing calls and a decline of 24.1% in call minute volumes.

A total 87% of all fixed-line telephony subscribers were part of a bundle, up from 85.6% over the same period of the previous year.

Postal services

The postal sector experienced a 5.9% decrease in overall mail volume for 2023 compared to the previous year.

This decline was primarily driven by a 9.7% drop in mail volumes delivered within the universal service area.


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