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.
In 2017/8 the World Bank approved funds to construct a submarine link to Nauru to be connected to the rest of the world. The Southern Cross Next cable system is expected to be available from 2019/20.
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 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.
2G and 3G both operate on 900 MHz with 4G/LTE operating on 1800 MHz (Band 3).
The network consists of 20 base stations with 9 sites upgraded to 4G with 17 of the sites operating on 3G and the remainder still on 2G: list of islands and coverage.
Nevertheless visitors say that 3G/4G speeds are pretty good (averaging around 6 Mbps) and have been tested successfully for video calls, Skype, VoIP, YouTube, which is remarkable for such an isolated island without a fibre link yet.
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 AU$ 5 with zero balance. The standard data rate is AU$ 0.99 per MB so it makes sense to add a data pack below.
You can top-up in almost any kiosk, just look for ATH logo. Top-ups are by recharge cards of AU$ 5, 6, 10, 20 or 50 giving 30 to 180 days of validity. To top-up enter *141*<voucher code>#. To check balance, type *142#.
Data feature packages Edit
|1 GB||midnight - 6am
in 1 night
|200 MB||24 hours||AU$ 2|
|600 MB||24 hours||AU$ 4|
|450 MB||7 days||AU$ 5|
|800 MB||7 days||AU$ 6|
|1 GB||7 days||AU$ 7|
|2.8 GB||30 days||AU$ 20|
|4 GB||30 days||AU$ 30|
To activate a package, dial *111# and choose a plan except for the 1 GB night pass where activation is done by dialing *120#
Data-only plans Edit
It's also possible to purchase a data only sim for use in a Pocket Wifi device that sold for AUD 49. As the data packs on a standard prepaid sim are cheaper it makes no sense to purchase these packs but nethertheless they are available.
|150 MB||6 days||AU$ 5|
|200 MB||6 days||AU$ 6|
|320 MB||11 days||AU$ 10|
|2.5 GB||20 days||AU$ 20|
|6 GB||30 days||AU$ 50|
To be used in routers and on 4G/LTE only these monthly router plans are sold with a 4G pocket WiFi for AUD 79:
|Birimaka 100||10 GB||AU$ 100|
|Birimaka 150||15 GB||AU$ 150|
|Birimaka 200||20 GB||AU$ 200|
|Birimaka 250||25 GB||AU$ 250|
|Birimaka 300||30 GB||AU$ 300|
|Birimaka 400||40 GB||AU$ 400|
To activate open a browser window and enter IP address 192.168.0.1
More info Edit
- APN: web.athkl
- Website: http://www.athkl.com.ki/