Telecommunications in the Cook Islands

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Like most countries and territories in Oceania, telecommunications in the Cook Islands is limited by its isolation and low population,[1] with only one major television broadcasting station and six radio stations. However, most residents have a main line or mobile phone. Its telecommunications are mainly provided by Telecom Cook Islands, who is currently working with O3b Networks, Ltd. for faster Internet connection.


In July 2012, there were about 7,500 main line telephones, which covers about 98% of the country's population.[2] There were approximately 7,800 mobile phones in 2009. Telecom Cook Islands, owned by Spark New Zealand,[1] is the islands' main telephone system and offers international direct dialling, Internet, email, fax, and Telex. The individual islands are connected by a combination of satellite earth stations, microwave systems, and very high frequency and high frequency radiotelephone; within the islands, service is provided by small exchanges connected to subscribers by open wire, cable, and fibre optic cable. For international communication, they rely on the satellite earth station Intelsat.[3]

In 2003, the largest island of Rarotonga started using a GSM/GPRS mobile data service system with GSM 900 by 2013 3G UMTS 900 was introduce covering 98% of Rarotonga with HSPA+. In March 2017 4G+ launch in Rarotonga with LTE700 (B28A) and LTE1800 (B3) .[1][4]

Mobile service covers Aitutaki GSM/GPRS mobile data service system in GSM 900 from 2006 to 2013 while in 2014 3G UMTS 900 was introduce with HSPA+ stand system. In March 2017 4G+ also launch in Aitutaki with LTE700 (B28A). The rest of the Outer Islands (Pa Enua) mobile was well establish in 2007 with mobile coverage at GSM 900 from Mangaia 3 villages (Oneroa, Ivirua, Tamarua), Atiu, Mauke, Mitiaro, Palmerston in the Southern Group (Pa Enua Tonga) and the Northern Group (Pa Enua Tokerau) Nassau, Pukapuka, Rakahanga, Manihiki 2 Village (Tukao, Tauhunu) and Penrhyn 2 villages (Omoka Tetautua).[1][4]

The Cook Islands uses the country calling code +682.[5]


There are six radio stations in the Cook Islands, with one reaching all islands.[3] As of 1997 there were 14,000 radios.[6]

Cook Islands Television broadcasts from Rarotonga, providing a mix of local news and overseas-sourced programs.[3] As of 1997 there were 4,000 television sets.[6]


There were 6,000 Internet users in 2009 and 3,562 Internet hosts as of 2012.[3] The country code top-level domain for the Cook Islands is .ck.[7]

In June 2010, Telecom Cook Islands partnered with O3b Networks, Ltd. to provide faster Internet connection to the Cook Islands.[8][9] On 25 June 2013 the O3b satellite constellation was launched from an Arianespace[10] Soyuz ST-B rocket in French Guiana. The medium Earth orbit satellite orbits at 8,062 kilometres (5,009 mi)[11] and uses the Ka band. It has a latency of about 100 milliseconds because it is much closer to Earth than standard geostationary satellites, whose latencies can be over 600 milliseconds. Although the initial launch consisted of 4 satellites, as many as 20 may be launched eventually to serve various areas with little or no optical fibre service, the first of which is the Cook Islands.[12]

In December 2015, Alcatel-Lucent and Bluesky Pacific Group announced that they would build the Moana Cable system connecting New Zealand to Hawaii with a single fibre pair branching off to the Cook Islands. The Moana Cable is expected to be completed in 2018.[13]

In July 2020 the Cook Islands were connected to the Manatua One Polynesia Fibre Cable, which links the Cook Islands, Niue, Samoa and Tahiti.[14] The cable has landing points at Rarotonga and Aitutaki.[15]


  1. ^ a b c d Wood, Laura (5 May 2010). "Research and Markets: Cook Islands – Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband – Satellite Services from O3b Consortium to Bring Faster Broadband in 2011" (Press release). Dublin: Business Wire. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
  2. ^ Maher, Jules (28 July 2012). "Thriving on a No-fibre Diet in the Cook Islands" (PDF). Pacific Broadband Forum. Fiji: Telecom Cook Islands. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d  This article incorporates public domain material from the CIA World Factbook document: "Cook Islands". Retrieved 3 December 2013.
  4. ^ a b "Access to basic Telco services remains expensive in South Pacific". Islands Business. 15 January 2007. Archived from the original on 22 January 2007. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  5. ^ "List of ITU-T Recommendation E.164 assigned country codes" (PDF). International Telecommunication Union. 1 November 2011. p. 6. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
  6. ^ a b  This article incorporates public domain material from the CIA World Factbook document: "Cook Islands". Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  7. ^ "Delegation Record for .CK". Internet Assigned Numbers Authority. Retrieved 2 December 2013.
  8. ^ Meltzer, Herald (15 June 2010). "O3b Networks and Telecom Cook Islands Sign Long Term Agreement" (Press release). Bloomberg News. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
  9. ^ Maher, Jules; Warker, Vicky (12 November 2012). "Telecom Cook Islands teams with O3b Networks to accelerate Satellite Broadband to the Nation's Southern Group Islands" (Press release). Reuters. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
  10. ^ "CTO ITC Sector Member O3b successfully launches its first satellite". Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation. 28 June 2013. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  11. ^ "O3b is helping millions get closer". SES S.A. 1 August 2013. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
  12. ^ Amos, Jonathan (25 June 2013). "Lift-off for O3b satellite network". BBC. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
  13. ^ Alcatel-Lucent and Bluesky Pacific Group launch new submarine cable system to enhance connectivity across Pacific, Alcatel-Lucent, December 2, 2015
  14. ^ "Manatua cable poised to link much of Polynesia". RNZ. 25 July 2020. Retrieved 25 July 2020.
  15. ^ "Polynesia submarine cable on track". RNZ. 7 August 2019. Retrieved 25 July 2020.

External links[edit]