The broadband market remains largely controlled by two operators, with the incumbent Melita retaining a monopoly on cable services and GO commanding a near complete dominance in the DSL market. Alternative players have only a small share of the DSL market. In the mobile market, mainstream operators have been joined by a few MVNOs which are gradually extending market share, though the sector remains dominated by GO Mobile and Vodafone, which together control about 85% of the market by subscribers. These operators offer quad-play services including mobile combinations of voice, cable TV, IPTV and telephony. The Malta Communications Authority (MCA) was set up to regulate communications services, which include fixed and mobile telephony, Internet, and TV distribution services. Its mandate has been recently extended to include responsibility for developing Malta’s potential through innovation.
Malta is the smallest economy in the euro zone, with a geographic position between Europe and North Africa that makes it an easy target for irregular migration, which has strained Malta’s political and economic resources. Malta adopted the euro on 1 January 2008. Its economy is dependent on foreign trade, manufacturing, and tourism. Malta has weathered the Eurozone crisis better than most EU member states due to a low debt-to-GDP ratio and financially sound banking sector. It has low unemployment relative to other European countries, and growth has recovered since the 2009 recession. In 2014, Malta led the Eurozone in growth, expanding by nearly 3.5%. Also in 2014, the government began promoting public-private partnerships in the healthcare sector to establish Malta as a Mediterranean health hub for medical tourism, reduced residential and commercial energy tariffs by 25%, and implemented a citizenship purchase program to increase government revenue and attract foreign investors. The government has also implemented programs to encourage increased labor participation. The high cost of borrowing and small labor market present potential constraints to future economic growth.