Malta has a small telecom market which has been slow to adopt competition. Howeve, Malta’s telecom sector is nowadays one of the most advanced in Europe. Mobile and broadband penetration are both relatively high, and customers are increasingly familiar with bundled services. Regulatory measures have been put in place to increase competition and reduce consumer prices. There has also been some encouragement to increase market competition and so reduce prices for end-users. This led to the 2019 Virtual Unbundled Local Access (VULA) agreement between GO and Vodafone Malta by which Vodafone was able to enter the fixed broadband market using GO’s fibre infrastructure. The Malta Broadcasting Authority monitors and regulates all radio and television broadcasts in the Maltese Islands.
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.