There are several local providers for TV & Internet services in Malta including Melita and GO.
The Telemalta Corporation Act of 1974 created the Telemalta Corporation, which was given monopoly rights as operator and regulator or all telecommunications services in Malta. GO (formerly Maltacom) was created in 1997 and assumed the assets of Telemalta. Today, the majority stakeholder in GO is Dubai Holding TECOM Investments.
Melita was launched as a telecommunications provider in Malta in 1992. Majority stakeholders in the company include GMT Communications, MC Venture Partners, and Gasan Group.
The Malta Communications Authority regulates the telecommunications sector in Malta.
TV services are available from local companies Melita and GO from €10 per month. Both companies offer PVR, sports, and entertainment packages. HD television and Video On Demand are also available. TV services can also be bundled with Internet, mobile, and telephone services.
British, Italian, American, and Arabic television programming are most common in Malta. Few TV series air in Malta at the same time as the rest of Europe and North America. There is generally a two to six week delay in airtimes. Some TV series are several seasons behind in Malta.
Satellite television is available in Malta, however, there is no official provider for satellite TV service on the islands.
In 2011 all TV transmissions in Malta were upgraded from traditional analogue to a modern digital system. To receive the six free, locally produced TV channels in Malta (TVM, TVM2, Favourite Channel, NET TV, ONE, and Smash TV) viewers need a UHF aerial and a digital decoder or digital TV set, available from most electronic shops.
Melita and GO are the two main Internet service providers in Malta. Internet access in Malta is generally fast and reliable. As of this writing, 4Mbps Internet access costs as little as €14 per month, while 100Mbps access costs €65 per month.
Internet services can also be bundled with TV, mobile, and telephone services.
Free Public WiFi is offered throughout the islands at 165 hotspots. You can access a map of free WiFi hotspots on the Malta Communications Authority web site here http://www.mca.org.mt/wifi-hotspots.
Hotspot services are also popular at bars, restaurants, and shops at a small fee through providers Vanilla or Ozone. Vanilla Telecoms also offers WiFi hotspots throughout the islands from €2 per hour to €55 per month. Ozone’s WiFi access costs as little as €1 per day or €5 per day.
Some bars, restaurants, and hotels also offer free WiFi to patrons.
There are two providers of mobile Internet in Malta: Melita and Vodafone.
Vodafone offers USB Internet Keys on pay monthly and prepaid plans, as well as personal mobile WiFi hotspots on monthly plans.
Melita offers a USB Mobile Connector on monthly plans.
Opening Internet and television accounts in Malta is easy. Contact a local provider to set up an installation before or after you arrive on the island. Installation wait times are generally short, however, be advised that installers may be required to drill holes in your flat or house’s rock walls to run wires. Installation fees may be paid up front in cash.
Some services may require a refundable deposit from foreigners to open an account. You will also require a passport or Maltese ID card, and proof of residence.
Most services are billed on a monthly basis. Bills can be paid online or at Malta Post offices.
By Jess Gerrow, who traded city life in Canada for island life in the Mediterranean two years ago. She is a postgraduate marketing student, blogger, and freelance writer.