The Marshall Islands is comprised of two parallel island chains of 29 atolls (made up of many islets), and 5 islands in the North Pacific Ocean (about halfway between Hawaii and Australia). The two island chains are known as Ratak (meaning “sunrise”) and Ralik (meaning “sunset”), respectively. The chains lie about 200 kilometres apart and extend almost 1300km northwest to southeast. Majuro atoll is the capital of the country, and government offices are located in the town of Delap-Uliga-Djarrit, named for three islands that were once separated and later joined by landfill. Marshall Islands’ nearest neighbours are Wake Island (north), Kiribati and Nauru (south), and the Federated States of Micronesia (west).
The estimated population of the Marshall Islands is approximately 73,000 people (CIA World Factbook 2017). The most populous atolls are Majuro and Kwajalein which together have almost 75% of the country’s total population. The rest of the population lives in traditional villages on the outer islands away from the two urban centres (Encyclopaedia Britannica 2017).
The Marshall Islands consist of approximately 180 sq. kilometres of land spread across just under 2,000,000 sq. kilometres of ocean. These characteristics make it vulnerable to natural disasters, and effects of climate change (US State Department 2017).
The HANTRU-1 submarine cable system provides high speed internet capacity into the Marshall Islands. HANTRU-1 has landing stations in Kwajalein atoll (Ebeye and Reagan Test Site) and one landing station on Majuro atoll. The 2,900km cable has landing stations at Pohnpei (Micronesia) and Piti (Guam). Onward connectivity to multiple other cables systems is via Guam. Prior to the activation of the HANTRU-1 cable in 2010, Marshall Islands was dependent on satellite connectivity for international traffic.
International dial code: +692
The National Telecommunications Authority (NTA) is the country’s sole telecoms operator providing fixed-line and 2G mobile telephones services in the Marshall Islands. The NTA is a private corporation with significant national government ownership. NTA recently announced that it will be upgrading its network from 2G to 4G LTE infrastructure.
Country code: .mh
NTA currently provides internet access to Majuro, Ebeye Jaluit, Kili, Wotje. NTA offers business and residential DSL services as well as leased line services for larger networks requiring dedicated capacity. 56K dial-up internet is also available.
NTA offers a point-to-point wireless radio "E-link" service that can provide internet connectivity (up to 384kbps) to remote areas of the Marshall Islands such as Gugeeguu, Arno, and Rongrong. The E-link service can also provide two telephone lines.
NTA also manages the HANTRU-1 submarine cable service which serves as the country's high-speed international internet gateway. Backup satellite capacity is available, however, capacity is very low on the satellite link (when compared to the submarine cable system).
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