Tonga

ETC Activities

The Kingdom of Tonga is comprised of 176 islands of which 40 are inhabited. Tonga is divided into three main islands Tongatapu in the south, Ha’apai in the centre, and Vava’u in the north. The capital Nuku’alofa is on the island of Tongatapu. The population of Tonga is approximately 103,000 people (Census, 2011). Approximately 70% of the country's population reside on the main island of Tongatapu.

Tonga faces disaster risk and threats from earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, tropical cyclones, and climate change related events such as droughts, sea level rise, flooding and erosion of low-lying areas.  Tonga lies about 200 km west of the Tonga Trench fault zone, where the Pacific Plate subducts beneath the Australian Plate. Tonga is also located within the Ring of Fire that runs around the Pacific Ocean and where most seismic activities occurs.

The Tonga National Emergency Management Office (NEMO) was established under the Emergency Management Act 2007. The NEMO's primary function is to coordinate disaster risk reduction (DRR) and emergency management activities in the Kingdom of Tonga. A national cluster system was created under the coordination structure of the NEMO in 2015, and the national clusters in Tonga are lead by relevant line ministries. The national Telecommunications Cluster is lead by the Department of Communications under the Ministry of MEIDECC. 

The contact details of the Tonga NEMO are:

The ETC is focussed on preparedness activities in Tonga and nearby Pacific Island countries under its Pacific Emergency Preparedness and Response (EPR) project, lead by WFP.

Current Operations
Asset 707
Emergency
Key Documents
Dashboard
Asset 767
SitRep
Asset 772
Minutes
Asset 767
Dashboard
Asset 767

ICT Profile

Country background
Country name
Tonga
Capital city
Nuku'alofa
Name of national disaster management agency

The National Emergency Management Office (NEMO) 

Name of telecommunications ministry

Ministry of MEIDECC (Meteorology, Energy, Information Technology, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change, Communications) 

Name of telecommunications regulator

Department of Communications

Population

106,921

Source: https://worldpopulationreview.com/countries/tonga-population

 

Country narrative

The Kingdom of Tonga is a Polynesian country that lies to the south of Samoa, southeast of Fiji and north east of New Zealand. The Tongan archipelago is comprised of 176 islands. The islands are divided into four main groups – Tongatapu, Ha'apai and Vava'u and the Niuas.  

Tonga’s climate is tropical and is defined by a wet season from November to April with moderate and variable rainfall, and a dry season from May to October. The wettest months are January, February, and March with precipitation exceeding 250 mm of rainfall per month. During the dry season, precipitation per month is less than 250 mm. The mean annual temperature in Tonga varies from 26°C to 23°C. During the wet season, the average temperature ranges from 25°C–26°C, whereas during the dry season the average temperature ranges from 21°C-24°C. Climate in Tonga and this portion of the Pacific in general is governed by a number of factors, which include the trade winds and the movement of the South Pacific Convergence Zone (SPCZ), a zone of high-pressure rainfall that migrates across the Pacific south of the equator. Year-to-year variability in climate is also strongly influenced by the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) in the south-east Pacific, which can bring prolonged drought conditions and contribute to a depletion of potable water, and tropical cyclones that occur during the wet season, causing extensive damage to local infrastructure, agriculture, and major food sources.

 

Sources: https://www.dfat.gov.au/geo/tonga/tonga-country-brief#:~:text=Overview,a%20population%20of%20approximately%20106%2C000.

https://climateknowledgeportal.worldbank.org/country/tonga/climate-data-historical#:~:text=Tonga's%20climate%20is%20tropical%20and,mm%20of%20rainfall%20per%20month.

Currency

Tongan paʻanga

Key ICT statistics
Fixed-telephone subscriptions per 100 inhabitants

7

Mobile-cellular subscriptions per 100 inhabitants

59

Fixed (wired)-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants

4.73

Mobile-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants

58.7

GSMA mobile connectivity index score

57.3

3G coverage % of population

99

Regulations and rules
Regolations/Rules
Type of regulation
Disaster management
Policy name

Emergency Management Act (2007)

Description

This Act provides the legal framework for all emergency and disaster risk management policies, procedure and programming in Tonga. 

 

Source: https://ago.gov.to/cms/images/LEGISLATION/PRINCIPAL/2007/2007-0014/EmergencyManagementAct_2.pdf

 

Type of regulation
Telecommunications
Policy name

Communications Act (2015)

Description

Communication Act 2015 establishes powers and functions between the Ministry of Communications and the Regulator and their key roles by assigning procedures and regulations on how to administer the communication services across the country. 

 

Source: https://ago.gov.to/cms/images/LEGISLATION/PRINCIPAL/2015/2015-0026/CommunicationsAct2015_1.pdf

 

Type of regulation
UAV
Policy name

Civil Aviation Rules (2016)

Description

There are active drone laws in Tonga. Drones are only permitted to fly during daylight hours and drones are not permitted to fly higher than 120 meters (394 feet) above the ground. 

 

Source: https://drone-laws.com/drone-laws-in-tonga/#:~:text=Drones%20are%20only%20permitted%20to,394%20feet)%20above%20the%20ground.

 

Policy name

Tampere Convention

Description

The Tampere Convention was ratified in 8 May 2003.

Communications service providers
Mobile network operator (MNO)
Company name
Digicel
GSMA HCC signatory
No
Parent company name (majority holding)
Telstra
Service description
900 MHz GSM, GPRS 1800 MHz LTE
Coverage map (provide URL)
https://www.gsma.com/coverage/#860
Mobile money service available
Yes
Fibre optic network
Yes
Voice and SMS services
Yes
3G/4G data services
Yes
Mobile network operator (MNO)
Company name
TCC
GSMA HCC signatory
No
Parent company name (majority holding)
Tonga Government
Service description
900 MHz GSM, GPRS UMTS
Coverage map (provide URL)
https://www.gsma.com/coverage/#685
Mobile money service available
Yes
Fibre optic network
Yes
Voice and SMS services
Yes
3G/4G data services
Yes