2009 Caribbean - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband

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Last updated: 18 Feb 2009 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 76

Analyst: Lawrence Baker

Publication Overview

This annual report offers a wealth of information on the trends and developments in telecommunications, mobile, Internet, broadband and converging media including VoIP. Subjects include:

·         Key statistics, country statistics and market statistics;

·         Government policies and regulatory issues;

·         Major players (fixed-line, mobile, broadband);

·         Telecom infrastructure (national and international, fixed and wireless);

·         Mobile communications;

·         Internet and broadband markets;

·         VoIP, WiFi and WiMAX developments.


Researcher: Lawrence Baker

Current publication date:- February 2009 (8th Edition)

Next publication date:- February 2010

Executive Summary

BuddeComm’s annual publication, ‘Caribbean - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband’ profiles the fixed-line, mobile and broadband markets from the small island nations. 

Despite being relatively small markets by global standards, telecommunications has become one of the Caribbean’s major growth industries. In particular, the region’s mobile sector has been witnessing significant expansion in recent years. To date this growth has largely been harnessed by Jamaican-based mobile provider Digicel. This company is predicted to continue to dominate the robust mobile sector growth during 2009/10.  

In contrast to the mobile market, the fixed-line segment remains stagnant. While in a handful of countries Cable & Wireless (which rebranded itself LIME in November 2008) still holds a monopoly in the fixed-line sector, a number of countries now have other operators offering fixed-line services at competitive prices. Investment in infrastructure during 2009 is expected to increasingly trend towards wireless broadband access and associated IP services, such as VoIP. 

This report contains overviews, analyses and detailed statistics of the Caribbean countries’ fixed-line, mobile and broadband markets including developments in emerging technologies such wireless broadband and VoIP.

Key highlights:

·         The acrimonious relationship between Digicel and C&W in the Caribbean region looks to set to continue in 2009 with Digicel announcing in January its intention to sue C&W for defamation. Meanwhile its most significant claim against C&W, filed back in mid-2007, is yet to come before the British High Court.

·         C&W has attempted to shrug off its negative image by rebranding its Caribbean unit in late 2008 as LIME (Landline, Internet, Mobile and Entertainment). C&W’s rebranding strategy forms part of an overall regional transformation plan valued at $300 million.

·         Digicel continued to be the fastest growing mobile company in the region, recording subscriber growth rates in the order of 40% during its 2008 financial year. Digicel also continued to expand into new markets with its launch in the British Virgin Islands in December 2008.

·         In 2008 the Caribbean Association of National Telecommunication Organisations (CANTO) launched the Connect the Caribbean (CTC) initiative, aimed at mobilising resources towards the common goal of closing the digital divide in the region.

·         GSM continues to be the mobile technology of choice in the Caribbean, with over 85% of mobile customers in Latin America and the Caribbean employing GSM mobile technology.

·         Growth during 2009 will continue to be fuelled by declining tariffs in the mobile and long-distance sector, and by increased deployment of broadband networks.

·         As mobile penetration rates are still relatively low, it is predicted that the mobile market will continue to enjoy solid subscriber and revenue growth rates during 2009. However, the world economic downturn is expected to constrain major investments during 2009 and 2010.  

Mobile subscribers, annual change and penetration in select Caribbean countries – 2008



Annual change






Antigua & Barbuda
























(Source: BuddeComm based on Global Mobile)

Note: Figures are as at 30 September. Annual change is year-over-year.


Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.


For those seeking high level strategic information and objective analysis on this region, this report is essential reading and gives further information on:

·         The emerging trends and convergence in the Caribbean voice, broadband and digital TV sectors.

·         How the region is faring in terms of global broadband development.

·         The growth of mobile voice and data and the deployment of 3G and 4G technologies in the region.

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