2011 Caribbean - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband

Publication Overview

This report provides an overview of the Caribbean’s telecom sector accompanied by relevant statistics and a brief profile of the major players.

The countries covered in this report include:

Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Montserrat, (The former) Netherlands Antilles, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos, United States Virgin Islands.

Researcher:- Lawrence Baker
Current publication date:- March 2011 (10th Edition)
Next publication date:- March 2012

Executive Summary

Strong mobile markets despite economic recession

Liberalisation of the telecommunications industry has taken place in most Caribbean countries, with operators in these countries now being able to offer a full range of telecom services. Despite being relatively small markets by global standards, telecommunications has become one of the Caribbean’s major growth industries.

While in a handful of countries Cable & Wireless (now rebranded LIME) still holds a monopoly in the fixed-line sector, many countries now have other operators offering fixed-line services at competitive prices. Nevertheless, mobile has been the preferred technology for the region. The region’s mobile subscriber base has been witnessing significant growth in recent years driven, in particular, by aggressive competition from Digicel.

Market highlights:

  • During the global financial crisis the region, which relies heavily on tourism, suffered double-digit declines in incoming tourist numbers, effectively triggering a recessionary environment in most Caribbean nations. In spite of improvements in tourism revenues during 2010, the Caribbean region still experienced negative growth in 2010 of an estimated 2.3%.
  • During 2010, a number of Caribbean countries turned to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank for rescue financing or for alternative fiscal and monetary policy arrangements. A number of countries also implemented changes at the local level in an attempt to ease their economic burdens, including taking such measures as raising taxes and cutting spending.
  • By early 2011 there were some positive signs of increasing tourist numbers and offshore company activity that was expected to precipitate further economic recovery. Furthermore, a United Nations report launched in January 2011 predicted a modest 3.1% growth rate for the Caribbean in 2011 and assessed the economic outlook for the Latin American and Caribbean region to be robust by historical standards. Relative to Latin America as a whole, however, the Caribbean is likely to experience a slower economic recovery due to its being highly dependent upon output growth in the USA.
  • Despite numerous attempts to privatise the Bahamas Telecommunications Company since the late 1990s, by end 2010 the company still remained wholly state-owned. However, in February 2011 Cable & Wireless confirmed it had signed agreements with the government of Bahamas to buy a 51% interest in BTC.
  • In December 2010 Telecom Services of Trinidad and Tobago announced the launch of their commercial WiMAX network, reportedly the largest in the Caribbean. Whilst at launch date the network covered only selected parts of Trinidad and Tobago, Telecom Services of Trinidad and Tobago is planning to extend the network during 2011 to connect all of the islands that make up the Trinidad and Tobago archipelago.
  • By early 2011 mobile penetration in the Caribbean region was over 62%. It is worth noting, however, that penetration rates range from single figures to over 300%.

Internet users and penetration rate in Caribbean countries – 2010

Country

Users

Penetration

Anguilla

4,500

31%

Antigua and Barbuda

65,000

75%

Aruba

24,000

23%

Bahamas

115,800

37%

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

Table of Contents

  • 1. Telecoms Market in the Caribbean
    • 1.1 Overview
    • 1.2 Regulatory environment
      • 1.2.1 Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS)
      • 1.2.2 Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL)
      • 1.2.3 Telecom sector liberalisation
      • 1.2.4 Caribbean Association of National Telecommunication Organisations (CANTO)
    • 1.3 Major telecom operators in the Caribbean
      • 1.3.1 LIME (Cable & Wireless
      • 1.3.2 Digicel
    • 1.4 Telecommunications infrastructure
      • 1.4.1 Fixed-line teledensity
      • 1.4.2 Submarine cable systems
    • 1.5 Broadband and internet market
      • 1.5.1 Overview
    • 1.6 Mobile communications
      • 1.6.1 Overview of mobile markets in the Caribbean
      • 1.6.2 Satellite mobile
  • 2. Anguilla
  • 3. Antigua and Barbuda
  • 4. Aruba
  • 5. Bahamas
  • 6. Barbados
  • 7. Bermuda
  • 8. British Virgin Islands
  • 9. Cayman Islands
  • 10. Dominica
  • 11. Grenada
  • 12. Guadeloupe
  • 13. Martinique
  • 14. Montserrat
  • 15. (The former) Netherlands Antilles
  • 16. St Kitts and Nevis
  • 17. St Lucia
  • 18. St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • 19. Trinidad and Tobago
  • 20. Turks and Caicos
  • 21. United States Virgin Islands
  • 22. Glossary of Abbreviations
  • Table 1 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Caribbean countries – 2009
  • Table 2 – Internet users and penetration rate in Caribbean countries – 2010
  • Table 3 – Mobile subscribers, annual change and penetration in Caribbean countries – 2010
  • Table 4 – Country data Anguilla – 2011
  • Table 5 – Country data Antigua and Barbuda – 2011
  • Table 6 – Country data Aruba – 2011
  • Table 7 – Country data Bahamas – 2011
  • Table 8 – Country data Barbados – 2011
  • Table 9 – Country data Bermuda – 2011
  • Table 10 – Country data British Virgin Islands – 2011
  • Table 11 – Country data Cayman Islands – 2011
  • Table 12 – Country data Dominica – 2011
  • Table 13 – Country data Grenada – 2011
  • Table 14 – Country data Guadeloupe – 2011
  • Table 15 – Country data Martinique – 2011
  • Table 16 – Country data Montserrat – 2011
  • Table 17 – Country data Netherlands Antilles – 2011
  • Table 18 – Country data St Kitts and Nevis – 2011
  • Table 19 – Country data St Lucia – 2011
  • Table 20 – Country data St Vincent and the Grenadines – 2011
  • Table 21 – Country data Trinidad and Tobago – 2011
  • Table 22 – Country data Turks and Caicos – 2011
  • Table 23 – Country data United States Virgin Islands – 2011
  • Exhibit 1 – Island territories of the Caribbean
  • Exhibit 2 – Telecom privatisation and liberalisation in the Caribbean
  • Exhibit 3 – Digicel’s Caribbean operations – 2011
  • Exhibit 4 – Major submarine cable networks serving the Caribbean region

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