2012 Caribbean - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband

Publication Overview

This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in the Caribbean telecommunications market. The report analyses the mobile, internet, broadband and cable TV sectors. Subjects include:

  • Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
  • Facts, figures and statistics;
  • Industry and regulatory issues;
  • Infrastructure;
  • Major players, revenues, subscribers;
  • Internet, VoIP, TV;
  • Mobile voice and data markets;
  • Broadband (FttH, DSL, cable TV, wireless);
  • Mobile subscribers and market developments;
  • Migration to LTE;
  • Broadband subscribers and market developments.

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:- Henry Lancaster
Current publication date:- February 2012 (11th Edition)

Executive Summary

Telcos showing continued investment and confidence in the telecoms sector

In most Caribbean countries the telecoms market has been liberalised, with only a few sectors in some island groups remaining monopoly enterprises. Alternative operators are active in within the full range of telecom services. The Caribbean region has a range of small markets with limited potential for growth, yet the main telcos – LIME and Digicel – have shown considerable confidence in the sector, with a willingness to invest in their fixed-line and mobile networks and so encourage consumer use of high-end data services. As such, their expectation is for future revenue streams to be derived from the migration of customers from 2G to 3G and 4G networks, and from basic broadband services to comprehensive bundled offers.

Most island groups continue to suffer from the economic downturn, with fewer tourists than there were before 2009. Yet recent encouraging figures for tourist arrivals, at least in some countries, promise slowly revitalising economies during 2012. This has been supported by funding from the IMF and World Bank in some cases, and by government efforts at economic diversification. Continuing regulatory developments have also focussed on the few remaining monopolies with a view to encouraging market competition. All in all, the telecoms sector is set to continue being one of the Caribbean region’s major growth industries.

Fixed-line broadband subscribers, select countries – 2010; 2012

Country

2010

2012 (e)

Bahamas

24,000

27,000

Barbados

56,000

58,000

Dominica

32,000

45,000

Dominican Republic

361,000

435,000

Trinidad and Tobago

145,000

195,000

(Source: BuddeComm estimates based on ITU data)

Market highlights:

  • Regional economic growth has been hampered by continuing pressure on tourist arrivals, principally from the USA and Europe. Nevertheless, some markets have reported a slow yet steady increase in arrivals since 2011. This will be crucial for telcos during 2012 and 2013, particularly in the mobile sector which is considerably supported by tourist spend.
  • In terms of the regional economy, the Caribbean has faced a number of difficulties during the last two years. Weak local economies combining with a range of austerity measures have affected many islands. These conditions have contributed to reduced disposable incomes among telcos’ customers. Respite is expected during 2012, largely on the back of the recovery in the number of tourists, though this is likely to be isolated rather than regional.
  • The key market players – LIME and Digicel – reported slight declines in revenue in 2011, though this has barely impacted on their ability to maintain investments in their fixed and wireless networks.
  • BTC in the Bahamas deployed a commercial LTE network at the end of 2011, complementing its GSM/EDGE and HSPA network.
  • BTC’s long awaited privatisation in mid-2011 will shortly lead to the end of one of the region’s remaining monopolies, when the Bahaman mobile market is opened to competitors from 2014.
  • Mobile penetration in the region approaches 70%, with tourists accounting for a considerable proportion of SIM cards sold. Active SIM penetration is likely to be a more realistic 80-85%.

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 Carribean
    • 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 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 – LIME financial data – 2010 - 2011
  • Table 2 – LIME revenue by sector – 2010 - 2011
  • Table 3 – Digicel Group financial data – 2011
  • Table 4 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Caribbean countries – 2009
  • Table 5 – Fixed-lines in service in select Caribbean countries – 2009 - 2012
  • Table 6 – Internet users and penetration rate in Caribbean countries – Jun 2011
  • Table 7 – Fixed-line broadband subscribers in select Caribbean countries – 2008 - 2012
  • Table 8 – Mobile subscribers, annual change and penetration in Caribbean countries – Jun 2011
  • Table 9 – Country data Anguilla – 2011
  • Table 10 – Country data Antigua and Barbuda – 2011
  • Table 11 – Country data Aruba – 2011
  • Table 12 – Country data Bahamas – 2011
  • Table 13 – Country data Barbados – 2011
  • Table 14 – Country data Bermuda – 2011
  • Table 15 – Country data British Virgin Islands – 2011
  • Table 16 – Country data Cayman Islands – 2011
  • Table 17 – Country data Dominica – 2011
  • Table 18 – Country data Grenada – 2011
  • Table 19 – Country data Guadeloupe – 2011
  • Table 20 – Country data Martinique – 2011
  • Table 21 – Country data Montserrat – 2011
  • Table 22 – Country data Netherlands Antilles – 2011
  • Table 23 – Country data St Kitts and Nevis – 2011
  • Table 24 – Country data St Lucia – 2011
  • Table 25 – Country data St Vincent and the Grenadines – 2011
  • Table 26 – Country data Trinidad and Tobago – 2011
  • Table 27 – Country data Turks and Caicos – 2011
  • Table 28 – Country data United States Virgin Islands – 2011
  • Chart 1 – LIME revenue by sector – 2010 – 2011
  • Exhibit 1 – Island territories of the Caribbean
  • Exhibit 2 – Telecom privatisation and liberalisation in the Caribbean
  • Exhibit 3 – Digicel’s Caribbean operations – 2012
  • Exhibit 4 – Major submarine cable networks serving the Caribbean region

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