Caribbean - Telecoms, Mobile, and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Publication Overview

This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in the Caribbean’s telecommunications market. The report analyses the fixed-line, mobile and broadband sectors. 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

Subjects include:

  • Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
  • Facts, figures and statistics;
  • Industry and regulatory issues;
  • Infrastructure developments;
  • Major Players, Revenues, Subscribers, ARPU, MoU;
  • Mobile Voice and Data Markets;
  • Broadband (FttP, DSL, cable, wireless);
  • Mobile subscribers and ARPU;
  • Broadband market forecasts;
  • Government policies affecting the telecoms industry;
  • Market liberalisation and industry issues;
  • Telecoms operators – privatisation, IPOs, acquisitions, new licences;
  • Mobile technologies (GSM; 3G, HSPA, LTE, 5G).

Researcher:- Henry Lancaster
Current publication date:- March 2019 (16th Edition)

Executive Summary

Caribbean telecom regulator emphasising telecom reform for 2019

Given the relative lack of economic diversity within the Caribbean, the telecoms sector accounts for a higher proportion of GDP in most markets in the region than is common elsewhere. The sector remains one of steady growth, particularly in the mobile telephony and data segments. Although there are a number of smaller players operating, Digicel Group and Liberty Latin America are the dominant providers, with local business units spanning the region. Their fixed-line and mobile infrastructure assets have cemented their position as full-service providers. Competition between them has encouraged investments to expand the reach of fibre networks and LTE, while there is also some interest in 5G infrastructure from Liberty’s mobile unit Flow.

There have been ongoing changes in telecoms regulations across the region, with national regulators focussed on efforts to improve competition and facilitate investment.

The region’s economy is diverse, and often adversely affected by poor weather: some countries (notably Puerto Rico) are still recovering from the effects of hurricanes which swept through in late 2017. The varied economies range from Cuba and Haiti to those states which are focussed on high-end tourism and the financial services sector. Other than tourism, countries in the region have some small-scale primary industries, to a greater or lesser degree based on fisheries, bauxite and other minerals, and timber.

Cuba’s telecom sector remains a peculiarity, with state control having stymied rather than promoted the development of all sectors. The country has the lowest mobile phone and internet penetration rates in the region, while fixed-line teledensity is also very low. Fixed-line and mobile services remain a monopoly of the government-controlled Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba (ETESCA Cubacel). Nevertheless, reform of the sector, though glacial, is evident in launch of 3G and DSL services and in the growth in the number of Wi-Fi hotspots. 3G is only available to about two-thirds of the population, costs are high, and locals accept that the technology is dated.

Jamaica’s telecom sector is largely propped up by the mobile sector, which accounts for most internet connections as well as a dominant share of sector revenue. Both Digicel Jamaica and Flow provide about 90% population coverage with LTE. Digicel has also launched its MyCash m-money service.

Puerto Rico’s telecom market has been hard hit in recent years by a combination of economic mismanagement and the devastation caused by hurricanes, which led to a marked decline in the number of subscribers for all services. Although Puerto Rico is a US territory it lags well behind the mainland US states in terms of fixed-line and broadband penetration. This is partly due to high unemployment rates (and consequently low disposable income) and poor telecoms investment in a market largely dominated by the incumbent Puerto Rico Telephone Company. The activities of the US-based telcos, including T-Mobile US, Sprint and AT&T continue to impact on the Puerto Rican market. This has recently been seen in these operators securing spectrum in the 600MHz and expanding the reach of LTE services.

Key developments:

  • US government completes second subsea cable, linking Puerto Rico with Guantanamo Bay Naval Base;
  • Liberty Latin America takes full control of Liberty Cablevisión;
  • Antigua government to invest EC$80 million during 2019 to improve state-owned telco’s market competitiveness;
  • Digicel BVI doubles mobile network capacity;
  • New telecom regulator formed for Cayman Islands;
  • Digicel Dominica completes LTE network upgrade;
  • Digicel Bermuda expands FttP-based bundled services;
  • Bahamas regulator introduces MNP;
  • Digicel Jamaica launches MyCash m-banking service;
  • Haiti sets up digital incubator to foster digital economy growth
  • Report update includes regulators’ annual reports and market updates, operator data to Q3 2018, ITU’s 2017 market data, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Cable & Wireless, LIME, Flow, Liberty Global, Digicel Group, Orange Caraïbes, United Telecommunications Services (UTS), KeyTech, Puerto Rico Telephone Company, América Móvil, AT&T, Liberty Cablevision; OneLink Communications; T-Mobile; Open Mobile; Sprint PCS; Choice Cable

Henry Lancaster
February 2019

Table of Contents

  • Regional overview

    • Telecommunications market
      • Overview
    • Caribbean Telecom Maturity Index
      • Mobile and mobile broadband penetration
      • Fixed and mobile broadband penetration
      • TMI versus GDP
    • Regulatory environment
      • Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS)
      • Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL)
      • Caribbean Community (CARICOM)
      • Association of Caribbean States (ACS)
      • Telecom sector liberalisation
      • Caribbean Association of National Telecommunication Organisations (CANTO)
    • Major telecom operators in the Caribbean
      • Flow (Cable & Wireless/Liberty Global)
      • Digicel
      • Review of Digicel’s markets
      • Digicel’s financial performance
    • Telecommunications infrastructure
      • Submarine cable systems
    • Broadband market
      • Overview
    • Mobile communications
      • Overview
      • Mobile statistics
  • Anguilla

  • Antigua and Barbuda

    • Mobile market
  • Aruba

  • Bahamas

    • Regulatory measures
    • Market competition
    • Fixed-line
    • Mobile
      • Second and third mobile licenses
    • Internet
    • Submarine cables
  • Barbados

    • Market background
    • Mobile
    • Internet
  • Bermuda

    • Market background
    • Mobile
    • Internet
    • Smart grids
  • British Virgin Islands

    • Mobile services
  • Cayman Islands

    • Mobile networks:
  • Dominica

    • Mobile
  • Grenada

  • Guadeloupe

  • Martinique

  • Montserrat

  • (The former) Netherlands Antilles

  • St Kitts and Nevis

  • St Lucia

    • Mobile
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines

  • Trinidad and Tobago

    • Fixed-line
    • Mobile
  • Turks and Caicos

  • United States Virgin Islands


List of Tables

  • Table 1 – CWC financial data (Caribbean) – 2010 - 2017
  • Table 2 – CWC revenue by sector – 2010 - 2017
  • Table 3 – CWC subscribers by sector (Caribbean/BTC) – 2009 - 2017
  • Table 4 – Digicel financial statistics – 2010 - 2015
  • Table 5 – Digicel revenue by operating segment – 2013 - 2015
  • Table 6 – Digicel revenue by geographic sector ($ million) – 2014 - 2015
  • Table 7 – Active mobile broadband subscribers in select Caribbean countries – 2015 – 2018
  • Table 8 – Fixed broadband subscribers in select Caribbean countries – 2015 - 2018
  • Table 9 – Mobile subscribers in select Caribbean countries – 2015 - 2018
  • Table 10 – Mobile subscriber penetration in select Caribbean countries – 2015 - 2018
  • Table 11 – Country data Anguilla – 2018 (e)
  • Table 12 – Anguilla communications sector revenue – 2008 – 2016
  • Table 13 – Anguilla subscribers by service – 2005 – 2018
  • Table 14 – Country data Antigua and Barbuda – 2018 (e)
  • Table 15 – Antigua and Barbuda fixed-line broadband subscribers – 2005 – 2018
  • Table 16 – Antigua and Barbuda fixed-telephony lines in service – 2005 – 2018
  • Table 17 – Antigua and Barbuda mobile subscribers and penetration – 2000 – 2018
  • Table 18 – Antigua and Barbuda active mobile broadband subscribers – 2012 – 2018
  • Table 19 – Country data Aruba – 2018 (e)
  • Table 20 – Aruba fixed-line telephony subscribers and penetration – 2001 – 2018
  • Table 21 – Aruba fixed-line broadband subscribers – 2003 – 2018
  • Table 22 – Aruba mobile subscribers and penetration – 2000 – 2017
  • Table 23 – Country data Bahamas – 2018 (e)
  • Table 24 – Bahamas fixed lines in services and penetration – 2000 – 2018
  • Table 25 – Bahamas mobile subscribers and penetration – 2000 – 2018
  • Table 26 – Bahamas active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration – 2012 – 2018
  • Table 27 – Bahamas fixed-line broadband subscribers and penetration – 2001 – 2018
  • Table 28 – Country data Barbados – 2018 (e)
  • Table 29 – Barbados fixed telephony subscriptions and penetration – 2005 – 2018
  • Table 30 – Bermuda mobile subscribers and penetration – 2000 – 2018
  • Table 31 – Barbados active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration – 2012 – 2018
  • Table 32 – Barbados fixed-line broadband subscribers and penetration – 2005 – 2018
  • Table 33 – Country data Bermuda – 2018 (e)
  • Table 34 – One Communications financial data – 2010 – 2018
  • Table 35 – Bermuda mobile subscribers and penetration – 2000 – 2018
  • Table 36 – Bermuda active mobile subscribers and penetration – 2014 – 2018
  • Table 37 – Bermuda fixed-line broadband subscribers – 2005 – 2018
  • Table 38 – Bermuda fixed lines in services – 2003 – 2018
  • Table 39 – Country data British Virgin Islands – 2018 (e)
  • Table 40 – BVI broadband subscribers and penetration – 2009 – 2018
  • Table 41 – BVI fixed telephony subscriptions and penetration – 2005 – 2018
  • Table 42 – BVI revenue from telecoms and ICT services – 2009 – 2017
  • Table 43 – BVI active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration – 2013 – 2018
  • Table 44 – BVI mobile subscribers and penetration – 2007 – 2018
  • Table 45 – Country data Cayman Islands – 2018 (e)
  • Table 46 – Cayman Island subscribers by service – 2005 – 2018
  • Table 47 – Cayman Island penetration by service – 2005 – 2018
  • Table 48 – Cayman Island telecom and broadcasting revenue – 2008 – 2017
  • Table 49 – Country data Dominica – 2018 (e)
  • Table 50 – Dominica communications sector revenue – 2008 – 2016
  • Table 51 – Dominica fixed broadband subscribers – 2003 – 2018
  • Table 52 – Dominica fixed lines in service – 2000 – 2018
  • Table 53 – Dominica mobile subscribers – 2000 – 2018
  • Table 54 – Dominica active mobile broadband subscribers – 2014 – 2018
  • Table 55 – Country data Grenada – 2018 (e)
  • Table 56 – Grenada communications sector revenue – 2008 – 2016
  • Table 57 – Grenada fixed broadband subscribers – 2005 – 2018
  • Table 58 – Grenada fixed lines in service – 2000 – 2018
  • Table 59 – Grenada mobile subscribers – 2000 – 2018
  • Table 60 – Grenada active mobile broadband subscribers – 2013 – 2018
  • Table 61 – Country data Guadeloupe – 2018 (e)
  • Table 62 – Country data Martinique – 2018 (e)
  • Table 63 – Country data Montserrat – 2018 (e)
  • Table 64 – Montserrat communications sector revenue – 2008 – 2016
  • Table 65 – Country data Netherlands Antilles – 2018 (e)
  • Table 66 – Netherlands Antilles fixed lines in service – 2002 – 2016
  • Table 67 – Country data St Kitts and Nevis – 2018 (e)
  • Table 68 – St Kitts and Nevis communications sector revenue – 2008 – 2016
  • Table 69 – St Kitts and Nevis fixed broadband subscribers – 2002 – 2018
  • Table 70 – St Kitts and Nevis mobile subscribers – 2000 – 2018
  • Table 71 – St Kitts and Nevis active mobile broadband subscribers – 2013 – 2018
  • Table 72 – St Kitts and Nevis fixed-lines in service – 2000 – 2018
  • Table 73 – Country data St Lucia – 2018 (e)
  • Table 74 – St Lucia communications sector revenue – 2008 – 2016
  • Table 75 – St Lucia fixed broadband subscribers – 2003 – 2018
  • Table 76 – St Lucia fixed telephony subscribers – 2006 – 2018
  • Table 77 – St Lucia mobile subscribers – 2000 – 2018
  • Table 78 – St Lucia active mobile broadband subscribers – 2013 – 2018
  • Table 79 – Country data St Vincent and the Grenadines – 2018 (e)
  • Table 80 – St Vincent and the Grenadines communications sector revenue – 2008 – 2016
  • Table 81 – St Vincent and the Grenadines fixed telephony subscribers – 2003 – 2018
  • Table 82 – St Vincent and the Grenadines fixed broadband subscribers – 2003 – 2018
  • Table 83 – St Vincent and the Grenadines mobile subscribers – 2000 – 2018
  • Table 84 – St Vincent and the Grenadines active mobile broadband subscribers – 2014 – 2018
  • Table 85 – Country data Trinidad & Tobago – 2018 (e)
  • Table 86 – Trinidad & Tobago telecom revenue by service – 2013 – 2018
  • Table 87 – Trinidad & Tobago telecom subscribers by service – 2010 – 2018
  • Table 88 – Trinidad & Tobago fixed broadband penetration – 2012 – 2018
  • Table 89 – Trinidad & Tobago mobile penetration – 2012 – 2018
  • Table 90 – Trinidad & Tobago mobile broadband penetration – 2010 – 2018
  • Table 91 – Trinidad & Tobago ARPU by service (TT$) – 2009 – 2018
  • Table 92 – Trinidad & Tobago active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration – 2010 – 2018
  • Table 93 – Country data Turks and Caicos – 2018 (e)
  • Table 94 – Country data United States Virgin Islands – 2018 (e)

List of Charts

  • Chart 1 – Caribbean Telecoms Maturity Index by country
  • Chart 2 – Caribbean mobile subscriber penetration versus mobile broadband penetration
  • Chart 3 – Caribbean fixed broadband penetration versus mobile broadband penetration
  • Chart 4 – Caribbean Telecoms Maturity Index vs GDP per Capita

List of Exhibits

  • Exhibit 1 – Island territories of the Caribbean
  • Exhibit 2 – Caribbean - Key Characteristics of Telecoms Markets by Select Country
  • Exhibit 3 – Telecom privatisation and liberalisation in the Caribbean
  • Exhibit 4 – Digicel’s Caribbean operations
  • Exhibit 5 – Major submarine cable networks serving the Caribbean region

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