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 hit the territory in late 2017. The general destruction following the hurricanes led to a marked decline in the number of subscribers for all services, while straightened economic circumstances forced many people not resume telecom services after these were restored.
Although Puerto Rico it 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.
The Puerto Rico Telephone Company’s fixed-line market dominance was augmented following its acquisition by the largest wireless company in Latin America, América Móvil. In contrast, with six network operators, the mobile (cellular/wireless) market has been experiencing more robust competition and growth. Although América Móvil’s Claro briefly took the lead from AT&T Mobility in terms of subscriber numbers, AT&T regained the top position following its acquisition of Centennial Communications. In early 2017 Sprint and Open Wireless agreed to merge their networks in a bid to offer better market competition by increasing their scale and spectrum holdings.
The acquisition by Liberty Global of the remaining cable TV operator Choice Cable, completed in mid-2015, created a monopoly player in this sector. Liberty Cablevisión, now wholly-owned by Liberty Global’s LLA division, is in a stronger position to capitalise on scale, and so provide improved services based on greater investment in technologies, including the anticipated DOCSIS3.1 standard.
Puerto Rico Telephone Company, América Móvil, AT&T, Liberty Cablevision; OneLink Communications; T-Mobile; Open Mobile; Sprint PCS; Choice Cable.
Table of Contents
Mobile & Wireless Broadband and Media
Mobile Communications (voice and infrastructure)
Regulations & Government Policies
Strategies & Analyses (Industry & Markets)
Number of pages 39
Last updated 10 Dec 2018
Analyst: Henry Lancaster
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