Suriname - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Suriname’s economy showing return to growth

The smallest nation on the South American continent, with just over 500,000 inhabitants, Suriname is also the only Dutch-speaking nation in South America, and it has closer affinities with the Caribbean than with its continental neighbours, and indeed is a member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

In the wake of various social and political problems, the country’s economy dived after 2013 and did not show positive growth until 2018.

The state-owned incumbent telco Telesur is the exclusive provider of fixed-line and broadband services in Suriname. However, in the mobile sector the company faces effective competition from Digicel, which in 2016 acquired the only other operator in the sector, Uniqa.

Suriname’s fixed-line infrastructure is reasonably reliable in the more populated coastal region, though poor in the interior. Fixed teledensity and broadband penetration are slightly lower than average for Latin America and the Caribbean, while mobile penetration is significantly above the regional average and much higher than would be expected given the country’s relatively low GDP per capita.

Many Surinamese have up to three mobile lines with different providers, which has pushed up penetration figures although the number of subscribers has fallen in recent years as consumers have responded to economic pressures. The mobile market supports only two players: Telesur (trading as TeleG), and Digicel (part of Digicel Group, a significant operator across the Caribbean region). In early 2015 Digicel acquired the only other operator, Uniqa, which only had about 5,000 subscribers. In January 2017 Digicel signed a deal to host the MVNO Transatel, which operates in a number of markets across the Caribbean and Latin America.

Although other ISPs offer dial-up and webmail services, Telesur is the only provider of fixed broadband, primarily using DSL technology. The company since 2013 has built out a fibre network in pars of Paramaribo.

Key developments:

  • Digicel has international link to Guyana cut;
  • UTS sold to Digicel Group;
  • Transatel enters the market as an MVNO on Digicel's network;
  • Telesur extends mobile broadband services;
  • Smartphones adoption facilitating success of Telesur's Mobile Agent service,
  • Telesur expands fibre network;
  • Report update includes recent market developments, ITU and regulator data to 2017.

Table of Contents

  • Key statistics

  • Country overview

  • Telecommunications market

    • Market analysis
  • Regulatory environment

    • Historical overview
    • Regulatory authority
    • Telecom sector liberalisation
  • Fixed network operator

    • Telesur
  • Telecommunications infrastructure

    • National telecom network
    • International infrastructure
      • Submarine cable networks
      • Satellite networks
    • Infrastructure developments
      • Wireless Local Loop (WLL)
      • Next Generation Networks (NGNs)
  • Fixed-line broadband market

    • Introduction and statistical overview
      • Broadband statistics
  • Mobile market

    • Market analysis
    • Mobile statistics
      • General statistics
    • Forecasts – mobile subscribers – 2019; 2021; 2023
    • Mobile broadband
    • Mobile infrastructure
      • Other infrastructure developments
    • Major mobile operators
      • TeleG (Telesur)
      • Digicel Suriname
      • Uniqa
      • Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
  • Related reports


List of Tables

  • Table 1 – Top Level Country Statistics and Telco Authorities - Suriname – 2018 (e)
  • Table 2 – Evolution of GDP in Suriname – 2000 – 2018
  • Table 3 – Historic - Fixed and mobile market share of subscribers – 1998 – 2009
  • Table 4 – Fixed and mobile market share of subscribers – 2010 – 2018
  • Table 5 – Telsur financial data – 2008- 2013
  • Table 6 – Historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 1997 – 2009
  • Table 7 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 2010 – 2018
  • Table 8 – International bandwidth – 2005 – 2016
  • Table 9 – Historic - Internet users and user penetration – 1998 – 2009
  • Table 10 – Internet users and user penetration – 2010- 2018
  • Table 11 – Broadband subscribers and penetration rates – 2002 – 2018
  • Table 12 – Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 1997 – 2009
  • Table 13 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 2010 – 2018
  • Table 14 – Forecast mobile subscribers – 2019; 2021; 2023
  • Table 15 – Active mobile broadband subscribers – 2012 – 2018

List of Charts

  • Chart 1 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 2005 – 2018
  • Chart 2 – Internet users and user penetration – 2005 – 2018
  • Chart 3 – Broadband subscribers and penetration rates – 2002 – 2018
  • Chart 4 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 2005 – 2018

List of Exhibits

  • Exhibit 1 – Map of Suriname
  • Exhibit 2 – Submarine cable network link to Suriname

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