Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/01/2012 -- BMI Q312 Caribbean Telecommunications Report contains updates to the mobile, fixed-line and internet sectors of the 10 countries included in our coverage, as well as analysis of recent industry-specific and regulatory developments with potential to affect competition dynamics in the telecoms sector. The ranking of markets remains largely unchanged, with Barbados, Jamaica, Guadeloupe and Martinique standing out for their high mobile penetration rates and generally stronger broadband services. Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic share many traits, offering strong growth potential and good competition between markets. Competition concerns remain in Jamaica and the Bahamas despite the market maturity, while Haiti and Cuba remain the least developed markets in the region with the latter offering considerable potential, but no means of achieving it in current circumstances.
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Telecoms markets across the region have seen the roll-out of high speed mobile broadband services based on the 4G LTE and HSPA+ technologies since our last update. Notable deployments include Digicel Trinidad and Tobago and Digicel Jamaica, which launched a HSPA+ network services with transmission speeds of up to 21Mbps in April 2012 and June 2012 respectively, Open Mobile Puerto Rico which launched commercial LTE services in April 2012, and Orange Diminicana which launched 4G LTE services with theoretical speeds of up to 100Mbps in the Dominican Republic in June 2012. BMI expects competition in the mobile data market in the region to intensify before the end of 2012, with some other operators announcing plans to launch next generation access networks during H212.
With the mobile sector experiencing slower growth because of market saturation, it is not surprising that operators are increasing their investments in high-value, non-traditional services such as IPTV. In April 2012, Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC), operating under the LIME brand, launched its first Caribbean IPTV service in Barbados. LIME TV subscribers can access up to 130 IPTV channels and video-on-demand (VoD) content though a set-top box or connected device, over a fixed broadband connection. LIME intends to extend the service to other markets it operates in over the next few years.
Other major developments analysed in this report include Digicel's acquisition of Voila in Haiti and the Haitian government's decision to take third-ranked Haitel into receivership, the newly elected Bahamian government's plan to find ways to renationalise incumbent operator BTC, and the Jamaican telecoms regulator's determination of mobile termination rates (MTR) to boost competition between the country's two remaining mobile operators.
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