Telecoms, Mobiles and Broadband in the Caribbean

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. Read summary here