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Guyana - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband


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Guyana’s fixed-line teledensity is about average for Latin America, while mobile penetration is slightly higher than average. This is a remarkably good performance considering that the country’s GDP per capita is the third lowest in the region after Haiti and Nicaragua. Guyana has also a surprisingly large number of Internet users thanks to cheap Internet cafés that also offer VoIP services. Negotiations are under way to liberalise the Guyanese fixed-line voice and data markets where the incumbent telco, GT&T, holds an exclusive licence. In the mobile sector, GT&T has been losing customers to its competitor Digicel, which has managed to increase its market share from 9% to 58% in just over two years. This report provides an overview of the country’s telecom sector accompanied by relevant statistics and analyses.


Executive Summary

Guyana is a small country with only 770,000 inhabitants, the only English-speaking nation in South America, with close affinities to the Caribbean region. It is one of Latin America’s poorer nations, with roughly half of the population living below the poverty line, and the third lowest GDP per capita after Haiti and Nicaragua.

Guyana’s fixed-line teledensity is about average for Latin America, while mobile penetration is slightly higher than average - a remarkably good performance considering the country’s low economic indicators.

Guyana Telephone and Telegraph (GT&T), controlled by Atlantic Tele-Network Ltd (ATN), holds an exclusive licence for fixed-line services, but has a non-exclusive licence for mobile services.

In the mobile sector, GT&T retained a de-facto monopoly until 2004. But, since November 2006 when Caribbean mobile giant Digicel entered the Guyanese market, GT&T has been losing more and more customers and market share. In 2008, Digicel became the mobile market leader.

GT&T is the only Internet access provider in Guyana. It sells Internet access to ISPs, which resell it to individuals. Guyana has a surprisingly large number of Internet users thanks to cheap Internet cafés that also offer VoIP services.

Key Highlights

  • Negotiations are under way to liberalise the Guyanese fixed-line voice and data markets. For more information, see Guyana - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband, chapter 5.4.
  • GT&T and Digicel have yet to reach an agreement on SMS interconnection, to the detriment of consumers who are unable to share text messages across networks. For more information, see Guyana - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband, chapter 9.1.1.
  • Mobile operator Digicel has managed to increase its market share from 9% to 58% in only two years. For more information, see Guyana - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband, chapter 9.3.1.

1. Synopsis
2. Key statistics
3. Country overview
4. Telecommunications market
4.1 Overview of Guyana’s telecom market
5. Regulatory environment
5.1 Background
5.2 Regulatory authority
5.2.1 Public Utilities Commission (PUC)
5.3 Privatisation of GT&T
5.4 Telecom sector liberalisation in Guyana
6. Fixed network operator in Guyana
6.1 Guyana Telephone & Telegraph Company (GT&T)
7. Telecommunications infrastructure
7.1 National telecom network
7.1.1 Fixed-line statistics
7.2 International
7.2.1 Submarine cable networks
7.2.2 Satellite networks
8. Internet and broadband market
8.1 Overview
8.1.1 Internet statistics
9. Mobile communications
9.1 Overview of Guyana’s mobile market
9.1.1 Mobile statistics
9.2 Mobile technologies and mobile data services
9.3 Major mobile operators
9.3.1 Digicel Guyana
9.3.2 Cellink (GT&T)
9.4 Mobile voice services
9.4.1 Satellite mobile
10. Related reports
Table 1 - Country statistics Guyana - 2008
Table 2 - Telephone network statistics - 2008
Table 3 - Internet user statistics - 2008
Table 4 - Broadband statistics - 2008
Table 5 - Mobile statistics - September 2008
Table 6 - National telecommunications authority
Table 7 - Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 1997 - 2008
Table 8 - Internet users and user penetration rate - 1997 - 2008
Table 9 - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate - 1998 - 2008
Table 10 - Mobile market share by operator - 2003 - 2008
Table 11 - Digicel mobile subscribers - 2004 - 2008
Table 12 - GT&T mobile subscribers - 2003 - 2008

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