Guyana - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media - Statistics and Analyses
GTT+ rebranding prepares for long-awaited telecom sector reform
The only English-speaking nation in South America, Guyana has a small population with among the lowest GDP rates in the region. Nevertheless, GDP growth has been impressive in recent years and economic growth projections further into 2016 are encouraging.
Guyana's fixed-line teledensity is above average for Latin America and much higher than would be expected given the country's poor economic indicators. Mobile and broadband penetration, however, are well below the regional average.
Guyana Telephone and Telegraph (GT&T, rebranded as GTT+ in late 2015), controlled by Atlantic Tele-Network (ATN), has a monopoly over fixed-line services, but it competes with Digicel in the mobile market.
GTT+'s fixed-line monopoly was renewed for 20 years in December 2010, but before renewing it the government drafted a new Telecommunications Reform bill aimed at opening the telecom sector to competition. The bill was abandoned in September 2011 shortly before the national elections, but has since been brought under consideration. It includes provisions to fund a Universal Services Fund through a tax on telcos' revenue.
Although GTT+'s exclusivity does not extend to the broadband retail market, the company is the only DSL operator. The only effective competition comes from fixed-wireless broadband providers.
Although fixed broadband services have improved, especially since the opening of the SG-SCS submarine cable in mid-2010, they are still comparatively slow and expensive, and the number of broadband subscribers is small. The submarine cable being proposed by Digicel would provide a second link to international cable infrastructure in the region, and would go far in reducing consumer pricing.
In the mobile sector, GTT+'s mobile unit, Cellink, competes with Digicel Guyana for market share. Both companies operate GSM/GPRS networks.
Key telecom parameters 2015 (e)
Penetration of telecoms services: | Penetration
Fixed-line telephony | 21.1%
Fixed broadband | 6.5%
Mobile SIM (population) | 73%
Government commissions Dax Engineering to fix national fibre backbone network;
State sells its 20% stake in GTT+ to Datang Telecom Technology and Industry Group, a Chinese state-owned company;
Government distributes more than 11,000 laptops under One Laptop per Family (OLPF) scheme, with some 70,000 laptops in the program;
GTT+ blocks internet access for cybercafés that use third party applications for VoIP services;
iNet launches satellite broadband service offering data at up to 6Mb/s;
Digicel Guyana asks for permits to land its own cable in Guyana;
E-Networks signs agreement to use O3b's Fiber in the Sky satellite network;