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Honduras- Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband

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One of the poorest countries in Latin America, Honduras has a fixed line teledensity of only 11%. The telecom infrastructure is inadequate to meet basic demand, especially in rural areas. Laws governing full liberalisation have been delayed mostly because of political wrangling over the role of Hondutel, the state-owned telecom incumbent. Three companies compete in the mobile market: Millicom’s Tigo, América Móvil’s Claro, and Digicel, the latest market entrant, which launched services in November 2008. ADSL is still mostly limited to corporate customers. There are good investment opportunities for wireless broadband, since the fixed-line and cable networks have insufficient capacity to satisfy growth rates. This report provides an overview of the country’s telecom sector accompanied by relevant statistics and analyses.

Executive Summary

Honduras - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband

Besides being the second poorest country in Central America, Honduras has an extremely unequal distribution of income. About 70% of the population lives below the poverty line.

Teledensity is about 14% lower than average for Central America. Nevertheless, it is better than one would expect based on the country’s other economic indicators. Mobile penetration is about average for Central America and quite high compared with GDP per capita.

Fixed-line telephony has been partly liberalised, with long-distance telephony open to competition, but local services are still a monopoly of state-owned Hondutel and its franchise partners. Laws governing full liberalisation have been delayed amid allegations of corruption and political wrangling over the role of Hondutel.

The mobile sector, on the other hand, is highly competitive, with four operators offering services. The market leader is Millicom’s Tigo, followed by América Móvil’s Claro. Digicel entered the market in November 2008.

The Internet has been slow to develop in Honduras. ADSL is still primarily used by corporate customers. Nevertheless, the demand for broadband is increasing.

Key Highlights

  • VoIP telephony services are more readily available than normal phone service and significantly cheaper. For more information, see Honduras - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband
  • Three companies have received WiMAX licences. There are good investment opportunities for wireless DSL and WiMAX, since the fixed-line and cable networks have insufficient capacity. For more information, see Honduras - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband
  • Millicom International, the leading mobile provider in Honduras through Tigo, has acquired cable TV and triple player Amnet. For more information, see Honduras - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband
  • Honduras is the first and only country in Central America to have chosen a Digital Terrestrial TV standard: the government has opted for the US ATSC. For more information, see Honduras - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband
  • Both Claro and Tigo have launched 3G mobile services based on WCDMA technology. For more information, see Honduras - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband

1. Executive Summary
2. Key statistics
3. Country overview
4. Telecommunications market
4.1 Overview of Honduran telecom market
5. Regulatory environment
5.1 Regulatory authority
5.1.1 Comisión Nacional de Telecomunicaciones (Conatel)
5.2 Privatisation
5.4 Foreign investment
5.5 Telecom sector liberalisation in Honduras
5.6 ‘Telephony For All’ program
5.7 Number portability
6. Telecom network operators in Honduras
6.1 Hondutel
6.2 Multifon
6.3 Tele+ (Comunitel)
7. Telecommunications infrastructure
7.1 National telecom networks
7.1.1 Public telephones
7.2 International infrastructure
7.2.1 Interconnection with other Central American countries
7.2.2 Submarine cable networks
7.2.3 Satellite networks
7.3 Infrastructure developments
7.3.1 Wireless Local Loop (WLL)
7.3.2 IP and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
8. Internet market
8.1 Overview
8.1.1 Internet statistics
9. Broadband market
9.1 Overview
10. Convergence
10.1 Overview of media convergence
10.2 Pay TV market
10.2.1 Cable TV
10.2.2 Satellite TV
10.3 Digital terrestrial TV
11. Mobile communications
11.1 Overview of the Honduran mobile market
11.1.1 Mobile statistics
11.2 Mobile technologies and data services
11.2.1 Third generation (3G) mobile
11.3 Major mobile operators
11.3.1 Tigo / Celtel (Millicom)
11.3.2 Claro / Sercom (América Móvil)
11.3.3 Hondutel
11.3.4 Digicel
12. Related reports
List of Tables and Exhibits
Table 1 - Country statistics Honduras - 2008
Table 2 - Telephone network statistics - 2008
Table 3 - Internet user statistics - 2007
Table 4 - Mobile statistics - 2008
Table 5 - National telecommunications authority
Table 6 - Market share of fixed lines in service - 2003 - 2007
Table 7 - Number of operators: fixed, mobile, data, ISP and CATV markets - 2004 - 2007
Table 8 - Hondutel - fixed lines in service - 1997 - 2007
Table 9 - Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 1997 - 2008
Table 10 - Public telephones - 1997 - 2008
Table 11 - Cybercafé and CCI points - 2002 - 2007
Table 12 - Internet users and penetration rate - 1997 - 2007
Table 13 - Internet subscribers and penetration rate - 2002 - 2007
Table 14 - Pay TV subscribers and penetration rates - 2003 - 2007
Table 15 - Mobile subscribers by operator and technology - 2008
Table 16 - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate - 1997 - 2008
Table 17 - Mobile operators’ market share - 2002 - 2008
Table 18 - Mobile prepaid/postpaid ratio - 1997 - 2007
Table 19 - Tigo - mobile subscribers - 2000 - 2008
Table 20 - Claro - mobile subscribers - 2003 - 2008
Table 21 - Hondutel - mobile subscribers - 2007 - 2008
Exhibit 1 - Major submarine cable networks connecting Guatemala

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