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.
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.
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