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Honduras - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media - Statistics and Analyses

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Honduras - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media - Statistics and Analyses

New IXP to improve internet connectivity in Honduras

Among the poorest countries in Central America, Honduras has long been plagued by an unstable political framework which has rendered telecom reform difficult. Reform is critical if the country is to address some of the least impressive market statistics in the region.

The country has been on the cusp of bankruptcy for several years, and though a group of banks had written off $3.5 billion of debt in 2007 accumulated debt since then has reached $5 billion. The economic plight has contributed to crises within the government, with no consensus on how to formulate a budget for 2013.

These practical difficulties have had real effects on the country's telecom market. Fixed-line teledensity at only 7% is significantly lower than the Latin American and Caribbean average. Poor fixed-line infrastructure has been exacerbated by low investment and difficulties in local terrain which have made investment in rural areas unattractive or uneconomical. As a consequence, the internet has been slow to develop in Honduras: DSL and cable modem technologies are available but relatively expensive, while higher speed services are largely restricted to the major urban centres. Nevertheless, the demand for broadband is steadily increasing and there are has been some investment in network upgrades to fibre-based infrastructure, though this is restricted to the main cities. Poor fixed-line connectivity has also inhibited the take-up of VoIP, which would otherwise be a preferred communications medium to expensive domestic calls.

On the positive side, these factors have encouraged consumer take-up of mobile services, a sector where there is lively competition supported by international investment and know-how. As a result, mobile penetration is about 20% above the regional average. Revenue from the mobile sector looks promising in coming years as operators invest in their networks, expanding their reach and upgrading their capabilities to accommodate mobile broadband services. Mobile data as a proportion of overall mobile revenue has increased steadily, though low-end SMS services will continue to account for the bulk of data revenue for some years.

Political developments during the last few years have not facilitated the much-needed reform of legislation governing the telecoms sector. Partly this is due to political stalemate and ineffective legislators, but underlying the difficulties are the close ties between executives at the incumbent Hondutel and key members of the government. Charges of bribery and corruption are rife, and though the framework for reforming the Telecommunications Act remains before the Honduran Congress, there is little prospect of effective change in the short term which would bring about a properly competitive and fair market for some services.

Estimated market penetration rates by service 2015
Market | Penetration rate
Mobile | 93.2%
Internet (users) | 27.0%
Fixed | 5.6%
(Source: BuddeComm based on various sources)

Key developments:

Tigo Money mobile cash transfer service signs up more than one million users;
Claro and Tigo both launch LTE services;
Tigo launches satellite service;
Hondutel management shake-up fails to stem losses, though the company reported its first a net profit in June 2014 in 41 consecutive months;
Spectrum auction encourages mobile broadband services take-up;
Tigo rebrands broadband and pay-TV business as Tigo Star';
Report update includes the regulator's market data to Q4 2015, telcos' operational data updates, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report include:

Hondutel, Comunitel, MultiData, Millicom, Digicel, América Móvil.

1. Executive summary
2. Key statistics
3. Telecommunications market
3.1 Country overview
3.2 Overview of the Honduran telecom market
4. Regulatory environment
4.1 Regulatory authority
4.1.1 Comisión Nacional de Telecomunicaciones (Conatel)
4.2 Privatisation
4.4 Foreign investment
4.5 Telecom sector liberalisation in Honduras
4.6 Telephony For All' program
5. Fixed network operators in Honduras
5.1 Hondutel
5.2 Tele+ (Comunitel)
5.3 MultiData
6. Telecommunications infrastructure
6.1 National telecom network
6.2 Internet Exchange Point (IXP)
6.2.1 Fixed-line statistics
6.3 International infrastructure
6.3.1 Interconnection with other Central American countries
6.3.2 Submarine cable networks
6.3.3 Satellite networks
6.4 Infrastructure developments
6.4.1 Wireless Local Loop (WLL)
6.4.2 IP and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
6.4.3 Fibre broadband
7. Broadband market
7.1 Overview
7.2 Statistics
7.2.1 Broadband subscribers
7.3 Major ISPs and broadband players
7.4 Community Telecentres
8. Digital Media
8.1 Media convergence
8.2 Cable TV
8.3 Satellite-based digital pay TV developments
8.4 Digital terrestrial TV
9. Mobile communications
9.1 Overview of the Honduran mobile market
9.2 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
9.3 Mobile statistics
9.3.1 Mobile voice
9.3.2 Mobile data
9.3.3 Mobile broadband
9.4 Mobile infrastructure
9.4.1 Third generation (3G) mobile
9.4.2 Fourth generation (4G) mobile
9.4.3 LTE
9.5 Major mobile operators
9.5.1 Tigo/Celtel (Millicom)
9.5.2 Claro/Sercom (América Móvil)
9.5.3 Hondutel
9.5.4 Digicel
9.6 Mobile applications
9.6.1 M-money
10. Related reports
Table 1 Country statistics Honduras 2015 (e)
Table 2 Telephone network statistics 2015
Table 3 Internet user statistics 2015
Table 4 Mobile statistics 2015
Table 5 National telecommunications authority
Table 6 Evolution of GDP in Honduras 2000 - 2015
Table 7 Tax revenue from telecom services 2014 2015
Table 8 Fixed line terminating traffic 2001 2015
Table 9 Fixed line originating traffic 2014 2015
Table 10 Historic - Market share of fixed lines in service 2003 - 2010
Table 11 Number of operators: fixed, mobile, data, ISP and CATV markets 2005 - 2010
Table 12 Hondutel revenue 2011 2014
Table 13 Hondutel net profit 2005 2015
Table 14 Hondutel fixed lines in service 1997 - 2011
Table 15 Telecom sector revenue 2011- 2014
Table 16 Fixed lines in service by operator 1996 - 2012
Table 17 Historic - Fixed lines in service 1996 - 2009
Table 18 Fixed lines in service by operator 2005 - 2015
Table 19 International bandwidth 2000 - 2014
Table 20 Historic - Internet users and penetration rate 1997 - 2009
Table 21 Internet users and penetration rate 2010 - 2016
Table 22 Internet subscribers and penetration rate 2002 - 2016
Table 23 Fixed-line broadband subscribers 2010 - 2016
Table 24 Cybercafé and CCI points 2002 - 2012
Table 25 Pay TV subscribers and penetration rates 2003 - 2012
Table 26 Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 1997 2009
Table 27 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 2010 2016
Table 28 Mobile prepaid/postpaid ratio 1997 - 2015
Table 29 Mobile voice traffic 2014 - 2015
Table 30 Mobile messaging traffic 2014 - 2015
Table 31 Active mobile broadband subscribers 2010 - 2015
Table 32 Tigo mobile subscribers 2000 - 2015
Table 33 Historic - Claro mobile subscribers 2003 - 2008
Table 34 Tigo Money users 2014 - 2015
Chart 1 Market share of fixed lines in service 2003 2012
Chart 2 Fixed lines in service by operator 2005 2016
Chart 3 Internet users and penetration rate 2000 2016
Chart 4 Internet subscribers and penetration rate 2003 2016
Chart 5 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 2005 2016
Exhibit 1 Major submarine cable networks connecting Honduras
Exhibit 2 Spectrum band allocations for LTE - 2013
Exhibit 3 Spectrum auction awards October 2013

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