Digicel gains dominance in mobile market, ramps up 3G availability
BuddeComm’s annual publication, ‘Jamaica - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband’, profiles the fixed-line, mobile and broadband markets in Jamaica.
Typical for the region, the relative size and rapid expansion of the Jamaican mobile sector continues to underpin growth in the telecommunications industry. The merger between Digicel and Claro in 2012 strengthened Digicel’s dominance of the sector, and the company has since developed its 3G network across the island. Together with the potential of 4G through WiMAX and LTE, the mobile broadband sector is likely to become a major revenue driver in coming years, with competition particularly between Digicel and LIME.
This report contains overviews, analyses and statistics of the Jamaican fixed-line, mobile and broadband markets together with information on convergence issues and on the country’s fixed line incumbent and major mobile operators.
After securing a licence in the 2.5GHz spectrum, in 2010 Digicel launched its much-anticipated nationwide WiMAX network for residential customers. Although subscriber data has yet to be reported, Digicel has expressed positive views about initial subscriber uptake.
Shortly after Digicel’s WiMAX launch, in late 2010 Claro announced that it would be deploying an LTE wireless platform, allegedly capable of speeds of up to 170Mb/s. The deployment is part of Claro’s US$300 million capital investment in the build-out of its entire wireless network.
In 2010 LIME announced a US$600 million investment program in new services and upgrades across the region, of which an estimated US$150 million would be in Jamaica alone. The investment will consolidate Jamaica as the hub of LIME’s regional operations, handling finance, procurement and human resource operations for all of its markets.
In early 2011 Cable & Wireless Communications completed laying its US$35 million East-West cable between Jamaica, the British Virgin Islands and
the Dominican Republic. The submarine cable is expected to significantly augment capacity for data and telephony services.The mobile market leader remains Digicel Jamaica, which has incorporated the network and most customers of América Móvil’s Claro.
LIME’s island-wide subscriber television wireless licences may bring valuable competition to a market currently dominated by Columbus Communications Networks’ Flow.
Cable broadband has made strong inroads into the broadband sector, steadily gaining market share. The growth is largely due to the relatively high penetration of CATV in Jamaica together with significant investment by Flow and a number of new licence applications and licence extension applications offered by the BCJ.
Mobile statistics – 2013 (e)
Mobile subscribers | 3.65 million
Annual growth | 4%
Mobile penetration | 128%
(Source: BuddeComm based on industry data)
Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.