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

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

World Bank helps fund Nicaragua's national broadband infrastructure
Nicaragua is the largest and least densely populated country in Central America. The country's significant GDP growth since 2010 belies the low economic base, given that it has the lowest GDP per capita in the region, with some 60% of the population living below the poverty line. As a result, much of the economic drive has been the result of international assistance, particularly from the World Bank and other agencies.
The efforts underway to build a canal between the Pacific and Caribbean, largely with Chinese funding, which will incorporate deep-water ports, an oil pipeline, railroad and international airport, is an ambitious attempt to bring to deliver greater economic benefits, though the business case for the project remains uncertain.
Nicaragua's telecoms market has mirrored the poor economic achievements, with fixed-line teledensity and mobile penetration also the lowest in Central America. The broadband market remains nascent, with population penetration at about 2% in early 2017. Most internet users are concentrated in the largest cities because the rural and marginal areas lack access to the most basic telecom infrastructure. A number of internet cafés provide public access to internet and email services, but these are also restricted to the larger population centres. To address poor infrastructure, the World Bank is funding a project aimed at improving connectivity via a national fibre broadband network. There are separate schemes to improve broadband in the country's eastern regions, and providing links to Caribbean submarine cables.
América Móvil's Claro has a clear lead in all of Nicaragua's telecom sectors, including fixed-line, mobile, broadband, and pay TV. The number of mobile subscribers overtook the number of fixed lines in early 2002, and as of early 2017 the mobile sector accounted for the significant majority of all lines in service.
Telefónica's Movistar is the only company competing with Claro in the fixed-line and mobile market. In the mobile sector, Movistar holds almost one third of the market, but in the fixed-line sector, it has only about 10% market share.
Due to a weak regulatory structure and bureaucratic delays, further liberalisation has been a slow process. The market duopoly has dampened the competitive drive between the two main players, and as a result there has been less effort than in neighbouring countries to improve quality and lower prices. Nevertheless there are other companies operating in the market, including the Russian state corporation Rostejnologuii, Yota Mobile and IWB Holding. In the mobile market Xinwei Nicaragua (Xinwei Intelcom) launched services in early 2016, operating under the CooTel banner.
Market penetration rates in Nicaragua's telecoms sector 2016 (e)
Penetration of telecoms services: | Penetration
Fixed-line telephony | 5.7%
Fixed broadband | 1.9%
Mobile SIM (population) | 118%
(Source: BuddeComm)

Key developments:

Movistar Nicaragua extends LTE services to ten major cities;
Great Wall delays Nicasat-1 satellite launch;
Xinwei Nicaragua launches mobile services under the CooTel brand;
Work starts on a 3,500km fibre-optic broadband network;
World bank funding the Caribbean Regional Communications Infrastructure Program (CARCIP) to improve broadband in Nicaragua's eastern regions;
New satellite commissioned to provide pay-TV and telecom services, boosting the availability and scale of services both for the country and region.
Claro retaining near-monopoly over broadband;
Telefónica planning to deploy a 3,158 mile fibre cable covering Central America, linking Mexico to Panama via Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica;
Report update includes the regulator's market data, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

América Móvil, Movistar, Yota Nicaragua.

1. Executive summary
2. Key statistics
3. Country overview
3.1 Market analysis
3.2 International collaboration
4. Regulatory environment
4.1 Background
4.2 Regulatory authority
4.2.1 Telcor
4.3 Privatisation of Enitel
4.4 Telecom sector liberalisation in Nicaragua
5. Fixed network operators
5.1 Introduction
5.2 Claro (América Móvil)
5.3 Movistar (Telefónica)
5.4 Yota de Nicaragua
6. Telecommunications infrastructure
6.1 National telecom network
6.1.1 Fixed-line statistics
6.2 International infrastructure
6.2.1 Interconnection with Central American countries
6.2.2 Submarine cable networks
6.2.3 Satellite networks
7. Wholesale
8. Fixed-line broadband market
8.1 Introduction and statistical overview
8.2 Broadband statistics
9. Digital media
9.1 Pay TV
9.2 Communications: VoIP, messaging, conferencing
10. Mobile market
10.1 Market analysis
10.2 Mobile statistics
10.2.1 General statistics
10.3 Mobile data
10.4 Mobile broadband
10.5 Regulatory issues
10.5.1 Spectrum auctions
10.6 Mobile infrastructure
10.6.1 Digital networks
10.6.2 Other infrastructure developments
10.7 Major mobile operators
10.7.1 Claro (América Móvil)
10.7.2 Movistar (Telefónica)
10.7.3 Xinwei Nicaragua (CooTel)
11. Mobile content and applications
11.1.1 Mobile TV
11.1.2 M-health
12. Related reports
Table 1 Country statistics Nicaragua 2016 (e)
Table 2 Telephone network statistics 2016 (e)
Table 3 Internet user statistics 2016 (e)
Table 4 Broadband statistics 2016 (e)
Table 5 Mobile statistics 2016 (e)
Table 6 National telecommunications authority
Table 7 Evolution of GDP in Nicaragua 2004 - 2015
Table 8 Historic - Fixed line market share by operator 2004 - 2011
Table 9 Historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity 1996 - 2009
Table 10 Fixed lines in service and teledensity 2010 - 2018
Table 11 International bandwidth 2007 - 2015
Table 12 International bandwidth per user 2007 - 2015
Table 13 Historic - Internet subscriber market share by operator 2008 - 2011
Table 14 Internet users 2000 - 2018
Table 15 Internet access connections 2000 - 2016
Table 16 Broadband subscribers and penetration rates 2000 - 2018
Table 17 Broadband share of subscribers by platform, fixed and mobile 2008 - 2016
Table 18 Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 1997 - 2009
Table 19 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 2010 - 2018
Table 20 Mobile market share by operator 2002 - 2013
Table 21 Mobile prepaid/postpaid ratio 2003 - 2013
Table 22 Active mobile broadband subscribers 2008 - 2017
Table 23 Historic - Claro mobile subscribers 2003 - 2008
Table 24 Historic - Movistar mobile subscribers 2000 2008
Chart 1 Fixed lines in service and teledensity 2003 2018
Chart 2 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 2003 2018
Exhibit 1 Nicaragua major submarine cable networks
Exhibit 2 Aló PCS history
Exhibit 3 Enitel Movil history
Exhibit 4 Movistar history

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