Puerto Rico - Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts
Liberty Global seeks to manage Puerto Rican operation under a new company
Puerto Rico has one of the highest mobile penetration rates in Latin America, though despite being a US territory it lags well behind the mainland US states in terms of fixed-line and broadband penetration. This is partly due to a continuing economic recession, high unemployment rates (and consequently low disposable income) and poor telecoms investment in a market largely dominated by the incumbent Puerto Rico Telephone Company.
The Puerto Rico Telephone Company's fixed-line market dominance was augmented following its acquisition by the largest wireless company in Latin America, América Móvil. In contrast, with six network operators, the mobile (cellular/wireless) market has been experiencing more robust competition and growth. Although América Móvil's Claro recently took the lead from AT&T Mobility in terms of subscriber numbers, AT&T regained the top position by late November following its acquisition of Centennial Communications.
With an emerging VoIP sector and steadily growing broadband market, as well as a healthy satellite TV sector which has caused a decline in the cable TV subscriber base in recent years, the growth and convergence of digital media looks promising for coming years. A new submarine cable, due to come online in 2014, will improve connectivity to the US and neighbouring Latin American and Caribbean countries, while investments by cellular operators in LTE infrastructure will help promote mobile data services, as also extend mobile broadband availability in rural areas.
Puerto Rico's economic plight has affected the telecoms sector, though it has managed to weather continuing difficulties, better most industries. Open Mobile launched an LTE offer in mid-2012, a crucial step for the country's migration to 4G-based mobile broadband. The AT&T acquisition of Centennial allowed the former to supplant Claro as the mobile market leader, having lost that position to Claro in 2007. The failed bid by AT&T to acquire T-Mobile has preserved the competitive nature of the Puerto Rican mobile market, where AT&T would otherwise have secured a 50% share of mobile subscribers. Liberty Puerto Rico's acquisition of OneLink Communications has merged two of the key cable TV and broadband players, with a combined footprint of some 700,000 addressable households. Cable TV subscriber numbers continue to decline, due in part to growing competition from satellite and to a deepening recession. The new PCCS submarine cable due in late 2014 will improve connectivity to the US and neighbouring Caribbean Central American countries. In mid-2013 DISH and Claro joined forces to offer quad-play bundled services. Liberty Global in early 2014 announced plans to create a new company to oversee its Puerto Rico and Chilean operations, and separate them from the Europe-based UPC division. The House of Representatives in March 2014 passed a bill which replaces the telecom regulator and combines the responsibilities for the telecom and energy sector within a newly formed commission.
In June 2014 the government launched its Gigabit Island fibre project to extend fibre nationally.
Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.
This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Puerto Rico's telecommunications market. The report analyses the mobile, internet, broadband and converging media sectors.
Market and industry analyses, trends and developments; Facts, figures and statistics; Industry and regulatory issues; Infrastructure; Major players; Internet, VoIP; Mobile voice and data markets; Broadband (, DSL, cable TV, wireless); Convergence and digital media; Mobile subscribers forecasts to 2020;
Liberty Global seeks to manage Puerto Rico and Chile operations under a new company; government offers bill to create a new telecom and energy sector regulator; mobile data use developing with three competing LTE commercial networks on-stream; DISH and Claro offer joint quad-play services; FCC funding for broadband extension in underserved areas; Liberty Cablevision merges with OneLink Communications; T-Mobile launches LTE services; Claro launches IPTV; regulator's market data to November 2014; telcos' operating and financial data updates; recent market developments.
Companies covered in this report include:
Puerto Rico Telephone Company, América Móvil, AT&T, Liberty Cablevision; OneLink Communications; T-Mobile; Open Mobile; Sprint PCS; Choice Cable.
This report is essential reading for those needing high level strategic information and objective analysis on the telecom sector in Puerto Rico.
It provides further information on:
Market liberalisation and regulatory issues; The impact of the global economic crisis; Telecoms operators privatisation, acquisitions, new licences; Mobile data market developments in coming years; 3G/4G developments, regulatory issues and technologies including HSPA and LTE; Broadband developments; Historical and current subscriber statistics and forecasts;