Market Research Logo

Puerto Rico - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband & Forecasts


Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

The Puerto Rico - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband & Forecasts report includes all BuddeComm research data and analysis on this country. Covering trends and developments in telecommunications, mobile, internet, broadband, infrastructure and regulation."


Executive summary

Puerto Rico has some of the highest rates of teledensity, mobile penetration and Internet usage in Latin America. However, despite being a US territory, Puerto Rico lags well behind the USA in terms of fixed-line and broadband penetration. This is partly because local fixed-line telephony has stagnated in a market largely dominated by the incumbent Puerto Rico Telephone Company (PRTC).

That dominance is unlikely to change in the short term as the PRTC was acquired in 2007 by the largest wireless company in Latin America, Mexico’s América Móvil. In contrast, with six network operators, the mobile (cellular/wireless) market has been experiencing 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.

In addition, with an emerging VoIP sector, a growing broadband market, and a healthy cable and satellite TV sector, the growth and convergence of digital media looks promising. Nevertheless, all telecommunication sectors experienced a slow down following the global financial crisis and Puerto Rico’s recovery is forecast to be slower than other countries in the region.

Market highlights

At the beginning of 2010, Puerto Rico’s unemployment rate had fallen to 16.5%, the highest level since 1931 during the Great Depression. The economic downturn was felt in the telecommunications sectors, yet the industry, in particular the mobile and data sectors, weathered the crisis far better than other industries.

In late 2009 US telco giant AT&T Inc completed its acquisition of Centennial Communications Corp following approval by the FCC. As a consequence of the acquisition, AT&T now owns Centennial’s fixed-line operations in Puerto Rico as well as its mobile operations under the Claro brand. The entry of heavyweight AT&T into the Puerto Rican fixed-line sector is expected to significantly increase investment in the sector during 2010 and 2011.

The AT&T acquisition of Centennial allowed AT&T to supplant Claro as the mobile market leader having lost that position to Claro in 2007.

The mobile companies continued to deploy 3G network and some were preparing for 4G upgrades. For instance, in early 2010 AT&T Mobility announced it had deployed HSPA 7.2 technology across its 3G network. The upgrade is expected to pave the way for the future deployment of LTE (4G) technology, which AT&T has revealed it intends to start deploying in 2011.

In 2009, there appeared to be a reversal, at least temporarily, in the declining cable TV subscriber numbers witnessed throughout the past decade.

Despite concerns that thousands of households were unprepared for digital TV, the analogue switch-off in June 2009 appeared to pass without any obvious widespread issue in the Puerto Rican TV markets.Lawrence Baker

Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.

1. Executive summary
2. Key statistics
3. Country Overview
4. Telecommunications market
4.1 Overview of Puerto Rico’s telecom market
5. Regulatory environment
5.1 Regulatory authority
5.1.1 Junta Reglamentadora de Telecomunicaciones (JRT)
5.2 Telecom sector liberalisation
5.3 Privatisation of PRTC
5.4 Universal service fund
5.5 Number portability
6. Fixed network operators
6.1 Overview of operators
6.2 Puerto Rico Telephone Company (PRTC/TELPRI)
6.3 AT&T Inc (formerly Centennial de Puerto Rico)
7. Telecommunications infrastructure
7.1 National telecom networks
7.2 International infrastructure
7.2.1 Submarine cable networks
7.2.2 Satellite networks
7.3 IP networks and VoIP
8. Internet market
8.1 Overview
8.1.1 Internet statistics
9. Broadband market
9.1 Overview
9.2 Cable broadband
9.2.1 OneLink Communications
9.2.2 Liberty Cablevision
9.2.3 Choice Cable
9.3 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
9.4 Wireless broadband
10. Digital Media
10.1 Overview
10.2 Digital TV
10.2.1 Cable TV (CATV)
10.2.2 Satellite TV
10.2.3 Free-to-Air (FTA) TV
11. Mobile market
11.1 Overview of Puerto Rico’s mobile market
11.1.1 Mobile statistics
11.2 Mobile technologies
11.3 Major mobile operators
11.3.1 AT&T Mobility (formerly Cingular Wireless Puerto Rico)
11.3.2 Claro (América Móvil)
11.3.3 Open Mobile (formerly Movistar Puerto Rico)
11.3.4 T-Mobile (formerly SunCom Puerto Rico)
11.3.5 Sprint PCS
12. Forecasts
12.1 Forecasts - Mobile services - 2010; 2015
13. Related reports
List of Tables
Table 1 - Country statistics Puerto Rico - 2010
Table 2 - Fixed-line network statistics - 2010
Table 3 - Internet user statistics - 2010
Table 4 - Broadband statistics - 2010
Table 5 - Mobile statistics - 2010
Table 6 - National telecommunications authorities
Table 7 - Fixed lines in service, annual change and teledensity - 2000 - 2010
Table 8 - PRTC residential/corporate fixed lines in service and annual change - 2000 - 2010
Table 9 - CPR switched access lines - 2006 - 2010
Table 10 - Internet users and user penetration rate - 2000 - 2010
Table 11 - Broadband subscriber numbers - 2002 - 2010
Table 12 - PRTC DSL lines - 2002 - 2010
Table 13 - Cable TV subscribers - 2001 - 2010
Table 14 - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate - 2000 - 2010
Table 15 - Prepaid vs postpaid market share - 2000 - 2010
Table 16 - Mobile market share by operator - 2003 - 2009
Table 17 - Forecast mobile subscribers - lower growth scenario - 2011 - 2016
Table 18 - Forecast mobile subscribers - higher growth scenario - 2011 - 2016
List of Exhibits
Exhibit 1 - Major submarine cable networks serving Puerto Rico

Download our eBook: How to Succeed Using Market Research

Learn how to effectively navigate the market research process to help guide your organization on the journey to success.

Download eBook

Share this report