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Suriname - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband


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"Suriname’s telecom infrastructure is reasonable compared with the rest of Latin America. Teledensity is slightly lower than average for the region, while mobile penetration is slightly higher. Internet and broadband uptake, however, lag far behind. The state-owned incumbent Telesur has a monopoly over the fixed-line sector and is the only provider of broadband, which is exorbitantly expensive, particularly in view of the country’s low GDP per capita. Competition in the mobile market began in 2008 but has been acrimonious to the point of going against the interest of consumers, with operators unwilling to join efforts to ensure SMS interconnection between networks. This report provides an overview of the country’s telecom sector accompanied by relevant statistics and analyses. "


Executive Summary

Suriname - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband

Suriname is a small country with only 507,000 inhabitants, the only Dutch-speaking nation in South America, with close affinities to the Caribbean region. It is one of Latin America’s poorer nations, with roughly two thirds of the population living below the poverty line.

Suriname’s telecom infrastructure is reasonable compared with the rest of Latin America. Teledensity is slightly lower than average for the region, while mobile penetration is slightly higher. Internet and broadband uptake, however, lag far behind.

The state-owned incumbent Telesur has a monopoly over the fixed-line sector and is the only provider of broadband, which is exorbitantly expensive, particularly in view of the country’s low GDP per capita.

Three companies provide GSM mobile services: Telesur, Digicel and Uniqa. Competition in the mobile market, however, only began in 2008. Previously, Telesur was the only mobile operator in the country.

Key Highlights

  • The telecom market has been partly liberalised following the ratification of the New Telecommunication Act.
  • The number of Internet dial-up customers is decreasing while there is a growing demand for ADSL access despite the high prices.
  • Competition in the mobile sector is intensifying, but mobile operators have yet to agree on SMS interconnection, to the detriment of consumers who are unable to share text messages across networks.

1. Executive Summary
2. Key statistics
3. Country overview
4. Telecommunications market
4.1 Overview of Suriname’s telecom market
5. Regulatory environment
5.1 Background
5.2 Regulatory authority
5.2.1 Telecommunication Authority of Suriname (TAS)
5.3 Telecom sector liberalisation in Suriname
6. Fixed network operator in Suriname
6.1 Telesur
7. Telecommunications infrastructure
7.1 National telecom network
7.1.1 Fixed-line statistics
7.2 International infrastructure
7.2.1 Submarine cable networks
7.2.2 Satellite networks
7.3 Infrastructure developments
7.3.1 Wireless Local Loop (WLL)
7.3.2 Next Generation Networks (NGNs)
8. Internet and broadband market
8.1 Overview
8.1.1 Internet and broadband statistics
8.2 Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)
8.3 OLPC
9. Mobile communications
9.1 Overview of Suriname’s mobile market
9.1.1 Mobile statistics
9.2 Mobile technologies and mobile data services
9.3 Major mobile operators
9.3.1 Telesur
9.3.2 Digicel
9.3.3 Uniqa
9.4 Mobile voice services
9.4.1 Prepaid services
9.4.2 Satellite mobile
10. Related reports
List of Tables and Exhibits
Table 1 - Country statistics Suriname - 2008
Table 2 - Telephone network statistics - 2008
Table 3 - Internet user statistics - 2008
Table 4 - Broadband statistics - 2008
Table 5 - Mobile statistics - 2008
Table 6 - National telecommunications authority
Table 7 - Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 1997 - 2008
Table 8 - Internet users and user penetration - 1997 - 2008
Table 9 - Broadband subscribers and penetration rates - 2002 - 2008
Table 10 - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate - 1997 - 2008
Exhibit 1 - Major submarine cable network link to Suriname

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