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Suriname - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband

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

The Suriname - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband 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

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.

State-owned Telecommunicatiebedrijf Suriname (Telesur) has a monopoly over all fixed-line and broadband services in Suriname, but the mobile sector is a dynamic, competitive industry with three companies vying for market share.

Suriname’s teledensity is slightly lower than average for Latin America and the Caribbean, a result that is in line with the country’s GDP per capita, also slightly below the regional average. The fixed-line infrastructure is reasonable in the more populated coastal region, but poor in the interior. However, efforts have been made to connect inland communities with Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) or CDMA 450 fixed wireless systems.

Suriname’s mobile penetration is remarkably high. It passed the 100% milestone in December 2008 and continues to grow, with many subscribers having up to three mobile lines with different operators. Until December 2007, when competing mobile operators Digicel and Uniqa launched GSM networks, Telesur was the exclusive provider in all telecom sectors except dial-up Internet access, where it had one competitor.

Internet and broadband penetration, however, lag far behind, and are much less developed than one would expect based on the country’s socioeconomic indicators. Broadband is exorbitantly expensive and slow.

Key highlights:

There have been plans to open Suriname’s telecom sector to competition, but only mobile liberalisation has been implemented. With the opening of the mobile market, the number of subscribers soared and penetration more than doubled in two years.

A new Suriname-Guyana Submarine Cable System (SG-SCS), scheduled for completion in mid-2010, should vastly increase bandwidth capacity in Suriname. As a result, broadband should become faster, but prices are likely to remain comparatively high until there is some competition in the broadband sector.

Telesur has yet to agree on SMS interconnection with the other two operators; Uniqa and Digicel customers, on the other hand, have been able to send SMS messages smoothly across networks since early 2009.Suriname - key telecom parameters - 2008 - 2009

Category20082009 (e)
Fixed-line service
Total number of subscribers81,20081,100
Annual growth-0.1%-0.1%
Internet users50,00054,000
Annual growth14%8%
Internet users penetration9.7%10.4%
Total number of subscribers5,8006,200
Annual growth38%7%
Penetration rate1.1%1.2%
Mobile telephony subscribers
Total number of subscribers515,700680,000
Annual growth57%32%
Mobile penetration rate100.1%131.0%
(Source: BuddeComm)
This report provides an overview of trends and developments in Suriname’s telecommunications market. Subjects covered include:

Key statistics;
Market and industry overviews;
Regulatory environment;
Major players (fixed, mobile and broadband);
Infrastructure development;
Mobile market;
Broadband market and pricing.Lucia Bibolini
March 2010

  • Executive summary
    • Table Suriname - key telecom parameters - 2008 - 2009
  • Key statistics
    • Table Country statistics Suriname - 2009
    • Table Telephone network statistics - 2009
    • Table Internet user statistics - 2009
    • Table Broadband statistics - 2009
    • Table Mobile statistics - 2009
    • Table National telecommunications authority
  • Telecommunications market
    • Country overview
      • Table Evolution of GDP in Suriname - 2000 - 2010
    • Overview of Suriname's telecom market
  • Regulatory environment
    • Background
    • Regulatory authority
      • Telecommunication Authority of Suriname (TAS)
    • Telecom sector liberalisation in Suriname
  • Fixed network operator in Suriname
    • Telesur
  • Telecommunications infrastructure
    • National telecom network
      • Table Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 1997 - 2010
    • International infrastructure
      • Submarine cable networks
        • Table Submarine cable network link to Suriname
      • Satellite networks
    • Infrastructure developments
      • Wireless Local Loop (WLL)
      • Next Generation Networks (NGNs)
  • Broadband access market
    • Overview
      • Table Internet users and user penetration - 1997 - 2010
      • Table Broadband subscribers and penetration rates - 2002 - 2010
    • Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)
  • Mobile communications
    • Overview of Suriname's mobile market
      • Table Mobile subscribers and penetration rate - 1997 - 2010
    • Mobile technologies
    • Major mobile operators
      • TeleG (Telesur)
      • Digicel
      • Uniqa
    • Mobile satellite

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