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Suriname - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband

Competition drives one of Suriname's mobile network operators to the wall

BuddeComm's report Suriname - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband provides a comprehensive overview of the trends and developments in the telecommunications market of Suriname, including the latest industry and operator data updates and estimates to 2014.


Suriname is the smallest nation on the South American continent, with just over 500,000 inhabitants. It is the only Dutch-speaking nation in South America, and has closer affinities with the Caribbean than with its continental neighbours. Despite various socio/political problems, the country's medium-term economic outlook is favourable.

Exclusivity and competition

The incumbent telecom operator, Telesur, is 100% state-owned and is the exclusive provider of fixed-line and broadband services in Suriname. It faces strong competition from the mobile sector, which will be exacerbated in coming years as consumers continue to adopt mobile voice and data services in preference to fixed-line services. In 2013 Telesur launched VoIP services under the Telesur Internet Calling' brand.

Teledensity and penetration of telecom services

Suriname's fixed-line infrastructure is reasonably reliable in the more populated coastal region, though poor in the interior. Fixed teledensity and broadband penetration are slightly lower than average for Latin America and the Caribbean, while mobile penetration is significantly above the regional average and much higher than would be expected given the country's relatively low GDP per capita. Many Surinamese have up to three mobile lines with different providers, pushing penetration figures upward of 180%.

Mobile market

Suriname's mobile market has three main players: Telesur (trading as TeleG), Digicel (a significant operator across the Caribbean), and Uniqa. Digicel expected to launch 4G mobile services to 85% of the population initially during 2014, broadening the footprint progressively into 2015. UTS in mid-2013 put its loss-making Suriname operation up for sale.

Broadband market

Although other ISPs offer dial-up and webmail services, Telesur is the only provider of fixed broadband, primarily using ADSL technology. It competes with Uniqa, however, in the mobile broadband market.

Key telecom parameters 2014 (e)
Sector | Penetration
Fixed-line telephony | 15.7%
Fixed-broadband | 6.6%
Mobile telephony | 190%
(Source: BuddeComm)

Market highlights:

Telesur and Uniqa have rolled out 3G services both operators offer mobile broadband and phone-based internet browsing over HSPA-based UMTS networks.

Smartphones are becoming increasingly popular in Suriname. Telesur's Mobile Agent service enables credit payments to be made between devices.

Although boosted by the Suriname-Guyana Submarine Cable System (SG-SCS), bandwidth capacity is still insufficient, and broadband download speeds are the second lowest in South America.

This report provides an overview of trends and developments in Suriname's telecommunications market.

Subjects covered include:

Market and industry overviews;
Facts, figures, and statistics;
Government policies and regulatory issues;
Major players (fixed, mobile, and broadband);
Fixed-line market and infrastructure;
Mobile market (including 3G and mobile broadband);
Broadband market.

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. Fixed broadband access market
8.1 Overview
8.1.1 Broadband statistics
9. Mobile communications
9.1 Overview of Suriname's mobile market
9.1.1 Mobile statistics
9.2 Mobile technologies
9.3 Major mobile operators
9.3.1 TeleG (Telesur)
9.3.2 Digicel
9.3.3 Uniqa
9.4 Mobile satellite
10. Related reports
Table 1 Country statistics Suriname 2013 (e)
Table 2 Telephone network statistics 2014 (e)
Table 3 Internet user statistics 2014 (e)
Table 4 Broadband statistics 2014 (e)
Table 5 Mobile statistics 2014 (e)
Table 6 National telecommunications authority
Table 7 Evolution of GDP in Suriname 2000 - 2013
Table 8 Historic - Fixed and mobile market share 1998 - 2004
Table 9 Fixed and mobile market share 2005 - 2014
Table 10 Telsur financial data 2008- 2012
Table 11 Historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity 1997 - 2004
Table 12 Fixed lines in service and teledensity 1997 - 2014
Table 13 International bandwidth 2005 - 2012
Table 14 Historic - Internet users and user penetration 1998 - 2004
Table 15 Internet users and user penetration 1998 - 2014
Table 16 Broadband subscribers and penetration rates 2002 - 2014
Table 17 Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 1997 - 2004
Table 18 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 2005 - 2014
Chart 1 Fixed and mobile subscribers in Suriname 2005 - 2014
Chart 2 Fixed lines in service and teledensity 1997 2014
Chart 3 Evolution of internet users at a glance 2005 - 2014
Chart 4 Broadband subscribers and penetration rates 2002 2014
Chart 5 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 2005 2014
Exhibit 1 Map of Suriname
Exhibit 2 Telesur at a glance
Exhibit 3 Submarine cable network link to Suriname

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