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Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts - Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic - Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts

Mobile operators investment in LTE and prepare for renewed spectrum auction

BuddeComm's publication, Dominican Republic - Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts, provides a comprehensive overview of the trends and developments in the telecoms market in the second largest economy in the Caribbean.

Although enjoying a relatively modern and mostly digital telecom system, the Dominican Republic's fixed-line teledensity is well below the Latin American average. Mobile penetration is nearly ten times higher than fixed-line teledensity, and is about average for Latin America.

The Dominican Republic's income inequalities are still reflected in its telephone distribution; some people own multiple mobile phones each, yet there are communities comprising hundreds of families without access to a single phone line. The Dominican Republican government has been aggressively addressing the issue of access with a number of projects and a major broadband deployment partnership with the incumbent Codetel.

Although the global financial crisis took its toll on the economies of the Caribbean region, which contracted by an average of 2% during 2009, the Dominican Republic stood in stark contrast with positive growth of over 3%. Consequently, investment in telecommunications and emerging services such as wireless broadband has remained strong.

Considerable changes are expected in the mobile sector, with the anticipated auction of spectrum in the AWS and 900MHz bands which had been cancelled in 2011. Operators have launched commercial LTE services.

Consolidation in the sector was seen in late 2013 when Orange Group, having invested some $150 million in its local network, sold Orange Dominicana to Altice Group. At the same time, Altice group acquired the integrated telecoms services provider Tricom Telecom (both deals closed in early 2014).

This report contains overviews, analyses and statistics of the Dominican Republic's fixed-line, mobile and broadband markets. The report also discusses convergence issues and provides forecasts of broadband and mobile phone subscriber growth. It contains the regulator's market data updates to end-2013, telcos' financial and operating data to Q1 2014 and market developments to mid-2014.

Dominican Republic Key telecom parameters 2013 (e)
Market penetration by service: | 2013 (e)
Broadband | 5.1%
SIM penetration (population) | 91.3%
Fixed-line telephony | 10.7%
(Source: BuddeComm based on industry data)

Market highlights:

Internet use has grown rapidly in recent years, far above the global and regional average.

The regulator Indotel has made progress in projecting voice and broadband services to rural parts of the country, soliciting funding from the World Bank to build a national fibre-optic network.

Despite the global economic downturn, investment in the telecoms sector has continued to grow strongly.

Mobile-phone subscriber growth has fallen since 2010, reflecting the relatively high penetration.

The regulator in early 2012 allocated digital dividend spectrum for mobile services, which will go far in extending services to underserved rural regions.

The MNO Orange Dominicana launched the first LTE network in the Dominican Republic in mid-2012, initially in Santo Domingo and offering peak data speeds of up to 100Mb/s. The operator has invested more than US$150 million in expanding and upgrading its network.

In early 2012 the government passed Law 01-2012 (National Development Strategy) which released the digital dividend 700MHz band for mobile services. The country now has 818MHz allocated for mobile telephony and broadband compared to 270MHz in 2002.

The triple play operator Wind Telecom launched a VoD service in 2012, Moviecity Play. The service has already been deployed in other Latin American markets, including Argentina, Mexico, Peru and Chile, attracting more than 1.5 million customers across the region.

In March 2013 an internet exchange was set up, enabling local ISPs to terminate traffic on another's domestic network without having to use expensive international routes.

Orange in late 2013 considered exiting the Dominican market as part of a Group rationalisation of its business subsidiaries.

Tricom during 2013 upgraded its LTE network, and has migrated its CDMA subscribers to the new platform. The operator was acquired by Altice Group in late 2013.

AT&T negotiates for collaboration with América Móvil to make use of its Dominican Republic networks;

Updates on the AMX-1 submarine cable;

Orange Dominicana launches the Orange m-peso' pre-paid mobile banking service;

The government has begun distributing around one million decoders to help the transition to digital TV, to be part-funded by revenue from spectrum auctions.

Wind telecom in June 2014 contracted ZTE to build an LTE network.

In June 2014 the regulator gave the owners of five million expired prepaid numbers three months to register their details and validate their accounts;

The regulator in May 2014 auctioned spectrum in the 1700-2100MHz and 941-960MHz bands, which will go far to stimulating the mobile broadband sector.

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 the Dominican Republic's telecommunications market. The report analyses the mobile, internet, broadband, digital TV and converging media sectors.

Subjects include:

Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
Facts, figures and statistics;
Industry and regulatory issues;
Infrastructure;
Major players, revenues, subscribers;
Internet, VoIP, IPTV;
Mobile voice and data markets;
Broadband (DSL, cable TV, wireless);
Convergence and digital media;
Broadband market forecasts for selective years.

Companies covered in this report include:

Claro (América Móvil); Orange Dominicana; Tricom; VIVA; Codetel; Tricom

This report is essential reading for those needing high level strategic information and objective analysis on the telecom sector in the Dominican Republic.

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 in light of spectrum auctions and new license awards;
Mobile developments, regulatory issues and technologies including LTE;
Broadband migration to an FttH architecture;
Historical and current subscriber statistics and forecasts.


1. Executive summary
2. Key statistics
2.1 Country Overview
3. Telecommunications market
3.1 Overview of the Dominican Republic's telecom market
4. Regulatory environment
4.1 Background
4.2 Regulatory authority
4.2.1 Instituto Dominicano de las Telecomunicaciones (Indotel)
4.3 Telecom sector liberalisation
4.4 Privatisation of Codetel
4.5 Foreign investment
4.6 Number portability
5. Major fixed network operators in the Dominican Republic
5.1 Overview
5.2 Codetel (formerly Verizon Dominicana)
5.3 Tricom
5.4 Dgtec
6. Telecommunications infrastructure
6.1 National telecom network
6.2 International infrastructure
6.2.1 Submarine cable networks
6.2.2 Satellite networks
6.3 Infrastructure developments
6.3.1 Wireless Local Loop (WLL)
6.3.2 IP and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
7. Internet market
7.1 Overview
7.1.1 Internet statistics
8. Broadband market
8.1 Overview
8.2 Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)
8.3 Cable modems
8.4 Wireless broadband
8.4.1 WiFi
8.4.2 WiMAX
8.4.3 Internet via satellite
8.4.4 Mobile broadband
8.5 Wholesale
9. Digital Media
9.1 Overview
9.2 Digital switchover
9.3 Pay TV
9.4 IPTV
9.5 Video-on-Demand
10. Mobile communications
10.1 Overview of the Dominican Republic's mobile phone market
10.2 Spectrum issues
10.3 Mobile statistics
10.4 Major mobile operators
10.4.1 Claro (formerly Verizon Dominicana)
10.4.2 Orange Dominicana
10.4.3 Tricom
10.4.4 VIVA (formerly Trilogy Dominicana)
10.5 Prepaid versus postpaid
10.6 Mobile data services
10.6.1 High capacity mobile voice/data services (1xRTT)
10.6.2 General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)
10.6.3 Long-term Evolution (LTE)
10.6.4 Mobile banking
11. Forecasts
11.1 Forecast mobile subscribers
11.2 Notes on scenario forecasts
12. Related reports
Table 1 Country statistics Dominican Republic 2013 (e)
Table 2 Telephone network statistics 2013 (e)
Table 3 Internet provider statistics 2013
Table 4 Internet user statistics 2013 (e)
Table 5 Mobile phone statistics 2013 (e)
Table 6 National telecommunications authority
Table 7 GDP growth 2000 - 2012
Table 8 Historic - Fixed lines in service 1996- 2004
Table 9 Fixed lines in service 2005- 2014
Table 10 WLL lines in service 1999 - 2011
Table 11 VoIP subscribers 2008 - 2013
Table 12 Historic - Internet users 1996 2004
Table 13 Internet users 2005 2014
Table 14 Historic - Internet subscribers 1996 2004
Table 15 Internet subscribers 2005 2014
Table 16 Proportion of internet subscribers by technology 2005 - 2011
Table 17 Internet subscribers by technology 2011 - 2013
Table 18 DSL residential and corporate subscribers 2004 2013
Table 19 Mobile broadband subscribers 2007 - 2012
Table 20 Pay TV subscribers 2008 2013
Table 21 Historic - Mobile phone subscribers and penetration rate 1996 - 2004
Table 22 Mobile phone subscribers and penetration rate 2005 - 2014
Table 23 Orange Dominicana subscribers 2008 - 2014
Table 24 Orange Dominicana revenue 2008 - 2014
Table 25 Postpaid and prepaid percentage of subscribers 2001 - 2013
Table 26 Postpaid and prepaid subscribers 2002 - 2013
Table 27 Forecast mobile subscribers lower growth scenario 2011 - 2016
Table 28 Forecast mobile subscribers higher market scenario 2011 - 2016
Chart 1 Fixed lines in service 2005- 2014
Chart 2 Internet subscribers 2005 2014
Chart 3 Mobile phone subscribers and penetration rate 2005 2014
Exhibit 1 Major submarine cable networks serving the Dominican Republic

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