Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 02/20/2014 -- The Caribbean telecoms market is usually relatively stable, with slow growth rates in mobile and relatively limited interest in broadband. However, a number of acquisitions and regulatory developments have begun a period of shake up in the region's telecoms markets, which BMI believes will be good for the long-term growth of newer technologies such as 3G and 4G, as well as encouraging the growth of broadband connections.
- The Dominican Republic mobile market lost 66,000 subscriptions in Q413, a decline of 0.7% q-o-q. The market has shown signs of fluctuations over the last two years, although postpaid accounts continue to steadily grow. LIME in Jamaica added 140,000 subscriptions in the 100 days since the launch of its Talk EZ value tariff, a new record for the company.
- Guadeloupe has the highest mobile penetration at almost 170%, while Cuba's penetration rate remained below 20%.
- Data from the Bahamas regulator prompted us to downgrade our outlook for the telecoms market, causing us to update our forecasts in Q414. We see growth rates being fairly flat in the sector as a whole, with mobile broadband the clear outperformer.
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The overall average telecoms rating fell from 49.2 in the last quarter to 47.8, as all four of our categories saw downgrades in the update, Industry Rewards (-2.5), Country Rewards (-0.9), Industry Risks (-0.5) and Country Risk (-0.1). Puerto Rico and Guadeloupe remain the two highest ranked countries in the region, while Haiti and Cuba prop up the bottom of the table.
Digicel has finalised a deal with Loret Group and Caribbean Fiber Holdings to buy a submarine fibre network across the Caribbean region. Under the agreement, Digicel will acquire Southern Caribbean Fiber, Antilles Crossing and several related assets from Global Caribbean Fiber. Digicel has also signed a contract, subject to regulatory approval, with Global Caribbean Fiber and Global Caribbean Network to provide submarine fibre capacity from Guadeloupe to Puerto Rico with onwards connectivity to mainland US. The contract's financial details have not been revealed.
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