Cuba is telecommunications market to watch, says new report
Published on Monday, November 9, 2009
LONDON, England — According to a new report by Business Monitor
International, which provides a detailed analysis of the
telecommunications market, Cuba remains a market to watch owing to the
possible changes that a renewed relationship with the US could bring.
With considerable potential and low penetration rates it is a market
that would benefit from competition and closer links to other countries.
Already mobile growth looks set to take off after restrictions were
lifted on mobile ownership and the number of net additions each quarter
continues to increase, indicating a voracious appetite for mobile
services in the market. Further growth can be expected across the market.
Even with upgrades to the forecasts, the Cuban market has the ability to
grow even faster but it is believed that affordability remains a key
issue for many Cubans, holding the market back.
The Caribbean's only other monopoly market, Bahamas, looks set to
finally see privatisation take place by the end of 2009 if government
plans are to go ahead. Earlier failed attempts to sell 51 percent of the
Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) may have put off some potential
investors and the already high penetration rate will make the market a
challenge for any new entrants but the relatively wealthy population
makes this an attractive prospect.
Competition for the mobile market is not set to enter until two years
after privatisation takes place and the prospects for growth for any new
entrant are low but it is still believed there are opportunities to grow
and the market will welcome new competitors.
The report has revised the forecasts for Trinidad and Tobago
considerably following the release of 2008 subscriber numbers putting
the penetration rate at 138 percent. This is the highest in the region
and it is expected further growth to be minimal with a decline beginning
in 2012. While there have been cases of mobile markets continuing to
grow, way past 138 percent, bmobile is already losing subscribers and
the report does not believe that the market can sustain much more growth.
With such a range of markets in the Caribbean it is hard to draw any
generalisations but the overall trends for the region see decline for
the majority of fixed-line markets owing to the already high penetration
rates for mobile services. The mobile market is often the most
competitive market and this has driven fast growth in the past. Future
increases will come from offering advanced services such as mobile
broadband, maintaining interest in mobile services.
The strongest growth patterns will be seen in broadband services with
expectations of strong growth to be seen across the region. Haiti and
Cuba will continue to report the lowest levels of broadband
subscriptions as pricing and availability remain key issues.
Caribbean Net News: Cuba is telecommunications market to watch, says new
report (9 November 2009)