A 2016 update on the state of Caribbean Telecoms Industry

An update of fixed-line, mobile/cellular and fixed-broadband Internet take up, plus a new entry, mobile/cellular broadband Internet take-up, across select Caribbean countries, as at the end of 2015.

We have been anxiously awaiting the release of the latest telecoms statistics from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), which we use every year to examine the state of development of  Caribbean telecoms – in terms of subscriptions density – across the Caribbean. Table 1 lists the countries that were included in the exercise. Since our 2015 review, we have added Puerto Rico, to bring our total to 23 countries. Again it should be noted that Bonaire, Curaçao and Sint Maarten have not been included, as the needed data does not appear to be publicly available for those countries.

Approach

The results presented in rest of this piece were drawn from data published by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and the Groupe Speciale Mobile Association (GSMA), and comprised the following for countries across the Caribbean:

  • density of fixed-line telephony subscriptions
  • density of fixed broadband Internet subscriptions
  • density of mobile/cellular telephony subscriptions
  • density of mobile/cellular broadband Internet subscriptions.

It ought to be noted that both the ITU and GSMA depend on either the government or the telecoms firms to supply the data that is eventually published. Hence it is not clear the extent to which they corroborate or otherwise validate the data published, and neither have any explanations been given for any anomalies that might be evident.

The per capita Gross National Income (GNI) was drawn from databases managed by the United Nations (UN). The GNI is useful to get a sense of a country’s the level of development, based on the average income of its citizens, and consequently their likely wealth to support the take-up and use of telecoms services examined.

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