Caribbean Telecom Companies – Are they in trouble?

A few Caribbean telecoms firms have been experiencing some challenges, which could be signs to trouble not only in individual countries but also the region as a whole.

if you have been keeping an eye on the latest ICT/tech news developments over the past last week or so, such through our roundup published on Monday, you may have noticeed that to varying degrees, many of our telecoms companies appear to be in trouble:

  • In the Bahamas, the incumbent telecoms carrier, the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) has been resisting mobile number portability (Source: Bahamas Weekly), especially since competition in that segment is emerging with the launch of Aliv, the mobile/cellular brand operated by new entrant, NewCo2015 Limited.
  • In Guyana, the incumbent carrier, Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GTT) is planning to cut around 120 people, which the local union is challenging (Source: Kaieteur News).
  • In Saint Kitts and Nevis, multi-play provider, The Cable, in which that Government is the majority shareholder, has been challenged to meet its expenses, such as compulsory licensing fees for television content, whilst its staff is demanding a pay increase (Source: West Indies News Network).
  • Finally, and the most glaring is Digicel, which operates in 31 markets worldwide including 26 in the Caribbean. The firm is planning to cut around 25% of its global staff, starting March 2017. That initiative is part of a wider programme to make the company more efficient, as it needs to figure out how to service, reportedly, over EUR 6.2 billion in debt (Source: Daily Express).

What does this mean? Click to find out