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Puerto Rico - Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts

  • January 2015
  • -
  • Paul Budde Communication Pty Ltd
  • -
  • 33 pages

Liberty Global seeks to manage Puerto Rican operation under a new company
Puerto Rico has one of the highest mobile penetration rates in Latin America, though despite being a US territory it lags well behind the mainland US states in terms of fixed-line and broadband penetration. This is partly due to a continuing economic recession, high unemployment rates (and consequently low disposable income) and poor telecoms investment in a market largely dominated by the incumbent Puerto Rico Telephone Company.

The Puerto Rico Telephone Company's fixed-line market dominance was augmented following its acquisition by the largest wireless company in Latin America, América Móvil. In contrast, with six network operators, the mobile (cellular/wireless) market has been experiencing more robust competition and growth. Although América Móvil's Claro recently took the lead from AT&T Mobility in terms of subscriber numbers, AT&T regained the top position by late November following its acquisition of Centennial Communications.

With an emerging VoIP sector and steadily growing broadband market, as well as a healthy satellite TV sector which has caused a decline in the cable TV subscriber base in recent years, the growth and convergence of digital media looks promising for coming years. A new submarine cable, due to come online in 2014, will improve connectivity to the US and neighbouring Latin American and Caribbean countries, while investments by cellular operators in LTE infrastructure will help promote mobile data services, as also extend mobile broadband availability in rural areas.

Market highlights:

Puerto Rico's economic plight has affected the telecoms sector, though it has managed to weather continuing difficulties, better most industries.
Open Mobile launched an LTE offer in mid-2012, a crucial step for the country's migration to 4G-based mobile broadband.
The AT&T acquisition of Centennial allowed the former to supplant Claro as the mobile market leader, having lost that position to Claro in 2007.
The failed bid by AT&T to acquire T-Mobile has preserved the competitive nature of the Puerto Rican mobile market, where AT&T would otherwise have secured a 50% share of mobile subscribers.
Liberty Puerto Rico's acquisition of OneLink Communications has merged two of the key cable TV and broadband players, with a combined footprint of some 700,000 addressable households.
Cable TV subscriber numbers continue to decline, due in part to growing competition from satellite and to a deepening recession.
The new PCCS submarine cable due in late 2014 will improve connectivity to the US and neighbouring Caribbean Central American countries.
In mid-2013 DISH and Claro joined forces to offer quad-play bundled services.
Liberty Global in early 2014 announced plans to create a new company to oversee its Puerto Rico and Chilean operations, and separate them from the Europe-based UPC division.
The House of Representatives in March 2014 passed a bill which replaces the telecom regulator and combines the responsibilities for the telecom and energy sector within a newly formed commission.
In June 2014 the government launched its Gigabit Island fibre project to extend fibre nationally.

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 Puerto Rico's telecommunications market. The report analyses the mobile, internet, broadband and converging media sectors. Subjects include:
Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
Facts, figures and statistics;
Industry and regulatory issues;
Infrastructure;
Major players;
Internet, VoIP;
Mobile voice and data markets;
Broadband (, DSL, cable TV, wireless);
Convergence and digital media;
Mobile subscribers forecasts to 2020;


Key developments:

Liberty Global seeks to manage Puerto Rico and Chile operations under a new company; government offers bill to create a new telecom and energy sector regulator; mobile data use developing with three competing LTE commercial networks on-stream; DISH and Claro offer joint quad-play services; FCC funding for broadband extension in underserved areas; Liberty Cablevision merges with OneLink Communications; T-Mobile launches LTE services; Claro launches IPTV; regulator's market data to November 2014; telcos' operating and financial data updates; recent market developments.

Companies covered in this report include:

Puerto Rico Telephone Company, América Móvil, AT&T, Liberty Cablevision; OneLink Communications; T-Mobile; Open Mobile; Sprint PCS; Choice Cable.
This report is essential reading for those needing high level strategic information and objective analysis on the telecom sector in Puerto Rico. 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;
3G/4G developments, regulatory issues and technologies including HSPA and LTE;
Broadband developments;
Historical and current subscriber statistics and forecasts;

Table Of Contents

Puerto Rico - Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts
1. Executive summary
2. Key statistics
3. Country Overview
4. Telecommunications market
4.1 Overview
4.2 Telecom sector liberalisation
4.3 Privatisation of PRTC
4.4 Regulatory environment
5. Fixed network operators
5.1 Overview
5.2 Puerto Rico Telephone Company (PRTC)
5.3 ATandT
6. Telecommunications infrastructure
6.1 National telecom networks
6.2 International infrastructure
6.2.1 Submarine cable networks
6.2.2 Satellite networks
6.3 IP networks and VoIP
7. Internet market
7.1 Overview
7.2 Internet statistics
8. Broadband market
8.1 Overview
8.2 Cable broadband
8.2.1 OneLink Communications
8.2.2 Liberty Cablevisión
8.2.3 Choice Cable
8.3 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
8.4 Fibre-to-the-Premise (FttP)
8.5 Wireless broadband
9. Digital Media
9.1 Overview
9.1.1 Cable TV (CATV)
9.1.2 IPTV
9.1.3 Satellite TV
9.1.4 Free-to-air (FTA) TV
10. Mobile market
10.1 Overview of Puerto Rico's mobile market
10.1.1 Mobile statistics
10.2 Major mobile operators
10.2.1 ATandT Mobility
10.2.2 Claro (America Móvil)
10.2.3 T-Mobile
10.2.4 Sprint PCS
10.2.5 Open Mobile
10.3 Mobile data
10.3.1 Long-term Evolution (LTE)
10.3.2 Smartphones
11. Forecasts
11.1 Forecasts Mobile services 2011-2016
12. Related reports
Table 1 Country statistics Puerto Rico 2014 (e)
Table 2 Fixed-line network statistics 2014 (e)
Table 3 Internet user statistics 2013 (e)
Table 4 Broadband statistics 2012 (e)
Table 5 Mobile statistics 2014 (e)
Table 6 National telecommunications authorities
Table 7 Public payphones in service 2001 - 2014
Table 8 Fixed lines in service and teledensity 2001 - 2015
Table 9 Internet users and penetration rate 2000 - 2013
Table 10 Historic - Cable TV subscribers and penetration 1997 2004
Table 11 Cable TV subscribers and penetration 2005 2015
Table 12 Liberty Cablevisión subscribers 2010 2014
Table 13 Mobile subscribers and penetration 2001 - 2015
Table 14 Postpaid and prepaid subscribers 2001 - 2014
Table 15 Mobile prepaid vs postpaid market share 2000 - 2014
Table 16 Forecast mobile subscribers higher growth scenario 2011 2015; 2020
Table 17 Forecast mobile subscribers lower growth scenario 2011 2015; 2020
Chart 1 Fixed lines in service and teledensity 2001 - 2015
Chart 2 Internet users and penetration rate 2000 - 2013
Chart 3 Cable TV subscribers and penetration 2005 2015
Chart 4 Mobile subscribers and penetration 2000 - 2015
Chart 5 Mobile prepaid vs postpaid market share 2000 - 2014
Exhibit 1 Major submarine cable networks serving Puerto Rico

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