keyboard_arrow_up Jamaica - Digicel and LIME Gain Additional 700MHz Spectrum, Paving the way for LTE

Typical for the region, the relative size and rapid expansion of the Jamaican mobile sector continues to underpin growth in the telecommunications industry.

The merger between Digicel and Claro in 2012 strengthened Digicel’s dominance of the sector, and the company has since developed its 3G network across the island. Together with the potential of 4G through WiMAX and LTE, the mobile broadband sector is likely to become a major revenue driver in coming years, with competition particularly between Digicel and LIME.

Market highlights:

  • After securing a licence in the 2.5GHz spectrum, Digicel has built a nationwide WiMAX network for residential customers
  • LIME has embarked on a $600 million investment program in new services and upgrades across the region, of which an estimated $150 million would be in Jamaica alone. The investment has consolidated Jamaica as the hub of LIME’s regional operations, handling finance, procurement and human resource operations for all of its markets
  • Cable & Wireless Communications’ East-West cable between Jamaica, the British Virgin Islands and the Dominican Republic has significantly augmented capacity for data and telephony services
  • The mobile market leader remains Digicel Jamaica, which has incorporated the network and most customers of América Móvil’s Claro
  • LIME’s island-wide subscriber television wireless licences may bring valuable competition to a market currently dominated by Columbus Communications Networks’ Flow
  • Cable broadband has made strong inroads into the broadband sector, steadily gaining market share. The growth is largely due to the relatively high penetration of CATV in Jamaica together with significant investment by Flow and a number of new licence applications and licence extension applications offered by the BCJ
  • Digicel in late 2013 launched its ‘DigiHome’ fixed-line offering, making use of the mobile network for data transfers. The operator planned to invest JM$4 billion in its fixed-line business
  • LIME and Digicel in April 2014 secured a 15-year extension to their 700MHz spectrum holdings, as also additional blocks for half the reserve price when these failed to sell at auction in 2013
  • Government pledges to introduce broadband competition to bring down consumer prices
  • Report includes the regulator’s market data updates for 2011-12

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