3Q11 Belize Mobile Operator Forecast, 2011 - 2015: Belize to have 0.32 million mobile subscriber connections in 2015 with BTL DigiCell taking 52% market share
- Published: November 2011
- Region: Belize
BLT investing in much needed fixed and mobile network upgrades
Belize is one the smaller countries in the region, with fewer than 350,000 inhabitants. It is the only English-speaking nation in Central America, having closer affinities with the Caribbean region than with its immediate neighbours.
While Belize’s GDP per capita is high for Central America, its telecoms services remain poor even by regional standards. Both fixed-line teledensity and mobile penetration are lower than in neighbouring countries.
The Belizean telecom market was officially liberalised in 2003, yet the incumbent, Belize Telemedia Limited, continues to hold a monopoly in fixed-line services and is the dominant provider of mobile and broadband services. In 2009, the state renationalised Belize Telemedia Limited, after a change of government brought to light a questionable Accommodation Agreement between the previous administration and Belize Telemedia Limited.
Although the rationale for the nationalisation was to improve conditions for consumers, Belize Telemedia Limited’s prices remain high and competition remains marginal. The nationalisation further discourages foreign investment in a market plagued by frequent allegations of corruption.
- The number of fixed lines has continued to fall keeping as customers adopt mobile services for basic telecoms. This has kept fixed-line teledensity low, while mobile penetration continues to rise steadily. By early 2013 the mobile sector accounted for about 90% of all phone subscriptions in the country.
- SpeedNet is making inroads in the mobile sector, securing a sizeable market share.
- By the close of the Belize Telemedia Limited public share offer in early 2011 the Belize Social Security Board was the largest purchaser. By 2012 the government’s stake was reduced to 64%.
- Compared with its other economic indicators, penetration is low in Belize for virtually all telecom services. An independent, pro-competition and transparent telecoms regime supported by an effective regulatory framework is needed to develop the telecom market, making it more attractive for investors despite the market’s small size.
- In early 2012 DigiCell contracted Ericsson to install an HSPA+ network nationally, enabling effecting mobile broadband nationally.
- BTL in April 2013 began allowing unrestricted VoIP access for the first time. SHOW LESS READ MORE >
1. Executive summary
2. Key statistics
3. Country overview
4. Telecommunications market
4.1 Overview of Belize’s telecom market
4.2 Overview of major operators
4.3 Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL)
5. Regulatory environment
5.1 Public Utilities Commission (PUC)
5.2 Telecom sector liberalisation
5.3 Renationalisation of BTL
6. Telecommunications infrastructure
6.1 National telecom networks
6.2 Infrastructure developments
6.2.1 IP and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
6.3 International infrastructure
6.3.1 Interconnection with other Central American countries
6.3.2 Submarine cable networks
7. Internet market
7.2 Internet statistics
8. Broadband market
8.2 Broadband statistics
9. Pay TV market
10. Mobile communications
10.1 Overview of Belize’s mobile market
10.2 Mobile statistics
10.3 Major mobile operators
10.3.1 BTL (DigiCell)
10.3.2 SpeedNet (Smart)
10.4 Mobile data services
10.4.1 Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
10.4.2 Mobile banking
11. Related reports
Table 1 – Country statistics Belize – 2012 (e)
Table 2 – Telephone network statistics – 2012 (e)
Table 3 – Internet user statistics – 2012 (e)
Table 4 – Broadband statistics – 2012 (e)
Table 5 – Mobile statistics – 2012 (e)
Table 6 – National telecommunications authority
Table 7 – Evolution of GDP in Belize – 2000 - 2012
Table 8 – BTL financial data – 2010 - 2012
Table 9 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 1998-2011
Table 10 – BTL broadband subscribers – 2005 - 2010
Table 11 – Broadband subscribers and penetration – 2005 - 2011
Table 12 – Mobile subscribers and penetration – 2000 - 2013
Table 13 – Mobile market share by major operator – 2005 - 2011
Chart 1 – Fixed lines and teledensity – 2003 - 2011
Chart 2 – Internet users and user penetration – 2000 - 2011
Chart 3 – Mobile subscribers and penetration – 2000 - 2013
Chart 4 - Mobile market share by major operator – 2005; 2011
Exhibit 1 – Major submarine cable networks links in Belize