Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Third Mobile Operator to Launch in Trinidad and Tobago

The Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT) has recommended to the country’s Cabinet the name of a mobile operator to become Trinidad and Tobago’s third mobile service provider. The regulator has not yet announced the name of the company that will receive the license from the group of four operators that had applied. They include Cable and Wireless Communications (CWC), which holds a 49 percent stake in the state-controlled Telecommunications Services of Trindad and Tobago (TSTT) via its Flow brand; Columbus Communications, a provider of cable TV, broadband and fixed line services in the country; Suriname state-owned teleco Telesur and Star Mobile Caribbean. TSST through its bmobile network and multi-national communications provider Digicel are the current MNOs in the country.

The government of Trinidad and Tobago first expressed interest in a third mobile operator in 2011. Now, with mobile penetration at 146 percent and the country’s operators aware that data and value-added services can potentially boost revenue, Trinidad and Tobago’s mobile sector is truly gearing up for competition. In a statement issued last week, the country’s Science and Technology Minister Rupert Griffith confirmed that the telecommunications regulator has given its recommendation to the Cabinet. “The third mobile service provider will boost competition and yield to the consumer greater affordability, wider choice and faster speeds among other benefits,” he said. When the government invited bids for a third mobile license last year, the country’s major operators all saw opportunity to increase their market share. How the competition plays out will really depend on which operator has been awarded the third license. This is particularly important to Digicel, which has been vocal in criticizing the potential effects a third operator will have on competition. It is likely that Digicel is not concerned about the number of operators that will offer services in Trinidad and Tobago but about whether the award of the license will go CWC—on its own or as a minority player in TSTT—and enable it to offer consumers triple-play packages.

The above item appeared in a recent issue of The Tarifica Alert, a weekly resource that analyzes noteworthy developments in the telecoms industry from around the world. To access all of the latest articles and issues or to speak with the research team: Click here.

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