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MAP > the Telecommunications Market in Honduras

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Honduras has been ranked among poorest countries in the Central America region, and it has for long been plagued by the unstable political framework that has rendered the telecom sector reform quite difficult. This has been able to create real difficulties for the telcos and the consumers. The fixed-line teledensity at 5.2% is essentially lower than Latin American as well as the Caribbean average. The poor fixed-line infrastructure is exacerbated by the low investment and the topographical difficulties that have made the investment in the rural areas uneconomical as well as unattractive.

Moreover, the internet has been quite slow to develop; DSL and the cable modem technologies have available but are quite expensive, and hence take-up has been very low so far, while the high-speed services that are largely restricted to major urban centers. Nonetheless, demand for broadband has steadily increased, and there has been some investment in the network upgrades to the fiber-based infrastructure. The poor fixed-line connectivity is also been able to inhibit take-up of the video streaming services. On positive side, such factors have enhanced consumer take-up of the mobile services, the sector where there has lively competition supported by international investment. The mobile penetration has substantially been below the regional average.

The revenue growth from mobile sector looks very promising in the coming years as the operators invest in the networks, expanding the reach and also upgrade their capabilities to be able to accommodate the mobile broadband services. The mobile data as the proportion of the overall mobile revenue has expanded steadily though the low-end services are going to continue to account for bulk of the data revenue for some years. The political developments during the past few years have not been able to facilitate much-needed reform of the legislation governing telecoms sector. Party, this has been due to the political stalemate and the ineffective legislators, but the underlying difficulties are close ties that are between the incumbent Hondutel and the key members of the government. Some of the companies that have been mentioned in the report include América Móvil (Claro), Hondutel, Comunitel, Millicom (Tigo), Digicel.

Some of the key developments in this report include:
• The regulator preps for the multi-spectrum auction that is aimed at attracting the fourth mobile player.
• Universal access program offers free internet services to the public schools.
• Claro and the Tigo extend the LTE services.
• Tigo rebrands the broadband as well as the Pay TV business as the Tigo Star.

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