Caribbean - Capacity - directories CARIBBEAN DIRECTORY...

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directories Issue 6/2014 capacitymagazine.com Sponsored by Map sponsor DIRECTORY 2014 CARIBBEAN Capacity magazine’s annual guide to wholesale telecoms providers
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Fresh opportunities across the Caribbean?  D espite the limited growth potential of its small telecoms markets, the Caribbean’s major carriers appear confi - dent in the region and continue to invest in both telecoms networks and marketing to gain an advantage over rivals. Th ere is fi erce competition, high mobile penetration and often a duopoly across many Caribbean markets. Advances in technology and greater collaboration between islands, however, are driving a fresh wave of regulatory reform. Surprisingly though, calls for regulation are increasingly coming from incumbents, which are seeing lucrative margins on international traffi c being eroded by VoIP. “In places such as the Bahamas and Bermuda, there are obligations on the incumbents and they are suddenly fi nding themselves under competitive pricing from pure ISPs and cable companies who can now off er internet capacity and VoIP,” says Daniel Preiskel, Senior Partner, at Preiskel & Co LLP. “So one could understand incumbents demanding for VoIP to be regulated, whilst from a regulators’ and consumer perspective, VoIP can be seen as pro- competitive.” Th e Bahamas and Bermuda have implemented EU-based competition laws giving the regulators powers to act on any anti-competitive behaviour and make ex ante remedies to promote competition. Preiskel understands that other markets in the region are looking to follow suit. “For the most part, the British-based islands have decent regulatory systems, while Puerto Rico’s is constantly evolving. Given the size of the islands and the geography, I don’t think one should be too critical of those moving to the next phase. But clearly technology has moved on quickly and they do need to consider liberalising further.” According to Preiskel, governments wanting to privatise ought to review and update their regulatory regimes. However, those that are not seeking to cash in on their PTT stake may fi nd it hard to justify paying for the necessary expertise to overhaul their regulatory system. Numerous markets are targeting outside investment, but opportunities across the Caribbean remain erratic. “Th e combination of small population fi gures and high mobile penetration can be fairly off -putting to new investors, and regulators will struggle to combat these factors,” says Tom Leins, Research Analyst, TeleGeography.
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