Find Telecommunication expertise in Belize
The telecommunications sector in Belize is fairly underdeveloped both compared to world standards, and neighbouring Caribbean countries. While the sector has experienced growth since the turn of the century, this has been limited and gradual. The sector made a 5.2% contribution to Belize’s GDP in 2006, the contribution has been decreasing steadily since 2001.
The main telecommunications company in Belize is Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL); the firm offers main telephone line, internet, and fixed line and mobile broadband packages. Other telecommunications providers include Speed Net, which was founded in 2003 as a rival to BTL. The main mobile phone provider in Belize is Digicel.
The telecommunications sector in Belize underwent official liberalisation in 2003. Despite competition from other providers BTL continues to holds a monopoly on fixed-line services, as well as being the dominant provider of mobile and broadband services. In 2009, the government of Belize renationalised Belize Telemedia Limited following a change of government. The nationalisation of Belize Telemedia was carried out to improve conditions for consumers, however the company’s prices remain high and competition in the market negligible.
In 2002 the Government of Belize established the country’s Telecommunications Act and set up the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to act as an independent regulator of the telecommunications sector.The PUC implemented a licensing regime based on open discussion. Potential license holders are consulted on license terms and condition as well as price control. License conditions require license holders to be fair and non-discriminatory, providing cost efficient services to competitors and avoiding anti-competitive practices.
The Government of Belize is committed to educating children in Belize on the importance of information and communication technology (ICT). The implementation of the ICT project, a joint programme between the Government of the Republic of Taiwan and the Government of Belize is a prime example of this. The project was launched in 2006 in an attempt to use Taiwan’s expertise in the ICT sector to promote information and communication technologies in Belize. In 2012 the ICT project launched the ICT Kids Computer Camp, designed to help primary school students gain an understanding of and ability to use the technology that is available in schools. Students are encouraged to learn how technology can help the learning process by using word processing applications, spread sheets and webpages. The activities aim to improve their technology skills of students in areas which will assist them to carry out assignments and projects independently.
The telecom sector in Belize is fairly underdeveloped by world standards. Both fixed-line and mobile penetration are lower than in neighbouring countries. According to statistics published by the Telecommunication Development Sector (ITU-D) there were 67 landlines and 507 mobile telephone subscriptions per 1,000 people in 2014 (ITU-D, 2014). The fixed line market has been experiencing a steady decline and is gradually being replaced by increased mobile penetration.
In 2012 there were 9,973 fixed broadband subscriptions and approximately 75,000 internet users in the country (ITU-D, 2012). In 2013 there were approximately 13,800 fixed and mobile broadband subscriptions in total; this represented an individual penetration rate of 6.4% and a household penetration rate of 17.5% (ITU-D, 2013).
|Telecoms and Internet Service Providers organisations in Belize|
|Belize Telecommunications Limited||
|Public Utilities Commission||
|Public Utilities Commission||