Find Telecommunication expertise in Jamaica
- Operators and competition
- Usage and infrastructure
The telecoms and internet sector in Jamaica is growing as the country focuses on how to progress towards the level of developed country and turns its attention more and more to the role of technology in business.
Digicel, Cable & Wireless-owned LIME (Landline, Internet, Mobile, Entertainment) and Claro are the leading mobile-phone companies. LIME is also the primary fixed-network operator.
Jamaica’s Spectrum Management Authority (SMA) functions as a regulator in the sector, while the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) also plays a regulatory role. Jamaica is a signatory to the World Trade Organization (WTO) Basic Telecommunications Services Agreement and plans to implement an open telecommunications market.
There have been calls in 2012 for the Jamaican government to lower general consumption tax (GCT) and import taxes on computers so that more Jamaicans can have access to the internet. The Jamaican government has shown that it sees ICT as a key area for economic and social development through the Vision 2030 National Development Plan. It is hoped that the measures set out in the plan will help Jamaica transition to the status of a developed country through e-inclusion, e-business and industry structure and education and training amongst other things.
Computing courses are available at both the University of Technology and the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies and the popularity and availability of less formal, shorter courses is growing.
Jamaica has a fully digitalised telephone communication system. Jamaican telephone users are more likely to use mobile phones than a fixed landline which are vastly outnumbered by mobile phone subscribers.
The World Economic Forum Global Economic Report estimates the number of users of landlines per 1,000 of the population to be 91 contrasted with the number of mobile telephone subscriptions per 1,000 of the population to be 1,029.
The same report shows that internet usage and subscription is moderate in relation to the rest of the world, Jamaica comes 86th out of 144 countries worldwide in the percentage of individuals using the internet at 31.5%. Subscriptions to broadband internet rank Jamaica similarly in 82nd place with 3.9 subscriptions per 100 of the population. Internet bandwidth is fairly good with 23.1 kb/s per user. This places Jamaica 55th out of 144 countries, above Trinidad and Tobago at 60th but below Barbados which comes 38th.