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Tuesday, October 24 2017 @ 05:26 AM AST

Phones becoming main source of Internet access in T&T

TATT: Mobile internet up 21.6%, Fixed internet down 13.1%



Penetration for fixed internet subscriptions in households have fallen by 13.1 per cent while mobile internet subscriptions have climbed 21.6 per cent, year-on-year in the first quarter of 2017, the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT) said in its first quarterly report in 10 months, released yesterday. TATT has not issued an annual market report since that of the period ended December 2015 either.

Fixed internet penetration as a percentage of the total population was 21.3 per cent in the first quarter of 2016 but fell to 18.5 per cent in the first quarter of 2017. The drop was even steeper in households with fixed internet penetration falling from 67.4 per cent in the first quarter of 2016 to 58.7 per cent in the first quarter of 2017, TATT said.

Mobile internet subscriptions, on the other hand, have been growing. Even without data from two telecom operators, Novo Communications Limited and Open Telecom Limited, which TATT said had not provided their data up to the time of publication, mobile internet penetration, as a percentage of the population, stood at 59.1 per cent at the end of the first quarter of 2017, up from 48.6 per cent at the end of the first quarter of 2016. This means that at least one out of every two mobile phones in T&T have internet access.

Landlines also seem to be going out of style as TATT said gross revenues from domestic fixed voice services fell consistently from $185.6 million at the end of the first quarter of 2016 to $170.3 million at the end of the first quarter of 2017.

Other trends evident in the TATT report are that post-paid mobile voice subscriptions have been rising, while pre-paid have been falling, and pay TV subscriptions (cable) have been falling.

Traditional mainstream media monitored by TATT - radio and television - also saw declines over the period. Gross revenues from free-to-air radio services fell from $38.4 million at the end of the first quarter of 2016 to $36.9 million at the end of the first quarter of 2017. TATT said it had only estimates for concessionaires which had not submitted data up to time of publication: Kaisoca Productions Limited, Trinibashment Limited, Radio Toco, PBCT More FM and Upward Trend Entertainment Limited.

Gross Revenues from free-to-air TV services fell steeper than radio, by 20.3 per cent at the end of the first quarter of 2017 compared to the same period the year before. Up to its press time, TATT was still awaiting data from religious concessionaires IBN Communications and Advance Community Television Network.

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