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Bermuda: Business Environment

Telecommunications

There are a number of competing telecommunications providers in Bermuda. Long-distance call costs in Bermuda have fallen substantially in recent years.

Providers of a wide range of telecoms services in the jurisdiction include:

  • Cable & Wireless
  • Logic Communications
  • North Rock Communications
  • TeleBermuda International

In January, 2006, Caribbean telecommunications operator Digicel announced a major programme of investment aimed at expanding its regional wireless network into new territories in 2006.

According to Colm Delves, CEO of Digicel Group, the company's strategy for the year ahead was to build upon the momentum gathered in 2005 when Digicel received approvals for its acquisition of Cingular Wireless’s operation in Bermuda (where it is based).

Digicel has operations in fifteen Caribbean countries with a combined population of 14 million, and the company’s overall investment in the region is approaching US$1 billion since its launch in the region in 2001.

Digicel’s network now encompasses a wide area of the Caribbean basin, including Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, Barbados, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Curacao, Dominica, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad & Tobago.

Cable and Wireless has also announced a significant investment in upgrading its telecoms infrastructure, including a new fibre-optic cable linking Bermuda with the US with 700 times more capacity than the existing cable.

According to a 2009 report, the overall adoption rate of telecommunication devices in Bermuda continued to be high.

All firms have internet access with a high-speed connection, however T1 lines or greater accounted for just 24%. 58% of employees are considered to be competent or skilled at using computers, up 5% from 2007. Corporate cell phone and mobile device ownership continued to show an increase from 75% in 2007, to 85% in 2008 and 87% in 2009. Companies tended to own more mobile devices in 2009, from 63% in 2008 to 78%.

According to a 2011 report, 93% of Bermudan households own a computer. The vast majority (89%) of households access the internet, and similar to the last two year’s results, out of those that have internet access 89% have a high speed internet connection (DSL, Cable or wireless). In 2010, 94% of Bermudan households own a cell phone and this year, residents owned a larger proportion of mobile devices such as BlackBerries, increasing from 16% in 2007 to 32% in 2008, 34% in 2009 and 76% in 2010.

Regarding residents’ online habits, consistent with 2008, the most regularly used online activities include using search engines, looking for travel information, and researching products or services and online shopping.

Minister of Energy, Telecommunications and E-Commerce, Terry Lister said: “The study shows that in some areas, such as computer or cell phone ownership, we remain among the highest in the world and there has also been an improvement in the uptake of technology skills. However the learning curve regarding technology is constant and therefore a strong focus on the technology agenda must be maintained, in order for Bermuda to continue to emulate global best practices and remain competitive. Technology is a powerful instrument for personal, professional and economic empowerment. We must continue to ensure that no one in Bermuda is left behind as technology increasingly affects the lives of everyone, everywhere, everyday.”

 

 

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