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Electronic communications usage fell in 2020

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The electronic communications sector’s contribution to the island’s economy fell by nearly eight per cent in 2020, the latest market analysis by the Regulatory Authority of Bermuda reveals.

The EC sector, which includes fixed, mobile, internet, leased lines and subscription television, generated $183.4 million in total revenue in 2020, a decline of 7.9 per cent on the 2019 total of $199.1 million.

Total revenues include revenue associated with Bermuda subscribers while roaming overseas and revenue from visitors to the island.

The sector split by revenue in 2020 was made up of mobile (41 per cent, 37 per cent in 2019), broadband (36 per cent, 37 per cent in 2019), subscription TV (10 per cent, same as in 2019), fixed line (seven per cent, same as in 2019), international leased lines (four per cent, same as in 2019) and other one per cent, (five per cent in 2019).

The number of inhabitants with broadband, out of 100, was 58.8 in 2020 (2019: 57.8).

The EC sector contributed $16.4 million to government in the form of direct license fees (sometimes referred to as government authorisation fees), mobile handset fees and spectrum fees in 2020.

That was a drop of 6.5 per cent on the 2019 total of $17.6 million.

The sector contributed $3.2 million to the RA in regulatory administration fees in 2020, a decrease of 6.9 per cent on the 2019 total of $3.5 million.

The EC sector made capital investments of $12.1 million in EC infrastructure and assets in 2020, a drop of 32 per cent on the 2019 total of $17.8 million.

Operators in the sector employed 341 full-time staff in 2020, a drop of three per cent or 10 people on the 2019 total of 351.

Of the 341 people employed in the sector, 219 were men and 122 were women (2019: 226 men, 125 women).

The RA, which is Bermuda’s electronic sector watchdog, said its report for the 2019 and 2020 calendar years was based on data provided by the sectoral providers in the fall of 2021. It added that data was also sourced from EC sectoral providers’ quarterly financial reports to the RA and from the government department of statistics.

The organisation said the 2019-2020 report should be considered in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic and resultant measures taken by the Bermuda government to reduce the impact of the virus.

In particular, the RA said, usage of EC services was affected by increased home working, technology solutions that enabled continued communication such as internet-based meetings, and fewer travellers both inbound and outbound.

In total, there were 21 licensed operators in the sector at the end of 2021.

Two, Paradise Mobile and Wave Bermuda, were granted licenses in September 2020.

Four other licensed operators are inactive, leaving 15 active sectoral providers to give information for the RA’s market analysis.

The RA said it intended to collect information from EC sectoral providers for 2021, and provide that information in a similar report later this year.

Going forward, the RA said it intended to provide a market analysis each April for the preceding calendar year.

The EC sector, which includes fixed, mobile, internet, leased lines and subscription television, generated $183.4 million in total revenue in 2020, a decline of 7.9 per cent on the 2019 total of $199.1 million.

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Published April 28, 2022 at 7:40 am (Updated April 28, 2022 at 7:40 am)

Electronic communications usage fell in 2020

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