Life’s a Beach… and then you are awarded Sint Maarten’s fourth mobile licence

19 Aug 2014

Sint Maarten’s fourth mobile licence has been formally issued to Beach Mart NV, a company reportedly owned by local businessman Elwaldo Arrindell. Governor Eugene Holiday signed a ‘landsbesluit’ (ordinance) rubber-stamping the concession earlier this month, and the company was duly handed a 20-year concession, which is due to expire in August 2034. Arrindell, who was initially granted a ‘business licence’ on 28 August 2012 by former communications minister Romeo Pantophlet, has openly coveted a mobile concession since 1997.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Sint Maarten is currently home to two active mobile operators in the form of state-owned TelEm Group (TelCell) and pan-Caribbean mobile group United Telecommunication Services (UTS). A third would-be player, Corporate Innovations, is waiting in the wings after the hard-fought battle to see its long-held concession endorsed by the government was belatedly approved in October 2012, also by Governor Holiday.

It is believed that both companies are technically permitted to team up with a strategic partner, a clause that is likely to pique the interest of pan-Caribbean players such as Digicel and LIME, both of which have expressed an interest in Sint Maarten in the past. That said, with a wireless population penetration rate of around 175% at 31 March 2014, Sint Maarten ranks as the third most saturated mobile market in the Caribbean, according to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, suggesting limited opportunities for the new entrant(s).

Sint Maarten,Beach Mart (Sint Maarten),

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