Digicel Honduras, a wholly owned subsidiary of Digicel Central America Holdings Limited, has won a competitive tender for Honduras’ fourth mobile licence with a bid of USD80.1 million. Digicel beat off a rival bid from Iusacell of Mexico which offered USD10 million – the minimum price set for the licence. Telefonica and Cable & Wireless had also pre-qualified to bid but chose not to make any offers. The operator’s bid to launch a GSM network is expected to be approved by Congress in the coming weeks. Commenting on the award Donal O’Shaughnessy, Digicel Central America CEO, said, ‘Honduras is a very exciting win for us. There is huge potential for growth in this mobile market, and Digicel looks forward to becoming a strong competitor by delivering superior technology and being passionate about providing the best mobile phone service to customers.’
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, the Honduran mobile market is home to two active mobile operators, Tigo, operated by Millicom International Cellular, and Sercom de Honduras (Claro), owned by Mexico’s America Movil (AM). A third licence has been awarded to fixed line operator Hondutel, but to the regulator’s despair the PTO is yet to launch a commercial service. At the end of September 2007 the country had around 3.44 million mobile users, up from 2.29 million at the start of the year, of which Tigo had the lion’s share, with around 69%.