The Dominican Republic has one of the most robust and dynamic mobile telephony markets in the Caribbean and the whole of the Americas. As of December 2013 the country had 10.37 million subscribers which was a just over 90% market penetration. It is a fully privatized industry in the country.
The market regulator for the country’s telecommunication industry is Indotel. The country has had a total of two 2G frequencies, two 3G frequencies and three 4G frequencies in its networks.
The 2G network was rolled out in the year 1992 which was in many ways a revolutionary move. This was followed by the 3G network a few years later as part of an upgrade and modernization program. The 4G which was introduced in the 2000s suited well with the need for frequent data transfers and running apps technologies.
The SIM penetration in the Dominican Republic is over 91% though it is harder to tell whether this figure scaled upwards or downwards. This is particularly after the market regulator switched off the dormant SIM cards.
The first LTE network was rolled out by Orange Dominica around its vicinity in Santo Domingo before it was expanded to cover the entire country. It further invested $150 million since mid-2012 in infrastructure upgrade and maintenance.
The government empowered the market regulator Indotel, to avail digital dividend through the Law01-2012. Since then the digital dividend has grown 3-fold to 818MHz. Since it was acquired by the Altice Group in 2013 network provider Tricom has upgraded its LTE network and migrated its majority pool of CDMA subscribers to the improved platform.
One of the significant millstones of the mobile telephony industry was the coming into effect of the number portability services. This allowed users to keep their phone numbers while changing service suppliers.
The Dominican government through the market regulator has been very proactive in technology uptake by facilitating the transition to digital content across the technological spectrum. It has also auctioned the 940-960MHz bands and the 1700-2100MHz bands to the broadband sector.
The country has three major laws which regulate the market, the Law No. 153-98 (General Law of Telecommunications), Law number 53-07 which handles High Tech Crime and Law number 126-02 which tackles Electronic Commerce and Digital Signature,
The market regulator Indotel was founded in 1999 to among other things arbitrate telecommunication disputes, facilitating ICT growth and monitoring the mobile telephony platforms. The country’s call code systems has three area codes which are 849, 809, and 829.
Since 2014 the country declared it mandatory for all SIM cards to be registered. This was to curb fraud, help monitor the market and prevent the frequent misuse of emergency numbers.