Claro, which was formerly known as CODETEL, is the largest mobile network service provider company in the Dominican Republic. It provides a range of mobile telephony services including local calls, data, long-distance calls and wireless voice services. The mobile network is led by CEO Oscar Pena.
They also offer internet platforms and IPTV services to their subscribers. Overall Claro S.A. has a customer base of about four million.
The firm traces its origins to the hurricane San Zenon which destroyed all the communication facilities in the Dominican Republic in 1930. Before then all the communication infrastructure was managed by the government.
After the devastation, the government granted the exclusive rights to the Anglo-Canadian Telephone Company in November of the same year. ACTC became the defacto monopoly firm in the Dominican communication industry.
For the next 60 years Codetel (now Claro) was the only firm in the industry up until the mid-90s when Tricom S.A. launched out its mobile network operations.
The Market Changes
The Law 153 in instituted in 1998 fundamentally altered the mobile telephony market, through liberalization which saw Codetel’s market share significantly dented. Even then they still ruled the market by holding onto 50% of the international cell traffic including 70% of the cell traffic to the US.
Codetel continued its operations as the subsidiary firm after its parent company underwent a merger in the year 2000. The company introduced a raft of mobile solutions to try and recapture it lost market share including 3G network as well as high-speed data network. They invested in costly infrastructure upgrade through a deal with Lucent Technologies.
In 2006 the parent company Verizon Dominica sold its stake at Codetel as part of their restructuring plans. A year later the new owners, America Movil announced that Codetel would be its landline services while Claro will be its mobile telephony platform.
In early 2009 the new owners announced a digital TV platform for urban areas and a satellite services for the rural areas. The management also reached an agreement that all the brands under Claro and Codetel would be unified under the Claro brand.
The firm provides internet services with speeds of 20/2 in a Multiplan and standalone at 100/5. Their fibre for Home services is in more than 25 areas and townships in the Dominican Republic.
In 2013 Claro’s management met with the Dominican president as part of a move that was to see the temporary 10% tax on communication phased out. Claro agreed to participate in the exchange of stolen device information. This was part of a larger plan that would see the market regulator indotel implement the IMEI Device Check system across the networks.