Orange Dominican RepublicOne of the key players in the market for Telephone and internet services in the Dominican Republic has reached an agreement to sell it’s interests in the DR. Orange (based in France)made a deal with Altice (based in Luxembourg) for $1.4 billion.

The Dominican Republic is considered a non-core market for the French based company that has been struggling over the last couple years.

How will the Sale of Orange affect Dominican Subscribers

Over the last couple years Orange has continued to improve its cell-phone and internet services. While still being known for its dropped calls and patchy cell network these issue have been improving with new equipment being added in the outlining areas.

Orange Internet services have continued to improve with some areas reaching much higher download speeds than the comparable Claro internet services at a considerably lower price. About 6 months ago I switched from Claro to Orange and was able to double my bandwidth that I was receiving from Claro (10gig to 20gig) at about 2/3 the price I was paying at Claro. With this same move my download speed went from 1.0meg to a max of 2.5meg with the Claro Internet service to 3.0meg to over 5meg with the cheaper Orange service.

Upload speeds have also increased from about .5meg with Claro to about 1.5meg with Orange. This greatly affects internet services like Skype and Magicjack which benefits from the higher upload speed for images and constant voice transfer.

Altice Caribbean

Orange isn’t the only acquisition that Altice Caribbean is making this year. On October 31, 2013 Altice VII in particular its subsidiary Altice Caribbean S.à made an agreement to acquire Tricom a triple-play and wireless operator in the Dominican Republic. In a Oct 31, 2013 press release Altice announce “Under the agreement, Altice will acquire approximately 88% of Tricom, with the existing shareholders retaining a 12% stake.” Tricom is one of only two full service telecommunications providers in the Dominican Republic, offering over 800,000 customers cable television, residential and corporate internet / data, as well as fixed and wireless telephony. Both of these acquisitions are still subject to approval by the Dominican regulatory authority, INDOTEL.

More Competition for the Dominican Market

The competition for the Dominican Republic phone, cable tv, and internet market isn’t just limited to these major player though. Other player like Viettel and Wind are also looking to expand their operations here with Wind gradually increasing it’s services from city to city offering some of the highest speed internet packages available at moderate prices.

Usually increased competition brings better services at lower prices. Hopefully these recent changes will have this affect. With larger companies taking an interest in the DR, efforts will likely be made to increase the internet backbone (internet cables, usually fiber optic now, connecting the DR to the world) allowing higher speeds at lower prices.