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Puerto Rico ranks #4 in Americas for best value-for-money on mobile data speeds

Puerto Rico has taken the #4 spot in a ranking of jurisdictions in the Americas that offer the best value-for-money to consumers for their mobile broadband speeds, according to an analysis generated by Speedcheck, an international organization dedicated to tracking data speeds.

The island placed behind the continental United States, Chile, and Argentina, with average download speeds of 15.49 Mbps, and an average price of $6.90 per GB, which gives it a 2.2 Speed-Price Index (SPI) value.

“With an SPI value of 5.1, the United States is ranked first place in this region. Nevertheless, it is ranked only 31 globally, indicating that the value for money US consumers are getting for their mobile data is well below par when compared with the rest of the world,” according to the analysis.

That value for the money that Puerto Rico consumers are getting for their mobile data is significantly below par when compared with the rest of the world, where the highest-ranked country (Israel) has an 82.3 SPI, according to Speedcheck.

Out of the 89 countries that Speedcheck serves and ranked, Puerto Rico is in the middle group of jurisdictions, at #46, grabbing a spot among the world’s top 50 jurisdictions.

For its ranking, Speedcheck analyzed the broadband speed experienced and measured by its mobile users in their home countries and compared it with the price customers typically pay for data in those countries. The results were categorized regionally by continent.

“The results could serve to lobby both governments and mobile telecom operators to consider removing the artificial barriers that prevent operators from providing affordable mobile data to consumers worldwide, but without compromising performance,” said Frederik Lipfert, CEO of Speedcheck.

In its conclusions, Speedcheck noted that governments are partly responsible for the high prices that consumers pay for their broadband services, as they generally regulate the prices that companies pay for the use of spectrum.

“Instead of focusing on allowing mobile network operators to grow and advance their network infrastructure to provide near-ubiquitous quality data connectivity to consumers, which is an essential backbone of the digital economy, unfortunately, many governments still seem fixated on trying to artificially maximize their revenues while displaying a lack of genuine concern for the fate of the mobile telcos and the consumer,” Lipfert said in the analysis, which was go-authored by Telecom Consultant Gerard Kearney.

“This has forced mobile telcos to pay exorbitant prices to use what is essentially a national resource that should be made readily available to every citizen,” they said.

“And this cost is undoubtedly being passed on by too many telcos to the consumer as essentially just another government value-added tax,” the executives stated.

They concluded that “it is still not too late for national governments to review how they assign the national resource of radio spectrum to mobile telcos, even for the remaining 5G spectrum blocks that have yet to be awarded, and certainly for 6G going forward,” suggesting the application of a fixed spectrum fee.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 27 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.
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