Since 1976 and even in 2006, Hondutel maintained control to exploit fixed telephony services, local and international calls, telex, telegraphy, public telephones, aggregate services and Internet, radio and television. But the privatisation policy of the 1990s influenced its stagnation, as a result of not investing in mobile technology and infrastructure. Hondutel, the most profitable state company in the Honduran state, underwent a process of privatisation and market loss, and is currently practically bankrupt.
At the same time, a study carried out by Conatel confirms this argument "regarding market participation at the end of 2014, Operator Telefónica Celular (Celtel, from now on Tigo) had a total market share of 59.67 percent, Servicios de Comunicaciones de Honduras (Sercom, hereinafter Claro) with 39.51 percent and Hondutel 0.82 percent (Conatel, Estudio sobre Recargas Electronicas, 2015).
Below is a brief profile of each telephone company:
With the opening of telecommunications in 1996, Celtel was the first international company to buy band-B Telefónica Celular, established in 1994 and operative since 1996, it is a subsidiary of Millicom International Cellular that provides media services and telecommunications in Honduras, under the Tigo brand; It provides its services through the Global Mobile Communications System (GSM) and offers 4G LTE services. In 2015, Celtel was awarded a 7-year extension to a 25-year contract granted in 2005, which offers a solid base to continue developing telecommunications in the country.
Communications Services of Honduras (Sercom Honduras) is a wholly-owned local subsidiary of AméricaMóvil with headquarters in Tegucigalpa, which provides national wireless services under the Claro brand, offering pre- and post-payment plans, and 3G, video, voice and data services. The company started its operations in Honduras in 2003 as Megatel de Honduras, which was acquired by AméricaMóvil in 2004 and renamed Sercom Honduras in 2005. Meanwhile, the two companies their avowed ambition is to become the largest Internet service provider in the country and provider of telephony and pay TV.
The two companies maintain a market strategy aimed at the younger segments of the population, since according to an Inter-American Bank study, in terms of population, Honduras is an extraordinarily young country, with more than 43 percent of the population under 14 years of age. This ratio has a great impact on the consumption preferences of online services and applications, and consequently, in the telecommunications sector (Zabal, 2012).
It should also be said that the two companies have the duty to provide information to the Honduran judicial system in the event of the prosecution of a crime, within the framework of the Law for the Intervention of Private Telephone Telecommunications, popularly known as "law of listeners" approved in 2011. The impact of this law has been the investigation of people involved in organised crime, drug trafficking, but according to organisations of Honduran civil society "is a law that persecuted members of the opposition, independent journalists and human rights defenders" as well.