Chile’s mobile penetration is one of the highest in South America but lagging slightly behind Uruguay and Argentina. Mobile growth, however, has slowed down considerably – it even turned negative in the first quarter of 2013, which may indicate that the market has reached saturation. Movistar and Entel compete neck-and-neck with a 37% share each, Claro accounts for 25%, and a few new entrants and MVNOs share the remaining 1%.
Mobile number portability has helped to increase competition and reduce prices. Four new entrants have joined the mobile market, with a fifth one expected to begin operations in the second half of 2013. The four are Nextel Chile, VTR, GTD, and Virgin Mobile. Nextel and VTR have launched 3G networks, while GTD and Virgin Mobile are offering Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO) services. The fifth, local retail giant Falabella, is preparing to enter the MVNO market.
Claro launched Chile’s first 4G/LTE network in June 2013. Under the terms of their licence, Movistar and Entel had until early 2014 to launch 4G services.
Smartphone sales are soaring in Chile, driven by the popularity of social media and improved 3G coverage – as well as diminishing prices and a wider range of devices.
Accompanied by key market statistics and analyses, this report provides an overview of the market and a brief profile of mobile operators. It also contains scenario forecasts for the years 2015 and 2020.
NII Holdings prepares to sell Nextel Chile; MTRs set to fall 73% over five years; Entel launches an LTE network ahead of the deadline; new MTR rates come into force; Chile’s Tower Act helps promote MVNOs and infrastructure sharing; regulator bans the sale of carrier-locked handsets, orders operators to unlock devices free of charge; VTR closes down its wireless network to become solely an MVNO; Claro expands LTE service; regulator preps for 700MHz auction in early 2014, consumer group calls for auction delay; telcos’ financial and operating data to Q1 2014; regulator’s market to March 2014; market developments to mid-2014.
Companies covered in this report include:
Entel, Movistar, Claro, Nextel, VTR, GTD, Virgin Mobile, and Falabella.