Fixed-line teledensity in Colombia is only 13.5% and well below the Latin American average, yet the number of lines in service continues to decrease steeply, with customers abandoning traditional phones in favour of mobile handsets. As in other Latin American countries, most of the existing fixed telephone lines are concentrated in the larger cities, leaving the rest of the population under-serviced.
Colombia has about 20 local telephony providers, operating municipally, regionally, or nationally. Many of these started as private companies, but later became public concerns owned by their respective municipalities. The leading fixed-line operator in terms of lines in service is ETB, controlled by Bogotá’s local government. Telefónica’s Movistar is the second largest provider. UNE-EPM, owned by the municipality of Medellín, occupies a close third place. Telmex Colombia, which has adopted the brand name Claro, has a rapidly growing market share thanks to the growing popularity of its triple play services.
For several years, the Colombian telecom market has been experiencing mergers, intensifying competition, and increasing convergence. Further consolidation and changes of ownership are expected, with Millicom International Cellular and municipally owned EPM involved in negotiations aimed at merging their fixed and mobile operations – respectively UNE and Tigo.
This report provides an overview of Colombia’s telecom infrastructure, together with profiles of major fixed-line operators, accompanied by relevant statistics, analyses, and fixed-line scenario forecasts for the years 2015 and 2020.
ETB has acquired cable TV provider Ingelcom; ETB sources claim the operator will not take part in the Tigo/UNE merger; Movistar seeks ways to raise funds; EPM Bogotá has been merged into UNE; Telmex Colombia had adopted the brand name Claro.
Companies covered in this report include:
Movistar/Telefónica Telecom, UNE EPM Telecomunicaciones, Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Santa Fe de Bogotá (ETB), Telmex/Claro, Emcali, Telebucaramanga, Telefónica de Pereira, Edatel.