Teledensity in Colombia is only 15%, yet the number of fixed lines in service continues to decrease with customers opting for alternative technologies and mobility in preference to traditional phones. As in other Latin American countries, most of the fixed telephone lines are concentrated in the larger cities, leaving the rest of the population severely under-serviced.
Colombia has about 25 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 trend is gradually changing, with more companies selling shares to private investors. Despite the large number of local operators, around 83% of the customer base is served by four major companies: Movistar (previously Telefónica Telecom), UNE-EPM, Claro (previously Telmex),and ETB.
Numerous companies have received access codes to provide long distance telephony. Competitive carriers have gained 31% of the international long distance market – Infracel, with a 26% share, has proved by far the most successful. In the Domestic Long Distance (DLD) market, however, competitive carriers have managed to eke out only a 4% share.
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.
Telefónica’s fixed and mobile operators have merged and unified their operations under the Movistar brand; AméricaMóvil is unifying – but not merging – the operations of Telmex and Comcel under the Claro brand name; ETB no longer seeks privatisation, but plans to achieve economic recovery through mobile telephony, broadband, and cable TV.
Companies covered in this report include:
Movistar/Telefónica Telecom, UNE EPM Telecomunicaciones, Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Santa Fe de Bogotá (ETB), Telmex/Claro, Emcali/Telecali, Telebucaramanga, UNE EPM Bogotá, Telefónica de Pereira, Emtelsa, Edatel, Colvatel.