2007 Latin America - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband in Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru

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Last updated: 18 Apr 2007 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 197

Analyst: Stephen McNamara

Publication Overview

The Andean countries are Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, which present considerable diversity in their general telecom indicators, but have much in common with regard to geographical challenges, technologies being developed, and opportunities for growth. This annual report offers a wealth of information on the trends and developments in telecommunications, mobile, Internet, broadband, digital TV, and converging media including VoIP and IPTV developments.

  • Key Statistics and forecasts;
  • Market and industry overviews;
  • Government policies and regulatory issues;
  • Historical information;
  • Major players (fixed-line, mobile, broadband, and pay TV);
  • Telecom infrastructure (national and international, fixed and wireless);
  • Mobile voice and data markets;
  • Internet market and VoIP;
  • Broadband (DSL, cable, wireless);
  • Convergence, pay TV, and developments in digital TV.

Executive Summary

BuddeComm’s latest Annual Publication on the Andean countries profiles five countries with highly diverse telecom infrastructure – from Chile, which is the most advanced telecom market in the region, to Bolivia, one of the poorest and less developed countries in South America.

Nevertheless, all five countries have one feature in common: the presence of the Andes mountain system, which extends for more than 8,900km along the entire length of western South America, forming a natural wall separating the narrow western coastal region from the rest of the continent. Fixed-line teledensity is limited throughout the Andes by low population density and the rough mountainous terrain that has hindered the laying of copper wire.

This report presents a concise overview of sector liberalisation and privatisation in the Andean sub-region, government initiatives and regulations in the telecom industry, the development of product offerings for both mobile and broadband technologies, essential country and operator statistics in all telecom sectors, and the emergence of convergence and triple play.

Key highlights

  • The fixed-line market has been liberalised in all five countries, but competition is slow to develop in local telephony. Apart from Peru, which has one fixed line incumbent with 95% of the market, the other countries have two or more regional incumbents. Long distance telephony, on the other hand, is extremely competitive in all five markets. VoIP telephony has been adopted by a number of operators and is available through Internet cafés and telecentres.
  • Due to low fixed-line teledensity, mobility has become the chosen alternative in the Andean countries, leading to a ratio of around four mobile phones to every fixed line in service. Prepaid cards have played a significant role in driving mobile telephony growth, making mobile phones accessible to the lower income earners.
  • Besides mobile telephony, operators have been using various wireless and satellite technologies to reach isolated communities. WiMAX has become the future hope for this region, and the first WiMAX or pre-WiMAX networks have been deployed in all five countries.
  • Broadband uptake varies greatly among the five countries – from a penetration of 6.3% in Chile, to a penetration of 0.1% in Bolivia. ADSL is the fastest growing technology, but cable modem is the major vehicle of broadband access in Colombia, and is also strong in Chile.
  • Chile has been at the forefront in terms of convergence. In 1999, Chile’s VTR Globalcom pioneered triple play, combining telephony, broadband, and pay TV services. The rest of Latin America only began to develop convergence solutions in late 2004. Convergence strategies have been adopted in Colombia and Bolivia, but Peru has been hampered by lack of competition, and Ecuador by restrictions on VoIP.

Andean countries - mobile penetration and annual growth - 2006

Country Penetration Annual growth
Bolivia 28.2% 14%
Chile 77.7% 15%
Colombia 63.6% 36%
Ecuador 65.7% 27%
Peru 31.9% 57%
Source: BuddeComm

For those needing high-level strategic information and objective analysis on this region, this 200 page report is essential reading and gives further information on:

  • Regulatory developments and spectrum auctions;
  • Fixed-line developments, including the adoption of alternative technologies such as VoIP;
  • Mobile telephony growth, and the up-take of mobile data services;
  • Broadband growth and the incursion into wireless technologies such as WiMAX;
  • Triple play development, leap-frogging into a new technology in markets with low teledensity;
  • Scenario forecasts for the fixed line, mobile, and broadband markets in Chile, Colombia, and Peru.

Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.

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