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2008 Latin America - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband in Mexico and the Caribbean

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Last updated: 5 Mar 2008 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 202

Analyst: Stephen McNamara

Publication Overview

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

·         Forecast growth in select Mexican and Caribbean telecommunication markets.

·         The emerging trends and convergence in the Mexican and Caribbean voice, broadband and digital TV sectors.

·         How the region is faring in terms of global broadband development.

·         The growth of mobile voice and data and the deployment of 3G and 4G technologies in the region.

 

 

Researcher - Lawrence Baker

Current publication date: March 2008 (7th Edition)

Next publication date: February 2009

 

Executive Summary

BuddeComm’s Annual Publication, 2008 Latin America - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband in Mexico and the Caribbean, profiles the fixed-line, mobile and broadband markets from the small island nations through to the larger countries of Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico and Puerto Rico.

Despite being relatively small markets by global standards, telecommunications has become one of the Caribbean’s major growth industries. In particular, the region’s mobile sector has been witnessing significant expansion in recent years. To date this growth has largely been harnessed by Mexico’s América Móvil and more recently by Digicel. These two companies are predicted to continue dominating the robust mobile sector growth during 2008/09.

In contrast to the mobile sector, the fixed-line market remains relatively stagnant. While in a handful of countries Cable & Wireless still holds a monopoly in the fixed-line sector, a growing number of countries now have other operators offering fixed-line services at competitive prices. Investment in infrastructure during 2008/09 is expected to increasingly trend towards broadband access and associated IP services, such as VoIP.

This report provides overviews, analyses and detailed statistics of the Mexican and Caribbean countries’ fixed-line, mobile and broadband markets including developments in emerging technologies such wireless broadband and VoIP.

Key highlights:

  • The Mexican telecom industry is forecast to continue its strong growth rates through 2008/09, following industry growth in 2007 at an estimated eight times higher than average real GDP growth rates.
  • Growth during 2008 will continue to be fuelled by declining tariffs in the mobile and long-distance sector, and by increased deployment of broadband networks. For instance, mobile subscribers in Mexico grew by over 20% in 2007 and broadband lines continued to post even stronger gains of around 50%.
  • Despite this strong growth, Mexico still suffers from a lack of competition. Although Telefónica’s Movistar launched in 2002, América Móvil’s Telcel still holds around 75% of the market. Indeed, concerns about the overall lack of competition and about certain monopolistic behaviour, compelled Mexico’s antitrust agency to launch an investigation into the mobile and other telco markets in November 2007. Accordingly, 2008 may witness CFC rulings with important industry-wide implications.
  • Mexican telecommunications growth for 2008/09 will receive further impetus from government reforms, given President Felipe Calderon’s recent statement that telecommunications is one of two key industries in which he intends to promote greater competition as part of his economic goals to 2012. This may lead to unbundling in Mexico in 2008-2010, the last OECD country to unbundle its local loop. For more information, see chapter 6.2, page 97.
  • The overall Caribbean mobile market has become one of the most dynamic markets in the world, with subscribers in the region increasing at an average annual growth rate of around 50% per annum between 2003 and 2007. As penetration rates are still relatively low, it is predicted that 2008 will continue to enjoy strong subscriber and revenue growth rates. For more information, see chapter 1.6, page 11.
  • One of the star performers in terms of mobile growth has been the region’s poorest country, Haiti. Haitian mobile subscriber numbers increased by nearly fivefold in the three years to early 2008. Growth has been stimulated by the entry of Digicel, which attained approximately 1.5 million subscribers (around 50% of the market) within 18 months of operation. For more information, see chapter 4.9, page 74.
  • Carlos Slim’s América Móvil continued its aggressive expansion in the region. It acquired, for instance, Verizon’s interests in the region, thus giving it control of the dominant Puerto Rico Telephone Company and of Verizon Dominicana (to be renamed Codetel) which dominates the Dominican Republic’s fixed-line market and holds around 50% of its mobile market. For more information, see chapter 3.4, page 52.
  • Cuba’s telecom market, which has the lowest mobile and Internet penetration in Latin America, may be on the verge of liberalisation from 2008 following President Castro’s retirement in February 2008 and the imminent transfer of power to a more reform-minded successor. For more information, see chapter 2.2.1, page 40.

Forecast Mexican mobile subscriber growth – lower growth scenario – 2008; 2013; 2018

Year

Subscribers (million)

Penetration
(subscribers/population)

2008

73

69%

2013

94

84%

2018

100

86%

(Source: BuddeComm forecasts)

 

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