2009 Colombia - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts

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Last updated: 5 May 2009 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 85

Analyst: Lucia Bibolini

Publication Overview

This annual report offers a wealth of information on the trends and developments in fixed-line and mobile telephony, Internet and broadband, converging media and new technologies in Colombia. Subjects include:

·         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, triple play, pay TV, IPTV, and digital terrestrial TV.


Researcher:- Lucia Bibolini

Current publication date:- May 2009 (8th Edition)

Next publication date:- May 2010

Executive Summary

BuddeComm’s annual publication, Colombia - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts, profiles the third most populous country in Latin America, after Brazil and Mexico.


Colombia has around 30 local telephone providers, partly private, and partly owned by the municipalities where they operate. It also has an ever-growing number of private long-distance and broadband operators, and four mobile phone companies. The incumbent, Colombia Telecom, has been taken over by Telefónica and renamed Telefónica Telecom. The second-largest fixed-line company, state-owned ETB, has been seeking a strategic partner to help finance its investment needs.


Local telephony operators need a concession only if they use radio spectrum, while long-distance operators can offer services by obtaining a Convergence Licence and a multicarrier access code. In fact, a single Convergence Licence allows providers to offer long-distance telephony, Internet access, broadband, and other value-added services. Competition will receive a further boost from number portability, to be implemented by 2012.


This report presents a concise overview of sector liberalisation and privatisation in Colombia; government initiatives and regulations in the telecom industry; company profiles for the major operators in the various telecom sectors; the development of mobile and broadband technologies; the emergence of convergence and IP solutions; essential country and operator statistics in all telecom sectors; and scenario forecasts for the fixed-line, mobile, and broadband markets.


Key highlights:

·         Although lower than average for South America, Colombia’s fixed-line teledensity measures up favourably with the country’s GDP per capita. The basic telephony market, however, is stagnant, with customers opting for alternative technologies and mobility in preference to traditional phones.

·         Colombia’s mobile penetration is considerably higher than would be expected given the country’s general economic indicators, largely thanks to the mobile rates, which have been among the lowest in Latin America.

·         Colombia’s broadband penetration is only slightly below average for Latin America and has been growing at an impressive rate, but the market may flatten as a result of the global financial crisis. WiMAX, originally welcomed enthusiastically in Colombia, is suffering from the economic downturn.

·         Pay TV companies have experienced a wave of consolidation. Triple play solutions are popular, offered by the three telecom incumbents as well as by Telmex. Several operators have launched or are planning to launch IPTV, and the country has selected the European DVB standard for Digital Terrestrial TV.


Key telecom statistics for Colombia – September 2008


Subscribers (million)

Annual growth


Fixed-line telephony




Mobile telephony








Pay TV




(Source: BuddeComm)



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


The following notes provide some background to our scenario forecasting methodology:

·         This report includes what we term scenario forecasts. By describing long-range scenarios we identify a band within which we expect market growth to occur. The associated text describes what we see as the most likely growth trend within this band.

·         The projections shown in the tables in this report are based on our own historical information, as well as on telecommunication sector statistics from official and non-official, national and international sources. We assume a possible deviation of 15-20% around this data.

·         All statistics for GDP, revenue, etc are shown in US$, in order to maintain consistency within and between markets. At the same time we acknowledge that this can introduce some irregularities.


For those needing high-level strategic information and objective analysis on this region, this 70+ 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 uptake of mobile data services;

·         Broadband growth and incursions into wireless technologies such as WiMAX;

·         Convergence, triple play, IPTV, and other emerging technologies;

·         Scenario forecasts for the fixed-line, mobile, and broadband markets.

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