2013 Latin America - Mobile Operators

Publication Overview

The report provides key information about the mobile operators in Latin America and the Caribbean. Topics covered include:

  • Brief company history and shareholder structure;
  • Licences and technology deployments;
  • Subscriber evolution;
  • Average Revenue per User (ARPU);
  • Market position.

The countries covered in this report include: Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Suriname, Uruguay, Venezuela, and the small Caribbean island nations.

Researchers:- Lucia Bibolini, Henry Lancaster
Current publication date:- February 2013 (9th Edition)

Executive Summary

América Móvil and Telefónica control 61% of Latin America’s mobile market

During the 1990s and around the turn of the millennium, a number of international companies ventured into Latin America’s burgeoning mobile arena, including América Móvil, Bell Canada International, BellSouth International, Cable & Wireless, Digicel, France Telecom, Millicom International, Portugal Telecom, Telecom Italia Mobile (TIM), Telefónica, and Verizon Communications.

Around 2003, however, the market began to undergo a process of consolidation. Several international investors gradually withdrawn from the region, leaving six major multinational operators that serve roughly 80% of the market: América Móvil, Telefónica, Telecom Italia, Millicom, and Digicel.

América Móvil is the leader, followed by Telefónica. In fact, América Móvil and Telefónica compete against each other in most of Latin America’s major economies. Between them, they serve about 61% of the region’s mobile subscribers (down from 64% in 2008).

América Móvil, owned by Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim, operates in 16 LAC countries. In its home ground, Mexico, it uses the brand name Telcel. In all other countries, it provides mobile services under the unified name Claro.

Spain’s Telefónica provides mobile services in 13 LAC countries, using the name Movistar in all markets except Brazil, where it operates under the brand name Vivo. For many years, Telefónica controlled Vivo jointly with Portugal Telecom (PT), but in July 2010, it agreed to buy PT’s 50% share and became the sole owner of the Brazilian mobile unit.

Telecom Italia provides mobile services in Brazil through its subsidiary TIM Brasil. It also controls Telecom Argentina, which offers mobile services in Argentina through Telecom Personal and in Paraguay through Núcleo.

Luxembourg-based Millicom International Cellular provides mobile services under the brand name Tigo to three countries in South America (Bolivia, Colombia, Paraguay) and three countries in Central America (El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras).

Major mobile operators – subscribers and market share – 2010 - 2012

Company

2010

2011

2012 (Sep)

Annual change2

Market share

Subscribers (million)

América Móvil1

207.3

222.0

234.3

+5%

35%

Telefónica

149.3

166.3

175.2

+10%

26%

Telecom Italia

69.2

84.4

90.6

+15%

13%

Millicom

23.6

25.8

27.6

+10%

4%

Digicel

11.5

12.0

14.0

+26%

2%

Subtotal

460.9

510.4

541.6

+9%

80%

Others

93.1

123.2

134.3

+13%

20%

Total

566.7

633.6

675.9

+10%

100%

(Source: BuddeComm based on GM, industry and company data)

Note1: excluding América Móvil’s subscribers in the USA

Note2: Annual change is calculated as the year-on-year change from Sep 2011 to Sep 2012

Key highlights:

Argentina

Three mobile companies compete neck-and-neck, each one controlling about one third of the country’s mobile market. América Móvil’s Claro is the market leader, followed by Telecom Personal (the mobile unit of Telecom Argentina, controlled by Telecom Italia). Telefónica’s Movistar is in third place. Nextel has but a small 3% market share, and Fecosur, an association of fixed-line telecom cooperatives, offers Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) services branded Nuestro. Argentina has become an important manufacturer of cell phones and provides about 80% of all devices sold in the country. Driven by Facebook and Twitter, smartphone/social phone penetration has overtaken traditional cell phones.

Brazil

Four companies dominate Brazil’s mobile telecom market: Spanish Telefónica’s Vivo, Mexican América Móvil’s Claro, Telecom Italia’s TIM Brasil, and Oi, controlled by Portugal Telecom and by the Brazilian Andrade Gutierrez group. Together, these four operators control 98% of the country’s mobile subscriber base. Vivo is the leader, with about 29% of the market. TIM Brasil and Claro account for 26% and 25% respectively; the two companies have been vying for second and third place since 2004. Oi is fourth, with 18%. The remaining 2% of the market is shared between CTBC Telecom, Sercomtel, and Nextel Brasil.

Having bought out Portugal Telecom’s half of mobile operator Vivo, Telefónica has undertaken a corporate restructure in Brazil. Vivo Participações has been incorporated into the group’s Brazilian fixed-line incumbent Telesp, and the merged company has been renamed Telefônica Brasil. The name Vivo has been retained as a trademark for mobile business.

Mexico

In 2000, there were nine operators in the Mexican mobile market. By early 2009, there were only three major operators: America Movil (Telcel), Telefónica (Movistar) and Grupo Iusacell (Iusacell and Unefón). Besides these three, Nextel de México operates a mobile trunking network using iDEN technology. Telcel is the clear market leader, with a market share of around 68%, Movistar a distant second (24%), followed by Iusacell (5%). Nextel de México accounts for approximately 3%. Since 2010, the regulator has been endeavouring to encourage competition. Following the 3G spectrum auctions held in 2010, operators such as Movistar and Nextel have become better positioned to offer mobile data services.

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

Table of Contents

  • 1. Argentina
    • 1.1 Overview of Argentina’s mobile operators market
    • 1.2 Major mobile operators
      • 1.2.1 Average Revenue per User (ARPU) statistics
      • 1.2.2 Claro (previously CTI Móvil)
      • 1.2.3 Telecom Personal
      • 1.2.4 Movistar
      • 1.2.5 Nextel Argentina
      • 1.2.6 Nuestro – mobile virtual network operator (MVNO)
  • 2. Belize
    • 2.1 Overview of Belize’s mobile operators market
    • 2.2 Major mobile operators
      • 2.2.1 BTL (DigiCell)
      • 2.2.2 SpeedNet (Smart)
  • 3. Bolivia
    • 3.1 Overview of Bolivia’s mobile operators market
    • 3.2 Major mobile operators
      • 3.2.1 Entel Movil
      • 3.2.2 Tigo (Telecel)
      • 3.2.3 Viva (NuevaTel)
    • 3.3 Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
  • 4. Brazil
    • 4.1 Overview of Brazil’s mobile operators market
    • 4.2 Mobile operators
      • 4.2.1 Average revenue per user (ARPU)
      • 4.2.2 Telefônica Brasil trading as Vivo
      • 4.2.3 TIM Brasil
      • 4.2.4 Claro
      • 4.2.5 Oi
      • 4.2.6 Nextel Brasil
      • 4.2.7 Algar/CTBC Telecom
      • 4.2.8 Sercomtel Celular
      • 4.2.9 Unicel/Aeiou (defunct)
    • 4.3 Brazil’s Mobile virtual network operators (MVNO)
  • 5. Caribbean Countries
    • 5.1 Overview of mobile operators markets in the Caribbean
    • 5.2 Mobile statistics
    • 5.3 Satellite mobile
  • 6. Chile
    • 6.1 Overview of Chile’s mobile operators market
    • 6.2 Mobile network operators
      • 6.2.1 Average Revenue per User (ARPU) statistics
      • 6.2.2 Entel PCS
      • 6.2.3 Movistar (Telefónica Móviles Chile)
      • 6.2.4 Claro Chile (América Móvil)
      • 6.2.5 Nextel Chile
      • 6.2.6 VTR
    • 6.3 Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
      • 6.3.1 Overview
      • 6.3.2 GTD Móvil
      • 6.3.3 Virgin Mobile Chile
      • 6.3.4 Falabella Móvil
  • 7. Colombia
    • 7.1 Overview of Colombia’s mobile operators market
    • 7.2 Mobile Network operators
      • 7.2.1 Average Revenue per User (ARPU) statistics
      • 7.2.2 Claro/Comcel (América Móvil)
      • 7.2.3 Movistar (Telefónica)
      • 7.2.4 Tigo (Colombia Móvil – Millicom)
      • 7.2.5 Avantel
      • 7.2.6 UNE-EPM
    • 7.3 Mobile Virtual Network Operators
      • 7.3.1 Market analysis
      • 7.3.2 Uff! Móvil
      • 7.3.3 UNE-EPM
      • 7.3.4 ETB
      • 7.3.5 Metrotel
      • 7.3.6 Emcali
      • 7.3.7 Virgin Mobile
  • 8. Costa Rica
    • 8.1 Overview of Costa Rica’s mobile operator market
    • 8.2 Major mobile operator
      • 8.2.1 ICE
    • 8.3 Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
  • 9. Cuba
    • 9.1 Overview of Cuba’s mobile operator market
    • 9.2 Major mobile operator
      • 9.2.1 ETECSA
  • 10. Dominican Republic
    • 10.1 Overview of the Dominican Republic’s mobile operators market
    • 10.2 Major mobile operators
      • 10.2.1 Claro (formerly Verizon Dominicana)
      • 10.2.2 Orange Dominicana
      • 10.2.3 Tricom
      • 10.2.4 VIVA (formerly Trilogy Dominicana)
  • 11. Ecuador
    • 11.1 Mobile market overview in Ecuador
    • 11.2 Major mobile operators
      • 11.2.1 Average Revenue per User (ARPU) and other statistics
      • 11.2.2 Claro (Conecel)
      • 11.2.3 Movistar (Otecel)
      • 11.2.4 CNT
  • 12. El Salvador
    • 12.1 Overview of El Salvador’s mobile operators market
    • 12.2 Major mobile operators
      • 12.2.1 Tigo (Millicom)
      • 12.2.2 Claro (América Móvil)
      • 12.2.3 Movistar (Telefónica Móviles)
      • 12.2.4 Digicel
      • 12.2.5 RED (Intelfon)
  • 13. Guatemala
    • 13.1 Overview of Guatemala’s mobile operators market
    • 13.2 Mobile statistics
    • 13.3 Major mobile operators
      • 13.3.1 Tigo (Millicom)
      • 13.3.2 Claro (América Móvil)
      • 13.3.3 Movistar (Telefónica)
      • 13.3.4 RED (Intelfon)
  • 14. Guyana
    • 14.1 Overview of Guyana’s mobile operators market
    • 14.2 Major mobile operators
      • 14.2.1 Cellink (GT&T)
      • 14.2.2 Digicel Guyana
  • 15. Haiti
    • 15.1 Overview of Haiti’s mobile operators market
    • 15.2 Major mobile operators
      • 15.2.1 Digicel
      • 15.2.2 Comcel (Voilà)
      • 15.2.3 Haiti Telecommunications International (HaiTel)
      • 15.2.4 Natcom
      • 15.2.5 Rectel (Teleco)
  • 16. Honduras
    • 16.1 Overview of Honduras’ mobile operators market
    • 16.2 Major mobile operators
      • 16.2.1 Tigo/Celtel (Millicom)
      • 16.2.2 Claro/Sercom (América Móvil)
      • 16.2.3 Hondutel
      • 16.2.4 Digicel
  • 17. Jamaica
    • 17.1 Overview of Jamaica’s mobile operators market
    • 17.2 Major mobile operators
  • 18. Mexico
    • 18.1 Overview of Mexico’s mobile operators market
    • 18.2 Major mobile operators
      • 18.2.1 Telcel
      • 18.2.2 Movistar
      • 18.2.3 Grupo Iusacell
      • 18.2.4 Nextel de México
  • 19. Nicaragua
    • 19.1 Overview of Nicaragua’s mobile operators market
    • 19.2 Major mobile operators
      • 19.2.1 Claro (América Móvil)
      • 19.2.2 Movistar (Telefónica)
  • 20. Panama
    • 20.1 Overview of Panama’s mobile operators market
    • 20.2 Major mobile operators
      • 20.2.1 +Móvil (C&WP)
      • 20.2.2 Movistar (Telefónica)
      • 20.2.3 Digicel Panamá
      • 20.2.4 Claro Panamá (América Móvil)
  • 21. Paraguay
    • 21.1 Overview of Paraguay’s mobile operators market
    • 21.2 Major mobile operators
      • 21.2.1 Tigo (Millicom International Cellular)
      • 21.2.2 Personal (Núcleo/Telecom Argentina)
      • 21.2.3 Claro (América Móvil)
      • 21.2.4 Vox (Hola Paraguay/Copaco)
  • 22. Peru
    • 22.1 Overview of Peru’s mobile operators market
    • 22.2 Major mobile operators
      • 22.2.1 Average Revenue per User (ARPU) statistics
      • 22.2.2 Movistar Perú (Telefónica Móviles Perú)
      • 22.2.3 Claro Perú (América Móvil)
      • 22.2.4 Nextel del Perú (NII Holdings)
      • 22.2.5 Viettel Peru
    • 22.3 Mobile Virtual Network operator (MVNO)
      • 22.3.1 Virgin Mobile – MVNO prospects
  • 23. Puerto Rico
    • 23.1 Overview of Puerto Rico’s mobile operators market
    • 23.2 Major mobile operators
      • 23.2.1 AT&T Mobility
      • 23.2.2 Claro (América Móvil)
      • 23.2.3 T-Mobile
      • 23.2.4 Sprint PCS
      • 23.2.5 Open Mobile
  • 24. Suriname
    • 24.1 Overview of Suriname’s mobile operators market
    • 24.2 Major mobile operators
      • 24.2.1 TeleG (Telesur)
      • 24.2.2 Digicel
      • 24.2.3 Uniqa
  • 25. Uruguay
    • 25.1 Overview of Uruguay’s mobile operators market
    • 25.2 Major mobile operators
      • 25.2.1 Antel
      • 25.2.2 Movistar
      • 25.2.3 Claro
  • 26. Venezuela
    • 26.1 Overview of Venezuela’s mobile operators market
    • 26.2 Mobile operators
      • 26.2.1 Average Revenue per User (ARPU) and other statistics
      • 26.2.2 Movilnet (CANTV)
      • 26.2.3 Movistar (Telefónica)
      • 26.2.4 Digitel
      • Table 1 – Evolution of mobile ARPU in Argentina – major operators – 2008 - 2011
      • Table 2 – Claro – mobile subscribers – 1999 - 2012
      • Table 3 – Personal – mobile subscribers – 1999 - 2012
      • Table 4 – Movistar – mobile subscribers – 1999 - 2012
      • Table 5 – Nextel – mobile subscribers – 2002 - 2012
      • Table 6 – Entel – mobile subscribers – 2000 - 2012
      • Table 7 – Tigo – mobile subscribers – 2003 - 2012
      • Table 8 – Mobile operators’ market share – 2002-2012
      • Table 9 – Evolution of mobile ARPU in Brazil – major operators – 2008 - 2011
      • Table 10 – Vivo – mobile subscribers – 2002-2012
      • Table 11 – Vivo/Telemig– mobile subscribers – 2002-2007 (historical)
      • Table 12 – TIM Brasil – mobile subscribers – 2002-2012
      • Table 13 – Claro – mobile subscribers – 2002-2012
      • Table 14 – Oi – mobile subscribers – 2002-2012
      • Table 15 – Oi/Amazônia/BrT – mobile subscribers –2002 - 2008 (historical)
      • Table 16 – Nextel – mobile subscribers – 2002-2012
      • Table 17 – CTBC – mobile subscribers – 2003-2012
      • Table 18 – Sercomtel – mobile subscribers – 2003-2012
      • Table 19 – Mobile subscribers, annual change and penetration in Caribbean countries – Jun 2011
      • Table 20 – Mobile ARPU in Chile – major operators – 2008 - 2011
      • Table 21 – Entel PCS – mobile subscribers – 1999 - 2012
      • Table 22 – Movistar – mobile subscribers – 1999 - 2012
      • Table 23 – Claro – mobile subscribers – 1999 - 2012
      • Table 24 – Evolution of mobile ARPU in Colombia – major operators – 2008 - 2011
      • Table 25 – Claro subscribers – 2001-2012
      • Table 26 – Movistar subscribers – 2001-2012
      • Table 27 – Tigo subscribers – 2003-2012
      • Table 28 – Evolution of mobile ARPU in Ecuador – major operators – 2008 - 2011
      • Table 29 – Mobile operators’ market share – 1997 - 2012
      • Table 30 – Claro – mobile subscribers – 1997 - 2012
      • Table 31 – Movistar – mobile subscribers – 1997 - 2012
      • Table 32 – Alegro – mobile subscribers – 2003 - 2012
      • Table 33 – Tigo – mobile subscribers – 1997 – 2012
      • Table 34 – Claro – mobile subscribers – 2002 - 2012
      • Table 35 – Movistar – mobile subscribers – 2000 - 2012
      • Table 36 – Digicel – mobile subscribers – 2003 - 2011
      • Table 37 – RED – mobile subscribers – 2005 - 2012
      • Table 38 – Mobile subscribers by operator (regulator data) – 2003 - 2011
      • Table 39 – Market share by mobile operator – 2000 - 2011
      • Table 40 – Tigo – mobile subscribers – 2000 - 2012
      • Table 41 – Claro – mobile subscribers – 2000 - 2011
      • Table 42 – Movistar – Central American revenue – 2010 - 2012
      • Table 43 – Movistar – mobile subscribers – 2000 - 2011
      • Table 44 – GT&T mobile subscribers – 1999 - 2012
      • Table 45 – Tigo – mobile subscribers – 2000 - 2012
      • Table 46 – Tigo financial data – 2009 - 2010
      • Table 47 – Tigo mobile ARPU – 2009 - 2010
      • Table 48 – Claro – mobile subscribers – 2003 - 2012
      • Table 49 – Telcel subscribers and annual change – 2000 - 2012
      • Table 50 – Telcel churn, monthly minutes of use and ARPU – 2008 - 2012
      • Table 51 – Telcel wireless revenue – 2010 - 2012
      • Table 52 – Movistar subscribers and annual change – 2001 - 2012
      • Table 53 – Movistar churn, minutes of use and ARPU – 2008 - 2012
      • Table 54 – Movistar financial data – 2006 - 2012
      • Table 55 – Iusacell subscribers and annual change – 2000 - 2010
      • Table 56 – Unefón subscribers and annual change until merger 2007 – 2000 - 2007
      • Table 57 – Claro – mobile subscribers – 2003 - 2010
      • Table 58 – Movistar – mobile subscribers – 2000 – 2010
      • Table 59 – C&W – mobile subscribers – 2005 – 2012
      • Table 60 – Tigo - mobile subscribers – 2002 - 2012
      • Table 61 – Personal - mobile subscribers – 2002 - 2012
      • Table 62 – Evolution of mobile ARPU in Peru – major operators – 2007 - 2010
      • Table 63 – Movistar – mobile subscribers – 2001 - 2012
      • Table 64 – Claro – mobile subscribers – 2001 - 2012
      • Table 65 – Nextel subscribers – 2001 - 2012
      • Table 66 – Antel – mobile subscribers – 2002 - 2012
      • Table 67 – Movistar – mobile subscribers - 2002 - 2012
      • Table 68 – Claro – mobile subscribers – 2004 - 2012
      • Table 69 – Evolution of mobile ARPU in Venezuela – major operators – 2008 - 2011
      • Table 70 – Market share of mobile operators – 2001 - 2012
      • Table 71 – Movilnet – mobile subscribers – 2001 - 2012
      • Table 72 – Movistar subscribers – 2001 - 2012
      • Chart 1 – Operators’ mobile ARPU – 2008–2011
      • Chart 2 – Mobile market share at a glance – 2011
      • Chart 3 – Operators’ mobile ARPU – 2008- 2011
      • Chart 4 – Evolution of mobile ARPU – 2008 - 2011
      • Chart 5 – Mobile operators’ market share at a glance – April 2012
      • Chart 6 – Tigo – mobile subscribers – 2002 – 2012
      • Chart 7 – Mobile subscribers by operator (regulator data) – 2003 – 2011
      • Chart 8 – Tigo – mobile subscribers – 2000 – 2012
      • Chart 9 – Telcel subscribers and annual change – 2000 – 2012
      • Chart 10 – Movistar subscribers and annual change – 2001 – 2012
      • Chart 11 – Movistar financial data – 2006 – 2012
      • Chart 12 – Iusacell subscribers and annual change – 2000 – 2010
      • Chart 13 – Mobile ARPU at a glance – 2008 - 2011
      • Chart 14 – Mobile market share at a glance – 2012 (Mar)
      • Exhibit 1 – Claro at a glance
      • Exhibit 2 – Telecom Personal at a glance
      • Exhibit 3 – Movistar at a glance
      • Exhibit 4 – Subdivision of Brazil into regions and areas for mobile licensing
      • Exhibit 5 – Telefônica Brasil at a glance
      • Exhibit 6 – Vivo – concessions
      • Exhibit 7 – The uneasy marriage between Telefónica and Portugal Telecom (historical)
      • Exhibit 8 – TIM Brasil at a glance
      • Exhibit 9 – TIM Brasil – concession awards for frequency bands A, B, D, E
      • Exhibit 10 – Claro Brasil at a glance
      • Exhibit 11 – Claro – concessions
      • Exhibit 12 – Oi (TNL PCS) at a glance
      • Exhibit 13 – Oi – concession awards for frequency bands A, D, E, M
      • Exhibit 14 – Entel PCS at a glance
      • Exhibit 15 – Telefónica Móviles Chile at a glance
      • Exhibit 16 – Claro Chile at a glance
      • Exhibit 17 – Claro at a glance
      • Exhibit 18 – Movistar at a glance
      • Exhibit 19 – Tigo at a glance
      • Exhibit 20 – Tigo/Telemóvil – company history
      • Exhibit 21 – BellSouth Guatemala – history
      • Exhibit 22 – Aló PCS – history
      • Exhibit 23 – Enitel Movil – history
      • Exhibit 24 – Movistar – history
      • Exhibit 25 – BellSouth Panama/Telefónica Móviles Panamá – history
      • Exhibit 26 – Telefónica Móviles Perú at a glance
      • Exhibit 27 – Claro Perú at a glance
      • Exhibit 28 – Nextel Perú at a glance
      • Exhibit 29 – Movilnet at a glance
      • Exhibit 30 – Movistar at a glance
      • Exhibit 31 – Digitel at a glance

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Number of pages 119

Status Archived

Last updated 6 Feb 2013
Update History

Analyst: Lucia Bibolini

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