Growth in Colombia’s mobile market has slowed in recent years though it retains significant potential, particularly in the mobile broadband sector where penetration is still low and where strong demand exists in rural areas where fixed-line infrastructure remains poor. The market has seen considerable competition from the MVNO sector, with Virgin Mobile alone having almost 2.6 million subscribers as of mid-2017.
Three MNOs dominate the mobile market: Claro (the trading name of Comunicacíon Celular), Movistar (trading as Colombia Telecomunicacíon), and Tigo (trading as Colombia Móvil and owned by Millicent International). The leading player remains Claro, but its market share has been falling since 2009. The local trunking service provider Avantel serves a small number of mostly corporate customers using digital iDEN technology.
The MVNOs Uff! Móvil, ETB and Móvil Éxito offer mobile voice and internet services over Tigo’s network, while Metrotel and Virgin Mobile have entered into wholesale agreements with Movistar. Since Tigo merged with UNE-EPM it has been able to offer converged services across fixed and mobile networks. Tigo in mid-2017 revised its hosting arrangement with Uff! Móvil in a bid to keep the MVNO in business after it had seen a dramatic fall in its subscriber base.
The regulator and government in early 2017 made progress on their plan to auction spectrum in the 700MHz and 1900MHz bands, aimed at improving LTE services across the country.
This report provides insights into Colombia’s mobile market, including key market statistics and analyses as well as profiles of the major mobile operators and scenario forecasts to 2022.
Claro Colombia trials 5G technology; regulator increases spectrum cap for MNOs to help improve network capacity; Tigo Colombia sells 1,200 mobile towers to ATC; Claro fined COP3.16 trillion and Movistar fined COP1.65 trillion for failing to meet certain licence conditions; MinTIC calls for expressions of interest in the planned auction of spectrum in the 700MHz and 1900MHz bands; Movistar launches commercial VoLTE services; regulator amends fixed-to-mobile MTRs; Tigo Colombia launches an M2M service; Claro extends LTE coverage to 425 municipalities; DirectTV launches LTE services; Avantel plans $250 million investment in LTE; report update includes the regulator’s market data to December 2017, operator data to Q4 2017, recent market developments.
Claro/Comcel, Movistar, Tigo, Avantel, DirecTV, UNE-EPM, Uff! Móvil, ETB, Metrotel, Emcali, Virgin Mobile, Móvil Éxito, Globalstar.
Number of pages 28
Last updated 27 Apr 2018
Analyst: Henry Lancaster
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