Colombia - Mobile Infrastructure, Broadband, Operators - Statistics and Analyses

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Last updated: 15 May 2019 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 55


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 2.9 million subscribers as of mid-2018.

Three MNOs dominate the mobile market: Claro (the trading name of Comunicacíón Celular), Movistar (trading as Colombia Telecomunicacíón), 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 though it has also provided services based on LTE since mid-2014.

The MVNOs 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 (becoming Tigo Une Colombia in the process) 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. This was a temporary measure and Uff! Móvil ceased trading in mid-2018, heavily indebted to TigoUne.

This report provides insights into Colombia’s mobile market, including key market statistics and analyses as well as profiles of the major operators, subscriber forecasts and assessments of market developments and emerging technologies.

Key developments:

  • Regulator concludes consultation on 5G roadmap, again calls for interest in postponed multi-spectrum auction;
  • Claro Colombia trials 5G technology;
  • Regulator increases spectrum cap for MNOs to help improve network capacity;
  • TigoUne sells 1,200 mobile towers to ATC, launches an M2M service;
  • Avantel plans $250 million investment in LTE;
  • Report update includes the regulator’s market data to December 2018, operator data to Q1 2019, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Claro/Comcel, Movistar, Tigo (TigoUne), Avantel, DirecTV, UNE-EPM, Uff! Móvil, ETB, Metrotel, Emcali, Virgin Mobile, Móvil Éxito, Globalstar.

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