Colombia - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media - Statistics and Analyses

Publication Overview

This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Colombia’s telecommunications market. The report analyses the mobile, internet, broadband, digital TV and converging media sectors. Subjects include:

  • Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
  • Facts, figures and statistics;
  • Industry and regulatory issues;
  • Infrastructure developments;
  • Major Players, Revenues, Subscribers, ARPU, MoU;
  • Internet, VoIP, IPTV;
  • Mobile Voice and Data Markets;
  • Broadband (FttP, DSL, cable, wireless);
  • Convergence and Digital Media;
  • Mobile subscriber and ARPU forecasts;
  • Broadband market forecasts for selective years to 2022.
  • Government policies affecting the telecoms industry;
  • Market liberalisation and industry issues;
  • Telecoms operators – privatisation, IPOs, acquisitions, new licences;
  • Mobile technologies (GSM; 3G, HSPA, LTE).

Researcher:- Henry Lancaster
Current publication date:- September 2017 (16th Edition)

Executive Summary

Colombian government preps telcos for planned multi-spectrum auction

Colombia’s telecom infrastructure is reasonably well developed though service availability is relatively poor in small urban centres and rural areas. The government has endeavoured to address this with a number of public programs, and has facilitated the entry of operators to the mobile market in a bid to improve competition and extend the availability of mobile broadband services nationally.

There are about two-dozen local telephony providers, many of which had started as private companies but later became public concerns owned by their respective municipalities. The number of lines in service continues to fall steadily, with customers abandoning traditional phones in favour of mobile voice services. As in other Latin American countries, most of the existing fixed telephone lines are concentrated in the larger cities, leaving the rest of the population under-serviced.

Colombia’s broadband penetration is relatively high for the region, though growth in the sector has been hampered by poor fixed-line infrastructure in many of the country’s 32 departments. The government has launched several initiatives to increase broadband take-up, and has in place the National ICT Plan 2008-2019 aimed at encouraging the use of ICTs and of internet services as a vehicle for economic growth. The Live Digital for the People 2014-2018 program is concentrated on promoting the use of ICT in sectors including agriculture, education, health and tourism, and also involves projects that subsidise internet access for schools, low-income households, and rural areas. The Computers for Schooling program by early 2017 had distributed more than 1.6 million computers. These efforts have had considerable success, leading to far higher growth in the number of broadband subscriptions among the lower socio-economic groups in recent years.

Cable broadband commands just over half of the fixed-line broadband market by subscribers, with DSL having a declining share and with fibre-based broadband developing strongly. Although most fibre infrastructure is concentrated in high-density urban areas growth in fibre broadband connections has far outpaced the other platforms in recent years, and the developing footprint of fibre networks is increasingly leading to the migration of DSL subscribers.

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.

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 an overview of Colombia’s telecom infrastructure and regulatory environment, together with profiles of the major fixed-line operators and a range of market statistics and analyses. It also provides insights into the mobile market, including key market statistics and analyses as well as profiles of the major mobile operators and scenario forecasts to 2022. In addition the report covers the broadband and pay TV markets, accompanied by relevant statistics, analyses, and broadband scenario forecasts to 2022.

Key developments:

  • Court ruling halts Bogotá city’s plans to sell its 86.5% stake in ETB;
  • Regulator launches phase two of its Digital Connections Project extending broadband to underserved areas;
  • Government investing COP200 billion in national Wi-Fi network to 2018;
  • Azteca Comunicaciones finishes fibre network rollout;
  • COP1.2 trillion to be invested in National Fibre Optic Project;
  • ETB expands its fibre service, intending to cover one million premises by end-2018;
  • 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;
  • Claro extends LTE coverage to 425 municipalities;
  • Report includes telcos’ operating updates, ANTV data to June 2017, regulator’s market data to March 2017, telco’s operating data to Q2 2017, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Movistar/Telefónica, Claro (Telmex/Comcel), UNE-EPM, Emcali, Tigo Colombia, Avantel, Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Santa Fe de Bogotá (ETB), Telebucaramanga, Telefónica de Pereira, Edatel, BT Colombia, Calipso, Caucatel, Colomsat, Synapsis, DirecTV, Global TV, Uff! Móvil, Metrotel, Virgin Mobile, Móvil Éxito, Globalstar

Table of Contents

  • 1. Key statistics
    • 1.1 Country overview
  • 2. Telecommunications market
    • 2.1 Historical overview
    • 2.2 Market analysis
  • 3. Regulatory environment
    • 3.1 Historical overview
    • 3.2 Regulatory authorities
      • 3.2.1 Communications Regulations Commission (CRC, previously CRT)
      • 3.2.2 ANTV
    • 3.3 Convergence Decree
    • 3.4 The ICT Law of 2009
    • 3.5 Privatisation
    • 3.6 Telecom sector liberalisation
    • 3.7 Universal Service Fund
    • 3.8 Licensing
    • 3.9 Foreign investment
    • 3.10 Interconnect
    • 3.11 Access
    • 3.12 Number Portability (NP)
    • 3.13 Multicarrier system/Carrier PreSelection (CPS)
    • 3.14 Per-minute billing
    • 3.15 Subsidies
  • 4. Fixed network operators
    • 4.1 Introduction
    • 4.2 ETB
      • 4.2.1 Privatisation and merger plans
    • 4.3 Movistar (Telefónica Telecom/Colombia Telecom)
    • 4.4 UNE-EPM Telecomunicaciones
      • 4.4.1 Previous subsidiaries
      • 4.4.2 Edatel
      • 4.4.3 Telefónica de Pereira
    • 4.5 Claro (Telmex Colombia/América Móvil)
    • 4.6 Emcali
    • 4.7 Telebucaramanga
  • 5. Telecommunications infrastructure
    • 5.1 Overview of the national telecom network
    • 5.2 International infrastructure
      • 5.2.1 Submarine cable networks
      • 5.2.2 Satellite networks
      • 5.2.3 Terrestrial links
    • 5.3 Wholesale
  • 6. Broadband market
    • 6.1 Introduction and statistical overview
    • 6.2 Market analysis
      • 6.2.1 Government initiatives
      • 6.2.2 Broadband statistics
      • 6.2.3 Forecasts – fixed broadband market – 2018; 2020; 2022
    • 6.3 Hybrid Fibre Coax (HFC) networks
    • 6.4 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks
    • 6.5 Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP) networks
    • 6.6 Other fixed broadband services
      • 6.6.1 WiMAX
      • 6.6.2 Satellite broadband
      • 6.6.3 Media convergence
  • 7. Digital economy
    • 7.1 E-commerce
  • 8. Digital media
    • 8.1 Introduction
    • 8.2 Cable TV
      • 8.2.1 Claro (Telmex Colombia)
      • 8.2.2 UNE-EPM
    • 8.3 Videostreaming
    • 8.4 Satellite TV
    • 8.5 Digital Terrestrial TV (DTTV)
    • 8.6 Communications: VoIP
  • 9. Mobile communications
    • 9.1 Market analysis
    • 9.2 Mobile statistics
      • 9.2.1 General statistics
      • 9.2.2 Mobile voice
      • 9.2.3 Mobile data
      • 9.2.4 Mobile broadband
      • 9.2.5 Forecasts – mobile subscribers – 2018; 2020; 2022
    • 9.3 Regulatory issues
      • 9.3.1 Spectrum regulations and auctions
      • 9.3.2 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
      • 9.3.3 Mobile Termination Rates (MTRs)
    • 9.4 Mobile infrastructure
      • 9.4.1 Digital networks
      • 9.4.2 Other infrastructure developments
    • 9.5 Major mobile operators
      • 9.5.1 Claro (Comcel/América Móvil)
      • 9.5.2 Movistar (Telefónica/Colombia Telecomunicaciones)
      • 9.5.3 Tigo Colombia (Colombia Móvil/Millicom, EPM, ETB)
      • 9.5.4 Avantel
      • 9.5.5 UNE-EPM
    • 9.6 Mobile Virtual Network Operators
      • 9.6.1 Market analysis
      • 9.6.2 Uff! Móvil
      • 9.6.3 ETB
      • 9.6.4 Metrotel
      • 9.6.5 Emcali
      • 9.6.6 Virgin Mobile
      • 9.6.7 Móvil Éxito
    • 9.7 Mobile content and applications
      • 9.7.1 Machine-to-Machine (M2M)
      • 9.7.2 Mobile TV
      • Table 1 – Country statistics Colombia – 2017 (e)
      • Table 2 – Telephone network statistics – 2017 (e)
      • Table 3 – Internet user statistics – 2017 (e)
      • Table 4 – Broadband statistics – 2017 (Mar)
      • Table 5 – Mobile statistics – 2017 (e)
      • Table 6 – Regulatory authorities
      • Table 7 – Evolution of GDP in Colombia – 2000 - 2017
      • Table 8 – Historic - Fixed and mobile market share – 1998 - 2009
      • Table 9 – Fixed and mobile market share – 2010 - 2017
      • Table 10 – Telcom market revenue (COP) – 2000 - 2015
      • Table 11 – Telcom market revenue (US$ billion) – 2000 - 2015
      • Table 12 – Share of fixed lines in service (major operators) – 2000 - 2015
      • Table 13 – ETB share of subscriptions by services (Bogota) – 2013 - 2017
      • Table 14 – ETB – lines in service – 2000 - 2017
      • Table 15 – ETB revenue by service – 2013 - 2017
      • Table 16 – Movistar – fixed lines in service – 2000 - 2017
      • Table 17 – UNE – lines in service – 2000 - 2017
      • Table 18 – UNE – EPM financial data – 2015 - 2017
      • Table 19 – Claro fixed lines in service – 2000 - 2017
      • Table 20 – Claro revenue by sector – 2013 - 2017
      • Table 21 – Historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 1996 - 2009
      • Table 22 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 2010 - 2018
      • Table 23 – Historic - Internet users and user penetration rates – 1997 - 2009
      • Table 24 – Internet users and user penetration rates– 2010 - 2018
      • Table 25 – Broadband subscribers by access speed – 2013 - 2016
      • Table 26 – Total internet subscribers (fixed and mobile) and penetration – 2012 - 2017
      • Table 27 – Fixed-line broadband subscribers and penetration rates – 2002 - 2018
      • Table 28 – Major broadband operators – market share– 2011 - 2016
      • Table 29 – Broadband subscribers by major operator – 2012 - 2017
      • Table 30 – Market share of broadband lines by technologies – 2003 - 2017
      • Table 31 – Forecast broadband subscribers – 2018; 2020; 2022
      • Table 32 – Cable modem subscribers and penetration rates – 2003 - 2017
      • Table 33 – DSL subscribers and penetration rates – 2003 - 2017
      • Table 34 – Fibre broadband subscribers – 2012 - 2017
      • Table 35 – Pay TV providers’ market share – 2013 - 2017
      • Table 36 – Pay TV subscribers by operator – 2010 - 2017
      • Table 37 – Pay TV revenue – 2010 - 2014
      • Table 38 – Cable TV subscribers and penetration rates – 2000 - 2017
      • Table 39 – Satellite TV subscribers and penetration rates – 2000 - 2017
      • Table 40 – Satellite TV operators’ market share – 2004 - 2017
      • Table 41 – Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 1997 - 2009
      • Table 42 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 2010 - 2019
      • Table 43 – Market share of mobile operators – 2001 - 2017
      • Table 44 – Mobile prepaid/postpaid ratio – 2005 - 2017
      • Table 45 – SMS messages sent – 2013 - 2016
      • Table 46 – MMS messages sent – 2013 - 2016
      • Table 47 – Mobile internet subscribers by technology (2G, 3G, 4G) – 2011 - 2017
      • Table 48 – Mobile internet subscribers by operator – 2013 - 2017
      • Table 49 – Mobile broadband market share by operator – 2010 - 2017
      • Table 50 – Active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration – 2008 - 2018
      • Table 51 – Forecast mobile subscribers – higher growth scenario – 2018; 2020; 2022
      • Table 52 – Spectrum allocations – 1993
      • Table 53 – 3G subscribers – 2010 - 2016
      • Table 54 – LTE subscribers – 2012 - 2016
      • Table 55 – Claro Colombia subscribers – 2001 - 2017
      • Table 56 – Claro Colombia mobile service revenue – 2013 - 2017
      • Table 57 – Movistar subscribers – 2001 - 2017
      • Table 58 – Movistar Colombia financial data – 2013 - 2017
      • Table 59 – Tigo Colombia subscribers – 2003 – 2017
      • Table 60 – Tigo Colombia subscribers (MinTIC data) – 2015 – 2017
      • Table 61 – Tigo Colombia financial data (historic) – 2010 - 2013
      • Table 62 – Avantel mobile subscribers – 2013 – 2017
      • Table 63 – UNE-EPM mobile subscribers – 2012 – 2017
      • Table 64 – Uff! mobile subscribers – 2011 – 2017
      • Table 65 – ETB mobile subscribers – 2013 – 2017
      • Table 66 – Virgin Mobile subscribers – 2013 – 2017
      • Table 67 – Móvil Exito subscribers – 2013 – 2016
      • Table 68 – Movistar M2M connections – 2014 - 2017
      • Chart 1 – Fixed lines in service – market evolution at a glance – 2005 - 2018
      • Chart 2 – Internet users and user penetration rates– 2005 – 2018
      • Chart 3 – Broadband subscribers – market evolution at a glance – 2003 - 2018
      • Chart 4 – Mobile subscribers – market evolution at a glance – 2005 – 2019
      • Exhibit 1 – Map of Colombia
      • Exhibit 2 – 4G auction results

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Paul, May I congratulate you on a very successful and enjoyable afternoon with the Minister. In providing the roundtable discussions between government and industry, it highlighted the strong interest by stakeholders in Broadband and its implementation but it also presented us with other issues and opportunities that we need to address.

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