Publication Date: December 2023
Report Pages: 177
Analyst: Henry Lancaster
In Aug 2021 Liberty Latin America (LLA) completed its acquisition of Telefónica Costa Rica (Movistar) — Costa Rica’s second-largest mobile network operator — for around $505 million. The deal followed on the heels of the failure of Millicom to buy Movistar earlier in the year, at a higher price. LLA’s local unit Cabletica will be able to combine its fixed telecom services with Movistar’s mobile offerings. A rebranding exercise is anticipated in 2022, with the Movistar brand likely to be phased out.
The fixed broadband market is one of the few parts of Costa Rica’s telecom sector to experience solid growth in recent years, both in size and revenue. The country’s fibre network expanded by 56% in 2020, reaching about 176,200km. Fixed-line broadband traffic volume also increased by more than 30%, year-on-year.
Other areas of the market have proven relatively lacklustre, with slow or even negative growth. Some of this can be attributed to the economic and social impacts of the pandemic, but the fixed-line and mobile sectors have both been struggling to produce decent results since well before the start of the crisis. The rollout of 5G network infrastructure in Costa Rica is unlikely to occur to any scale before 2023, but this may be one of the few remaining areas of opportunity open to investors outside of fixed-line internet and pay TV services.
Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE), Cabletica, Claro, Liberty Latin America, Movistar, RASCA, Telecable, Tigo
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