Guatemala’s fixed-line market continues to shrink as customers adopt mobile voice and data services. The poor state of fixed-line infrastructure has led to the country having one of the lowest teledensities in the region, while fixed-line broadband penetration is also relatively low. In many rural regions of the country there is no fixed-line access available, and so mobile services are adopted by necessity. About 88% of all lines are mobile, a proportion matched in internet connectivity. The outlook further into 2017 and 2018 is characteristic of former years, with the fixed-line market continuing to stagnate while the mobile sectors develops slowly but steadily, stimulated by operator investments in LTE infrastructure.
Anticipated GDP growth for 2017 will provide greater disposable household revenue and so stimulate demand for telecom and ICT services. This would be more marked should the country free itself from its legacy of violence, poverty, and corruption, factors which continue to inhibit prospective investors.
Among the poorer countries in Latin America, Guatemala’s telecom infrastructure has suffered from years of underinvestment from state and provincial governments. Network upgrades, in both the fixed-line and mobile sector, have largely been undertaken by the private sector. A number of key players, including Telefónica and América Móvil, are regional and global powerhouses which can tap into expertise and financial resources to bolster their Guatemalan businesses. Given the commercial impetus of these operators, insufficient government financial investment has resulted in many regional areas remaining with poor or non-existent services. Nevertheless, the country benefits from one of the most open regulatory frameworks, with all telecom sectors having been open to competition since 1996.
América Móvil controls about 88% of the fixed lines in service through its subsidiary Claro. Mobile telephony is the most developed telecom market sector in Guatemala, accounting for most voice lines and internet access lines. The intense competition among the three operators has helped to improve services and lower prices for end-users. Mobile penetration is on a par with the regional average, though the slower growth in the mobile subscriber base suggests a level of market saturation, with the emphasis among operators being on generating revenue via mobile data services.
|Penetration of telecoms services:||Penetration|
|Mobile SIM (population)||113.9%|
Tigo (Millicom), Telefónica (Movistar), Claro (Telgua), Guatel, Cablenet, Unitel, Comcel, A-Tel
Companies (Major Players)
Mobile & Wireless Broadband and Media
Mobile Communications (voice and infrastructure)
Regulations & Government Policies
Strategies & Analyses (Industry & Markets)
Number of pages 32
Last updated 23 May 2017
Analyst: Henry Lancaster
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