Among the poorer countries in Latin America, Guatemala’s telecom infrastructure has suffered from years of underinvestment from state and provincial governments. The poor state of fixed-line infrastructure has led to Guatemala having one of the lowest teledensities in the region. In many rural regions of the country there is no fixed-line access available, and so mobile services are adopted by necessity.
Network upgrades, in both the fixed-line and mobile sectors, have largely been undertaken by the private sector. Private investment has been supported by government and regulatory efforts, resulting in a steady growth in the number of fixed lines which in turn has supported growth in the fixed broadband segment. In the mobile sector operator investments in LTE infrastructure have stimulated the take-up of mobile data services.
Steady GDP growth should provide greater disposable household revenue and so stimulate demand for telecom and ICT services. This could be more marked if the country managed to free itself from its legacy of violence, poverty, and corruption, factors which continue to inhibit prospective investors.
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.
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 33
Last updated 30 Aug 2018
Analyst: Henry Lancaster
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