Guatemala - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Executive summary

Guatemalan regulator preps for AWS 1700MHz spectrum auction

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.

Key developments:

  • Regulator prepares for 1700MHz spectrum auction in mid-2019;
  • Millicom acquires the cableco Cable DX;
  • Movistar and Tigo extend LTE services;
  • International mobile money remittance services gain traction;
  • América Móvil’s AMX-1 cable enters service, providing connectivity between Guatemala and several countries including the US and Brazil;
  • Report update includes the regulator’s market data to December 2017, operators’ data to Q2 2018, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Tigo (Millicom), Telefónica (Movistar), Claro (Telgua), Guatel, Cablenet, Unitel, Comcel, A-Tel

Table of Contents

  • 1. Executive summary
  • 2. Key statistics
  • 3. Country overview
  • 4. Telecommunications market
    • 4.1 Historic overview
  • 5. Regulatory environment
    • 5.1 Regulatory authority
      • 5.1.1 Superintendencia de Telecomunicaciones (SIT)
    • 5.2 Telecom sector liberalisation
    • 5.3 Privatisation of Guatel/Telgua
    • 5.4 DR-CAFTA
    • 5.5 Interconnection
    • 5.6 Foreign investments
  • 6. Fixed network operators
    • 6.1 Claro/Telgua (América Móvil)
    • 6.2 Movistar (Telefónica)
  • 7. Telecommunications infrastructure
    • 7.1 National fibre-backbone networks
      • 7.1.1 Public payphones
    • 7.2 International infrastructure
      • 7.2.1 Interconnection with other Central American countries
      • 7.2.2 Submarine cable networks
      • 7.2.3 Satellite networks
  • 8. Broadband market
    • 8.1 Introduction and statistical overview
      • 8.1.1 Market analysis
      • 8.1.2 Broadband statistics
  • 9. Mobile market
    • 9.1 Market analysis
      • 9.1.1 Mobile statistics
      • 9.1.2 Mobile voice services
      • 9.1.3 Mobile broadband
    • 9.2 Regulatory issues
      • 9.2.1 Spectrum auctions
    • 9.3 Mobile infrastructure
      • 9.3.1 Analogue networks
      • 9.3.2 Digital networks
      • 9.3.3 Other infrastructure developments
    • 9.4 Major mobile operators
      • 9.4.1 Tigo Guatemala
      • 9.4.2 Claro (América Móvil)
      • 9.4.3 Movistar (Telefónica)
      • 9.4.4 RED (Intelfon)
    • 9.5 Mobile content and applications
      • 9.5.1 M-payment
  • 10. Related reports
  • Table 1 – Top Level Country Statistics and Telco Authorities - Guatemala – 2018 (e)
  • Table 2 – Evolution of GDP in Guatemala – 2000 - 2018
  • Table 3 – Fixed lines by main operator – 2009 - 2017
  • Table 4 – Fixed lines by minor operator – 2009 - 2017
  • Table 5 – Historical - Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 1996 - 2009
  • Table 6 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 2010 - 2019
  • Table 7 – Public payphones in service – 2003; 2008; 2012-2017
  • Table 8 – Historical - Internet users and penetration rate – 1997 - 2009
  • Table 9 – Internet users and penetration rate – 2010 - 2018
  • Table 10 – Fixed-line broadband subscribers and penetration rates – 2005 - 2018
  • Table 11 – Mobile prepaid/postpaid ratio – 2002 - 2017
  • Table 12 – Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 1997 - 2009
  • Table 13 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 2010 - 2019
  • Table 14 – Mobile subscribers by operator (regulator data) – 2003 - 2017
  • Table 15 – Market share by mobile operator – 2000 - 2017
  • Table 16 – Mobile traffic by operator – 2014 - 2017
  • Table 17 – Mobile traffic market share by operator – 2014 - 2017
  • Table 18 – Active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration – 2009 - 2018
  • Table 19 – Tigo mobile subscribers – 2000 - 2018
  • Table 20 – Tigo financial data – 2015 - 2018
  • Table 21 – Claro – mobile subscribers – 2000 - 2017
  • Table 22 – Movistar Guatemala mobile subscribers – 2003 - 2017
  • Chart 1 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 2005 – 2019
  • Chart 2 – Internet users and penetration rate – 2010 – 2018
  • Chart 3 – Broadband subscribers and penetration rates – 2005 – 2018
  • Chart 4 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 2003 – 2019
  • Chart 5 – Mobile subscribers by operator (regulator data) – 2003 – 2017
  • Chart 6 – Market share by mobile operator – 2000 – 2017
  • Exhibit 1 – Major submarine cable networks connecting Guatemala

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