Paraguay - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Executive summary

Paraguay’s incumbent telco and government agencies coordinate fibre expansion efforts

The state-owned incumbent, Corporación Paraguaya de Comunicaciones (Copaco) retains a monopoly on all fixed-line voice services, including local telephony, international long-distance telephony, and VoIP. In the mobile market, however, there has been competition since 1998. The internet market is also open to competition, and there are over a dozen ISPs offering services. Copaco lost its monopoly over the international backbone for internet connectivity in early 2009.

Growth in the number of mobile subscribers in recent years has been helped by the poor condition of much of the country’s fixed-line infrastructure. Underinvestment in infrastructure by Copaco has meant that lift Paraguay’s teledensity remains very low for the region. There is little expectation that the situation will be addressed effectively until the operator is restructured. Despite this the number of mobile subscriptions fell in 2017, partly due to economic constraints and partly due to price competition among operators which has made it less attractive to have SIM cards from different networks.

Another major drawback for Copaco and for Paraguay’s telecom sector generally is the country’s landlocked position, which makes it dependant on neighbouring nations for interconnection with submarine cable networks. This has driven up the price of broadband services, hampered growth in the sector and resulted in relatively low penetration. Available technologies include DSL, cable modem, FttP, and WiMAX. Copaco has a near-monopoly in the DSL market, given that there is little regulatory provision for unbundled local loops and other access mechanisms. DSL is the main fixed broadband technology, but it is unavailable in much of the country due to low teledensity. There is a fast-growing fibre broadband market, though the number of subscribers remains small while network builds remain limited to certain pockets within the major cities.

Copaco’s main competitor in the fixed broadband market is Millicom’s Tigo, which offers broadband via cable modem under the brand name Tigo Hogar. The service is available in Asunción and neighbouring towns over a Hybrid Fibre-Coaxial (HFC) network. Tigo also provides broadband using WiMAX and FttP technologies.

There is effective competition in the mobile market, which is served by four operators: Tigo (the market leader), Telecom Argentina’s Personal (Núcleo), América Móvil’s Claro, and Copaco’s Vox. These operators have capitalised on the opportunities created by poor fixed-line infrastructure and by consumer demand for mobile voice and data services. There are about 18 mobile phones in Paraguay for every fixed-line in service, the highest proportion in Latin America.

Key developments:

  • Telcos and government agencies agree to coordinate efforts to improve fibre connectivity;
  • Regulator raises $84 million from 700MHz auction; approves updated National Telecommunications Plan 2016 – 2020;
  • Tigo to invest $100 million to provide 66% population coverage with LTE by end-2020;
  • Paraguay joins the South American fibre ring project developed by the Union of South American Nations;
  • Report update includes the regulator’s market data to for 2017, operator data to Q3 2018, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Copaco, Millicom (Tigo Paraguay), Vox, América Móvil (Claro Paraguay), Grupo Clarin, DirecTV, Personal (Telecom Argentina).

Table of Contents

  • 1. Executive summary
  • 2. Key statistics
  • 3. Country overview
  • 4. Telecommunications market
    • 4.1 Historical overview
    • 4.2 Market analysis
  • 5. Regulatory environment
    • 5.1 Historical overview
    • 5.2 Regulatory authority
    • 5.3 Universal Service Fund
  • 6. Fixed network operators
    • 6.1 Copaco
  • 7. Telecommunications infrastructure
    • 7.1 National telecom network
    • 7.2 International infrastructure
    • 7.3 Infrastructure developments
      • 7.3.1 Wireless Local Loop (WLL)
  • 8. Wholesale
  • 9. Data centres
  • 10. Fixed-line broadband market
    • 10.1 Introduction and statistical overview
    • 10.2 Broadband statistics
    • 10.3 WiMAX
    • 10.4 Forecasts – fixed broadband subscribers – 2019; 2021; 2023
  • 11. Digital economy
    • 11.1 eHealth
  • 12. Mobile market
    • 12.1 Market analysis
    • 12.2 Mobile statistics
    • 12.3 Mobile data
      • 12.3.1 SMS / MMS
    • 12.4 Mobile broadband
    • 12.5 Forecasts – mobile subscribers – 2019; 2021; 2023
    • 12.6 Regulatory issues
      • 12.6.1 Spectrum allocations and spectrum auctions
      • 12.6.2 1700MHz and 2100MHz
      • 12.6.3 700MHz
      • 12.6.4 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
    • 12.7 Mobile infrastructure
      • 12.7.1 4G (LTE)
      • 12.7.2 3G
      • 12.7.3 Other infrastructure developments
    • 12.8 Machine-to-Machine (M2M)
    • 12.9 Major mobile operators
      • 12.9.1 Tigo (Millicom International Cellular)
      • 12.9.2 Personal (Núcleo/Telecom Argentina)
      • 12.9.3 Claro (América Móvil)
      • 12.9.4 Vox (Hola Paraguay/Copaco)
  • 13. Related reports
  • Table 1 – Top Level Country Statistics and Telco Authorities - Paraguay – 2018 (e)
  • Table 2 – Evolution of GDP in Paraguay – 2000 - 2018
  • Table 3 – Fixed and mobile market share of subscribers– 1998 - 2018
  • Table 4 – Historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 1997 - 2009
  • Table 5 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 2010 - 2018
  • Table 6 – International bandwidth – 2005- 2016
  • Table 7 – Tigo broadband homes connected – 2015 - 2018
  • Table 8 – Historic - Internet users and user penetration – 1998 - 2009
  • Table 9 – Internet users and user penetration – 2010 - 2018
  • Table 10 – Historic - Broadband subscribers, annual change and penetration – 2000 - 2009
  • Table 11 – Broadband subscribers, annual change and penetration – 2010 - 2018
  • Table 12 – Fixed broadband subscribers by platform– 2006 – 2016
  • Table 13 – Fixed internet subscribers by access speed – 2010 - 2016
  • Table 14 – Forecast fixed broadband subscribers –2019; 2021; 2023
  • Table 15 – Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 1997 - 2009
  • Table 16 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 2010 - 2018
  • Table 17 – Mobile subscribers: contract and prepaid – 2010 - 2016
  • Table 18 – Mobile operators’ market share – 2002 - 2016
  • Table 19 – SMS traffic – 2012 – 2015
  • Table 20 – Mobile broadband subscribers by data rate – 2010 - 2017
  • Table 21 – Active mobile broadband subscribers – 2009 - 2018
  • Table 22 – Forecast mobile broadband subscribers –2019; 2021; 2023
  • Table 23 – Mobile spectrum distribution
  • Table 24 – Annual mobile numbers ported – 2012 – 2016
  • Table 25 – Tigo mobile subscribers (regulator data) – 2002 – 2017
  • Table 26 – Tigo mobile subscribers (company data) – 2016 – 2018
  • Table 27 – Tigo revenue – 2015 – 2018
  • Table 28 – Personal - mobile subscribers – 2002 - 2018
  • Table 29 – Personal ARPU – 2010 - 2015
  • Table 30 – Personal mobile revenue – 2011 - 2018
  • Table 31 – Claro mobile subscribers – 2010 - 2017
  • Table 32 – Vox mobile subscribers – 2010 - 2017
  • Chart 1 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 2005 – 2018
  • Chart 2 – Internet users and user penetration – 2005 – 2018
  • Chart 3 – Broadband subscribers, annual change and penetration – 2005 – 2018
  • Chart 4 – Fixed broadband subscribers by platform– 2006 – 2016
  • Chart 5 – Fixed internet subscribers by access speed – 2010 - 2016
  • Chart 6 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 2005 – 2018
  • Chart 7 – Mobile subscribers: contract and prepaid – 2010 – 2016
  • Chart 8 – Mobile operators’ market share – 2002 – 2016
  • Chart 9 – Tigo revenue – 2015 – 2018
  • Exhibit 1 – Map of Paraguay

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