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Central America Telecommunications Report Q1 2012
Business Monitor International, January 2012, Pages: 93
BMI's Q112 Central America Telecommunications report analyses and assesses the latest developments in the telecoms markets of seven countries: Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama. In addition to containing new mobile subscriber figures for the second quarter of 2011, the report contains revised five-year growth forecasts which chart how the country's different telecommunications sectors are likely to develop.
It provides industry professionals and strategists, corporate analysts, telecommunication associations, government departments and regulatory bodies with independent forecasts and competitive intelligence on Central America's telecommunications industry.
During Q411, MNOs Telefónica and América Móvil launched in Costa Rica during mid-November, alongside the country's second MVNO Fullmovil in September 2011. With this launch, BMI expects the anaemic mobile market, dominated for years by incumbent ICE, to expand strongly. Competition has been one of the main factors influencing high telecoms sector growth rates in some countries such as El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Panama, while Belize, Costa Rica and Nicaragua, have historically lagged behind. This should propel Costa Rica to become one of the more developed telecoms markets in the region, in line with its level of economic development.
Belize Telemedia has remained in state hands, following the government takeover in July and it is likely to remain there. However, there are substantial disagreements over the value of the 95% shareholding which the government had expropriated from the Ashcroft Alliance. Consultancy Nera, hired by the government, put the value of the holding as low as BZD1.74 a share, while the Ashcroft group has asked for BZD10 a share. The dispute continues.
While data is patchy, BMI believes that mobile penetration is continuing to rise at speed. The only operator to provide subscriber figures for individual countries in Central America is Millicom International Cellular, whose Tigo service is the mobile market leader in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. The operator revealed it had 791,000 3G data users in September 2011 and had experienced subscriber growth in El Salvador and Guatemala of 8% and 15% respectively. In Honduras, however, its market share had fallen by 1%.
In Other regional news, the Central American Committees of Standardisation and Legal Affairs of the Technical Commission of Telecommunications (Comtelca) held a week-long meeting in October 2011to discuss rules, charges, fees and tariffs in the region. Regulators from Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras Nicaragua and Panama attended. Comtelca is a regional organisation that aims to improve integration and cooperation of Central America's telecoms market. This is the second time the organisation has met in H211 and BMI welcomes this, believing that taking further steps towards regional integration in Central America will bring long-term benefits for operators and customers in the region.
A key topic at the meeting is roll-out of a regional fibre-optic network. Currently, such a network stretching from southern Mexico to Panama is being developed. This regional approach can bring greater cost and efficiency savings than building separate networks in each of the small countries of Central America. As a result, pooled investment can bring greater connectivity than investment in the individual countries. BMI believes an integrated network would serve to improve communication between the countries, and help with economic integration in addition to telecoms integration.
As incomes increase, particularly in countries with strong economic growth such as Panama, data revenues will become increasingly important for bolstering ARPUs. However, as many countries in Central America continue to struggle in the wake of the economic crisis, such effects may remain muted.
There has been little change in BMI forecasts this quarter, mainly due to a lack of new data. As the markets are small, regional operators such as Telefónica and América Móvil group together for Central America as a whole, while local operators and regulators rarely release any data at all. This may lead to inaccuracies in BMI's projections. However, given news sources and occasional releases, alongside ITU data, BMI forms its estimates in the most accurate way possible.
BMI's telecommunications report for Central America contains a revised set of Risk Reward Ratings for Latin America. These replace its previous Business Environment Ratings. This quarter, nearly all of the Central American markets have seen changes to their overall scores and position, with El Salvador climbing to 5th place while Costa Rica and Guatemala fall t 7th and 8th place respectively. Panama, Belieze, Niaragua and Honduras remain at the bottom of BMI's ratings, demonstrating that the Central American region continues to lag behind the rest of Latin America in terms of telecoms development.
Central America Telecommunications SWOT
Latin America Risk Reward Ratings
Table: Q112 Risk Reward Ratings
Industry Forecast Scenario
Table: Central America – Mobile Sector, 2009-2016
Table: Central America – Fixed-Line Sector, 2009-2016
Table: Central America – Internet Sector, 2009-2016
Market Data Analysis
Table: Belize Telemedia Ltd Subscribers ('000)
Table: Belize – Mobile Market, September 2011
Table: Costa Rica – Mobile Market, September 2011
Table: El Salvador – Mobile Market, September 2011
Table: Guatemala – Mobile Market, September 2011
Table: Honduras – Mobile Market, September 2011
Table: Nicaragua – Mobile Market, September 2011
Table: Panama – Mobile Market, September 2011
Mobile Contract Wins
Table: Mobile Contract Wins
Table: Guatemala's Fixed-Line Market, June 2010
Table: Honduras' Fixed Lines In Service, Q409-Q410 ('000)
Table: Honduras' Telecoms Usage, Minutes, 2002-2010 (mn)
Table: Panama's Fixed-Line Market, 2005-2010 ('000)
Table: Honduras' Internet Market 2005-2010
Table: Nicaragua's Internet Subscriber Types, 2004-2006 (%)
Regulatory Environment And Industry Developments
Table: Central America's Telecoms Regulators
Table: Samsung Financial Results (KRWtrn)
Regional Profile: Millicom International Cellular
Millicom SWOT Analysis
Table: Millicom International Cellular Subscribers
Regional Profile: América Móvil
America Movil SWOT Analysis
Table: América Móvil Central America Subscribers ('000)
Table: América Móvil Mobile Data, 2009-2011
Table: Regional Mobile Penetration Overview
Table: Regional Fixed-Line Penetration Overview
Table: Regional Broadband Penetration Overview
Glossary Of Terms
Table: Glossary Of Terms
How We Generate Our Industry Forecasts
Table: Key Indicators For Telecommunications Industry Forecasts
Telecoms Business Environment Ratings
Table: Ratings Indicators
Table: Weighting Of Indicators
- Samsung Electronics
- Millicom International Cellular
- América Móvil
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