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Colombia - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts - Product Image

Colombia - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts

  • Published: July 2013
  • Region: Colombia
  • 67 Pages
  • Paul Budde Communication Pty Ltd

This report is essential reading for those needing high-level strategic information and objective analysis on the telecom sector in Colombia. It provides further information on:

- Regulatory environment;
- Economic trend and its impact on telecommunications;
- Analyses of Colombia’s telecom sectors;
- Telecoms operators: consolidations, acquisitions, new licences;
- Company performances and ARPU statistics;
- Spectrum auctions and regulatory issues;
- 3G and 4G mobile broadband developments;Historical and current subscriber statistics and forecasts.

1. Key Statistics
1.1 Country overview
1.1.1 Economic background

2. Telecommunications Market
2.1 Overview of Colombia’s telecom market
2.2 Historical review
2.3 Market analysis – 2013

3. Regulatory Environment
3.1 Background
3.2 Convergence Decree
3.3 The ICT Law of 2009
3.4 Developments
3.5 Regulatory authorities
3.5.1 CRC (previously CRT)
3.5.2 ANTV
3.6 Privatisation
3.7 Telecom sector liberalisation in Colombia
3.8 Universal service fund
3.9 Licensing
3.10 Foreign investment
3.11 Wholesale
3.12 Interconnect
3.13 Access
3.14 Number portability
3.15 Multicarrier system/carrier preselection
3.16 Per-minute billing
3.17 Subsidies
3.18 Fines

4. Fixed Network Operators
4.1 Overview of operators
4.1.1 Local operators
4.1.2 Long-distance operators
4.2 ETB
4.2.1 Privatisation and merger plans
4.3 Movistar (previously Telefónica Telecom/Colombia Telecom)
4.4 UNE-EPM Telecomunicaciones
4.4.1 Previous subsidiaries
4.4.2 Edatel
4.4.3 Telefónica de Pereira
4.5 Claro (Telmex Colombia/América Móvil)
4.6 Emcali
4.7 Telebucaramanga

5. Telecommunications Infrastructure
5.1 National telecom network
5.1.1 Fixed-line statistics
5.2 International infrastructure
5.2.1 Submarine cable networks
5.2.2 Satellite networks
5.3 Infrastructure developments
5.3.1 Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
5.4 Wholesale Overview

6. Broadband Market
6.1 Overview
6.1.1 Internet/broadband statistics
6.1.2 Major ISPs and broadband players
6.2 Government initiatives
6.2.1 ICT access projects
6.2.2 Compartel
6.2.3 National ICT Plan
6.2.4 Vive Digital
6.2.5 National fibre-optic network
6.3 Cable modems
6.4 Asynchronous Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)
6.5 Fibre-to-the-Home (FttH) services
6.6 WiMAX
6.7 Media convergence
6.7.1 Triple play solutions
6.7.2 Broadband TV (IPTV)

7. Digital Media / Digital Economy
7.1 Digital economy
7.1.1 E-commerce
7.2 Broadcasting
7.2.1 Market overview
7.2.2 Cable TV
7.2.3 Satellite TV
7.2.4 Digital terrestrial TV

8. Mobile Communications
8.1 Overview of Colombia’s mobile market
8.1.1 Mobile statistics
8.2 Regulatory issues
8.2.1 Spectrum regulations and auctions
8.2.2 Mobile number portability
8.2.3 Theft prevention
8.3 Mobile technologies
8.3.1 Overview
8.3.2 Third Generation (3G) mobile networks (UMTS)
8.3.3 Long Term Evolution (LTE)
8.4 Mobile Network operators
8.4.1 Claro (Comcel/América Móvil)
8.4.2 Movistar (Telefónica)
8.4.3 Tigo (Colombia Móvil/Millicom, EPM, ETB)
8.4.4 Avantel
8.4.5 UNE-EPM
8.5 Mobile Virtual Network Operators
8.5.1 Market analysis
8.5.2 Uff! Móvil
8.5.3 UNE-EPM
8.5.4 ETB
8.5.5 Metrotel
8.5.6 Emcali
8.5.7 Virgin Mobile
8.5.8 Móvil Éxito
8.6 Mobile voice services
8.6.1 Prepaid
8.7 Mobile Messaging
8.7.1 Short Message Service (SMS)
8.8 Mobile broadband
8.9 Mobile satellite

9. Forecasts
9.1 Forecasts – fixed-line market 2015; 2020
9.1.1 Scenario 1 – higher fixed line growth
9.1.2 Scenario 2 – lower fixed line growth
9.2 Forecasts – fixed broadband market – 2015; 2020
9.2.1 Scenario 1 – higher broadband growth
9.2.2 Scenario 2 – lower broadband growth
9.3 Forecasts – mobile market –2015; 2020
9.3.1 Scenario 1 – higher mobile market growth
9.3.2 Scenario 2 – lower mobile market growth
9.4 Notes on scenario forecasts

Table 1 – Country statistics Colombia – 2013
Table 2 – Telephone network statistics – 2013
Table 3 – Internet user statistics – 2013
Table 4 – Broadband statistics – 2013
Table 5 – Mobile statistics – 2013
Table 6 – Regulatory authorities
Table 7 – Evolution of GDP in Colombia – 2000 - 2014
Table 8 – Fixed and mobile market share – 1998 - 2013
Table 9 – Share of fixed lines in service (major operators) – 2000 - 2013
Table 10 – DLD traffic: market share by operator – 2000 - 2013
Table 11 – ILD outgoing traffic: market share by operator – 2000 - 2013
Table 12 – ETB – lines in service – 2000-2013
Table 13 – Movistar – lines in service – 2000-2013
Table 14 – UNE – lines in service – 2000 - 2013
Table 15 – Claro– lines in service – 2000-2013
Table 16 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 1996-2013
Table 17 – Internet users and user penetration rates– 1997-2013
Table 18 – Broadband subscribers and penetration rates – 2002-2013
Table 19 – Broadband technologies in Colombia – market share – 2003-2013
Table 20 – Major broadband operators – market share– 2011-2012
Table 21 – Cable modem subscribers and penetration rates – 2003-2013
Table 22 – ADSL subscribers and penetration rates – 2003-2013
Table 23 – Colombia – B2C e-commerce spending – 2005 - 2013
Table 24 – Cable TV subscribers and penetration rates – 2000-2013
Table 25 – Major cable-TV providers – market share – 2004-2013
Table 26 – Satellite TV subscribers and penetration rates – 2000-2013
Table 27 – Satellite TV operators’ market share – 2004-2013
Table 28 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 1997-2013
Table 29 – Market share of mobile operators – 2001-2013
Table 30 – Evolution of mobile ARPU in Colombia – major operators – 2009 - 2012
Table 31 – Number Portability results – July 2012
Table 32 – 3G subscribers (mobile broadband and mobile phone access) – 2010 - 2013
Table 33 – Claro subscribers – 2001-2013
Table 34 – Movistar subscribers – 2001-2013
Table 35 – Tigo subscribers – 2003-2013
Table 36 – Mobile prepaid/postpaid ratio – 2005-2013
Table 37 – Mobile broadband market share of operators – 2010 - 2013
Table 38 – Forecast fixed lines – higher growth scenario –2015; 2020
Table 39 – Forecast fixed lines – lower growth scenario –2015; 2020
Table 40 – Forecast broadband subscribers – higher growth scenario – 2015; 2020
Table 41 – Forecast broadband subscribers – lower growth scenario – 2015; 2020
Table 42 – Forecast mobile subscribers – higher growth scenario – 2015; 2020
Table 43 – Forecast mobile subscribers – lower growth scenario – 2015; 2020

Chart 1 – Fixed and mobile subscribers in Colombia – 2002 – 2013
Chart 2 – Fixed lines in service - market share at a glance - 2003 – 2013
Chart 3 – Fixed lines in service – market evolution at a glance – 2003 - 2013
Chart 4 – Broadband subscribers – market evolution at a glance – 2003-2013
Chart 5 – Broadband market share at a glance – 2012
Chart 6 – Mobile subscribers – market evolution at a glance – 2003 – 2013
Chart 7 – Mobile market share at a glance – 2012

Exhibit 1 – Map of Colombia
Exhibit 2 – ETB at a glance
Exhibit 3 – Movistar at a glance
Exhibit 4 – UNE-EPM Telecomunicaciones at a glance
Exhibit 5 – UNE subsidiaries and affiliates
Exhibit 6 – Telmex Colombia (trading as Claro) at a glance
Exhibit 7 – Major ISPs, broadband players and services offered
Exhibit 8 – 4G auction results
Exhibit 9 – Comcel (trading as Claro) at a glance
Exhibit 10 – Movistar at a glance
Exhibit 11 – Tigo at a glance

Five Will Roll Out 4G Lte Services In Colombia

The 2013 yearly update of the 'Colombia - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband, and Forecasts' report provides a comprehensive overview of the trends and developments in the telecommunications market of Colombia, including the regulator’s statistics, company data, and other industry indicators to the end of 2012, as well as estimates for 2013 and expected market developments in the coming years.

Economic climate

Like other countries around the world, Colombia has been hit by the global economic slump. Reduced commodity prices and demand have affected exports, slowing GDP growth. In the first half of 2013, the country’s economy also suffered from industrial disputes and a sluggish manufacturing sector.
Regulatory framework

The main regulatory instruments in the telecom sector are the Convergence Decree and the ICT Law. The first sets out the rules attached to the Convergence Licence. It also requires telcos with dominant market position to provide wholesale services and unbundling. The second promotes universal access, ensures free competition and the efficient use of infrastructure and spectrum, and above all, it strengthens consumer protection.

Telecom market outlook

We estimate that the fastest growing sectors in 2013 will be 3G and 4G mobile services, satellite TV, and fixed broadband. The fixed-line sector will continue to stagnate or contract. The mobile telephony sector appears to be facing early market saturation: many of the wealthier citizens already have two or more mobile phones, while a large percentage of the population cannot afford even one.

Investment potential

Colombia is included in a group of up-and-coming nations (dubbed CIVETS) touted as hot markets because of their large potential returns. Hoping to attract tourism and foreign investment, the Colombian government is trying to shake off the country’s image as a trouble spot. In fact, according to some economic analysts, Colombia is becoming the hidden investment gem of South America.

Market consolidation

For several years, the Colombian telecom market has been experiencing mergers, intensifying competition, and increasing convergence. The cable TV sector, in particular, has undergone major consolidation and, as a result, two companies, Claro and UNE, together control 89% of the market. Claro and Movistar have consolidated their mobile and fixed-line businesses, and further consolidation and changes of ownership are expected, with Millicom International Cellular and municipally owned EPM involved in negotiations aimed at merging their fixed and mobile operations – respectively UNE and Tigo.

Fixed-line market

Fixed-line teledensity in Colombia is only 13.5% and well below the Latin American average, yet the number of lines in service continues to decrease steeply, with customers abandoning traditional phones in favour of mobile handsets. As in other Latin American countries, most of the existing fixed telephone lines are concentrated in the larger cities, leaving the rest of the population under-serviced.

Fixed-line operators

Colombia has about 20 local telephony providers, operating municipally, regionally, or nationally. Many of these started as private companies, but later became public concerns owned by their respective municipalities. The leading fixed-line operator in terms of lines in service is ETB, controlled by Bogotá’s local government. Telefónica’s Movistar is the second largest provider. UNE-EPM, owned by the municipality of Medellín, occupies a close third place. Telmex Colombia, which has adopted the brand name Claro, has a rapidly growing market share thanks to the growing popularity of its triple play services.

Broadband market

Colombia’s broadband penetration is far higher than would be expected based on GDP per capita, which is quite low in Colombia. ADSL is the leading broadband technology, but cable broadband has been regaining much of its lost market share, growing at a healthy rate both in subscriber numbers and in geographical coverage. The resurgence of cable modem is largely due to the growing popularity of triple play bundles including broadband, telephony, and cable TV.

Broadband players

Colombia’s leading broadband players are fixed-line operators Claro, UNE-EPM, Movistar, and ETB. Claro provides cable modem access, UNE offers both ADSL and cable modem services, while Movistar and ETB use ADSL technology.

National broadband plans

The Colombian government has launched several initiatives to increase fixed broadband penetration, including Computers for Schooling (which provides refurbished second-hand computers to schools), Compartel (which endeavours to provide every Colombian with access to telephone and internet services), Vive Digital (involving projects that subsidise internet access for schools, low-income households, and rural areas), and the National Fibre Optic Project.

Mobile market

Although below the regional average, Colombia’s mobile penetration is quite high compared with the country’s relatively low economic indicators. While the market has slowed down, it still holds significant growth potential, particularly in the mobile broadband sector where penetration is still very low. The years 2010-2013 have brought significant changes to the Colombian mobile environment, with the launch of several MVNOs and the arrival of 4G/LTE technology, among others.

Mobile Network Operators

Three Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) dominate the mobile market: Claro, Movistar, and Tigo. The leader is Claro, with a 61% market share, but its subscriber base has been gradually shrinking since 2009. Local trunking service provider Avantel serves a small number of mostly corporate customers using digital iDEN technology. UNE operates a 4G/LTE network in six Colombian cities.

Mobile Virtual Network Operators

Colombia has six Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs), with UNE being both an MNO and an MVNO. Uff! Móvil, UNE, ETB, and Móvil Éxito offer mobile voice and internet services over Tigo’s network, while Metrotel and Virgin Mobile have entered into wholesale agreements with Movistar.

Colombia’s fixed-line, broadband, and mobile statistics – 2011 - 2013

Sector | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 (e) |
Fixed-lines in service |
Teledensity per capita | 15.5% | 13.5% | 13.2% |
Broadband |
Penetration per capita | 6.6% | 8.3% | 9.4% |
Mobile telephony subscribers |
Penetration per capita | 98% | 103% | 105% |
(Source: BuddeComm based on industry data)

Market Highlights

A highly successful 4G auction in June 2013 saw five winning bidders: Claro, Movistar, Tigo/ETB, Avantel, and DirecTV – the latter being a completely new market entrant. Licence winners are required to launch LTE services before mid-2014; Movistar plans to do so before end-2013.ETB sources claim the operator will not take part in the Tigo/UNE merger, but will continue to hold a 25% share in Tigo – while the new, merged company will own 75%. The next couple of years, however, could bring changes to this scenario.According to company sources, Movistar needs more cash for mobile spectrum and other expenses, and Telefónica has been looking into various ways to raise the funds – including a rights offering. The Colombian government, however, is opposed to any deal that might dilute its 30% stake.The government has pledged to spend Col$300 billion (US$165 million) on a project to subsidise internet services for the country’s poor. Among others, the scheme will provide free computers and internet access to 100,000 families when they receive free government housing.Virgin Mobile launched MVNO services in April 2013 targeting the youth niche market, while Móvil Éxito did so in May 2013, offering services through its Grupo Éxito retail outlets.Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.

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