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MVNOs in Latin America: Regulatory Changes Create Growth Opportunities for New Market Players

MVNOs in Latin America: Regulatory Changes Create Growth Opportunities for New Market Players


This report analyzes the MVNO market in Latin America. It looks at some of the most successful initiatives for each business model. It also assesses the regulatory and support framework for MVNO growth. It concludes with case studies and recommendations on what regulators, MNOs and MVNOs can do to make the market more dynamic and take advantage of growth opportunities.

Features and benefits

  • Understand what MVNOs are and how they operate
  • Learn about the MVNO market in Latin America and the current state of play.
  • Look at what regulatory changes are helping to drive MVNO growth in the region.
  • Understand future opportunities and issues in this market.
  • The presence of MVNOs in Latin America is very limited, particularly when compared to more mature regions such as Western Europe and North America, where MVNOs have attracted a considerable number of subscribers. Despite the modest performance of MVNOs at the regional level, some countries like Colombia and Chile have generated greater activity.
  • There has been a resurgence of interest in the MVNO model in Latin America. Regulators and policy makers across the region have recently started to issue specific laws to regulate entry and activity. Brazil, Argentina and Ecuador have already passed specific MVNO regulations, while Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru are in the process of doing so.
Your key questions answered
  • What are MVNOs and how do they work>
  • What is the current penetration of MVNOs in Latin America?
  • How is changing regulation in the region helping the MVNO market?
  • What can regulators, MVNOs and MNOs do to further spur growth?

MVNOs operate in the mobile market through agreements with MNOs, whether in a direct or an indirect manner
Based on their marketing approach, MVNOs can be grouped into 11 different categories
MVNO penetration in Latin America relatively low compared to more mature regions
Colombia, Mexico and Chile account for 80.6% of total MVNO subscriptions in Latin America, despite low penetration levels in the latter two markets
Telco and niche MVNOs account for 55% of total commercial MVNOs in the region
Around 55% of all active MVNOs in Latin America operate in Chile and Mexico
Although the youth segment is the largest demographic group served by MVNOs, there are opportunities in other niches including professional groups and sports clubs
The first wave of MVNOs in Latin America was comprised of telcos and cablecos without spectrum assets, looking to complement their fixed service portfolio with mobility services
Established MNOs in the region are looking to launch their own MVNOs as a way to target clients more effectively and compete with MVNOs without diluting their core brand
Most Latin American MVNOs focusing on the M2M market are based in Brazil
The presence of retail MVNOs is still low in Latin America, but a number of retail businesses across the region have announced plans to launch mobile phone services using this business model
The ethnic and discount business models have struggled to gain traction in Latin America and continue to face low growth prospects
By 2020, Mexico will become the largest MVNO market in Latin America in terms of subscribers, overtaking Colombia, while Brazil will register the fastest growth rate
Regulators look for ways to boost competition
Interest in MVNOs is increasing across Latin America as regulators and policy makers look for ways to stimulate competition in their respective mobile phone markets
Colombia and Chile, the most active MVNO markets in Latin America, have introduced measures to boost competition
Colombia will remain most mature MVNO market in Latin America throughout forecast period with an MVNO subscriber share above 9%
Telefonica’s Tuenti becomes first MVNO to integrate the telco and OTT (app) model in Spain, plans to expand throughout Latin America
Porto Seguro Conecta is expanding its service offering from the M2M to the retail segment, targeting existing insurance services and credit card clients
Colombian group Grupo Exito becomes the first retailer in Latin America to launch MVNO services
Market set to grow further as penetration offers room for expansion and regulatory changes make entry easier
Further Reading
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