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Chile - Mobile Market - Overview, Statistics and Forecasts


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Chile’s mobile penetration is one of the highest in Latin America, but lags behind Panama, Uruguay, and Argentina. Three major mobile companies serve the Chilean market: Almendral’s Entel, Telefónica’s Movistar, and América Móvil’s Claro.

Competition is heating up in Chile. Mobile number portability has been introduced nationwide. Four new entrants have joined the mobile market, with a fifth one expected to begin operations by early 2013. The four are Nextel Chile, VTR, GTD, and Virgin Mobile. Nextel and VTR have launched 3G networks, while GTD and Virgin Mobile are offering Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO) services. The fifth, local retail giant Falabella, is preparing to enter the MVNO market.

Chile’s telecom regulator Subtel has completed a public auction for frequencies in the 2.5GHz band, to be used for 4G LTE services. Having each won a block of spectrum, Entel, Movistar, and Claro are required to launch an LTE network by mid-2013.

Smartphone sales are soaring in Chile, driven by the popularity of social media and improved 3G coverage – as well as diminishing prices and a wider range of devices.

Accompanied by key market statistics and analyses, this report provides an overview of the market and a brief profile of mobile operators (with operator data to Q2 2012). It also contains scenario forecasts for the years 2015 and 2020.

Key developments:

Chile’s Tower Act, devised for health and environmental reasons, is helping to promote MVNOs and infrastructure sharing; to encourage customer mobility, the regulator has banned the sale of carrier-locked handsets, and ordered operators to unlock devices free of charge.

Companies covered in this report include:

Entel, Movistar, Claro, Nextel, VTR, GTD, Virgin Mobile, and Falabella.


1. Synopsis
2. Overview of Chile’s mobile market
2.1 Mobile statistics
3. Regulatory issues
3.1 3G spectrum auctions
3.2 4G spectrum auctions
3.3 Mobile number portability
3.4 Mobile towers
4. Mobile technologies
4.1 Overview
4.2 Second Generation (2G) mobile
4.3 Third Generation (3G) mobile
4.4 Long-term evolution (LTE)
4.5 Mobile handsets/smartphones
5. Mobile network operators
5.1 Entel PCS
5.2 Movistar (Telefónica Móviles Chile)
5.3 Claro Chile (América Móvil)
5.4 Nextel Chile
5.5 VTR
6. Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
6.1 Overview
6.2 GTD Móvil
6.3 Virgin Mobile Chile
6.4 Falabella Móvil
7. Mobile voice services
7.1 Prepaid
8. Mobile messaging
8.1 Short message service (SMS)
9. Mobile broadband
10. Mobile satellite
11. Forecasts – mobile market – 2015; 2020
11.1 Overview
11.2 Scenario 1 – higher mobile market growth
11.3 Scenario 2 – lower mobile market growth
11.4 Notes on scenario forecasts
12. Related reports
List of Tables, Charts and Exhibits
Table 1 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 1995 - 2012
Table 2 – Mobile ARPU in Chile – major operators – 2008 - 2011
Table 3 – 3G subscribers and penetration – 2006 - 2012
Table 4 – Operators’ 3G market share – 2009-2012
Table 5 – Mobile operators’ market share– 1999 - 2012
Table 6 – Entel PCS – mobile subscribers – 1999 - 2012
Table 7 – Movistar – mobile subscribers – 1999 - 2012
Table 8 – Claro – mobile subscribers – 1999 - 2012
Table 9 – Mobile prepaid/postpaid ratio – 1999 - 2012
Table 10 – SMS messages sent – 2003 - 2011
Table 11 – Mobile broadband connections and penetration – 2009 - 2012
Table 12 – Share of mobile versus fixed broadband connections – 2009 - 2012
Table 13 – Forecast mobile subscribers – higher growth scenario – 2015; 2020
Table 14 – Forecast mobile subscribers – lower growth scenario – 2015; 2020
Chart 1 – Mobile subscribers – market evolution at a glance – 2002 - 2012
Chart 2 – Evolution of mobile ARPU – 2008 - 2011
Chart 3 – 3G market share at a glance – March 2012
Chart 4 – Mobile market share at a glance – March 2012
Exhibit 1 – Entel PCS at a glance
Exhibit 2 – Telefónica Móviles Chile at a glance
Exhibit 3 – Claro Chile at a glance

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