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Chile - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts


Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

Telecom investment will remain high thanks to competition, which is intense in Chile. This report covers trends and developments in telecommunications, mobile, Internet, broadband, pay TV, and converging media. Subjects include:

  • Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
  • Facts, figures, and statistics;
  • Government policies and regulatory issues;
  • Historical information;
  • Telecom infrastructure;
  • Major players, revenues, subscribers, ARPU;
  • Internet, VoIP, IPTV;
  • Mobile voice and data markets;
  • Broadband (DSL, cable TV, WiMAX, BPL, mobile broadband, etc);
  • Convergence and pay TV market;
  • Scenario forecasts for the fixed-line, mobile, and broadband markets.


Chile is the most mature telecom market in Latin America and the region’s pioneer when it comes to new technologies. In fact, Chile was the first country in Latin America to see services such as mobile WiMAX, IPTV, wireless TVoIP, triple play, EDGE, and mobile voice-to-text, among others. It was the second country in the region, after Puerto Rico, to have 3G mobile services. In December 2009, Chile became the first country in Latin America and the fifth in the world (after Sweden, Norway, Japan, and the USA) to test LTE technology.  

Chile is viewed as a role model by the international business community for its competitive free market approach. In the Global Competitiveness Report 2009-2010, Chile was ranked thirtieth in the world and first in Latin America, scoring well thanks to a highly developed infrastructure, transparent institutions, and well-functioning goods and financial markets, but doing poorly in terms of its education system.  

The country is the regional leader in terms of Internet and broadband penetration. It used to boast the region’s highest penetration rates for mobile telephony, but has been overtaken by several other countries. In terms of fixed-line teledensity, it lags behind six other Latin American nations.  

Chile’s success in the broadband market can be attributed to the country’s relatively high GDP, its receptivity towards new technologies, and a setup that has succeeded in creating some competition between broadband providers. Nevertheless, Chile’s broadband map shows considerable disparities between regions, ranging from 13.5% broadband penetration per capita in Region II, an important industrial hub, to 4.5% in Region VII, a predominantly rural area.  

As elsewhere in the region, cell phones are far more popular than fixed lines in Chile. But mobile growth had already slowed before the onset of the global financial crunch, indicating that the country may be facing early mobile market saturation. In fact, while Chile’s GDP per capita is high compared with the rest of the region, the steep income disparity leaves a sizeable section of the population unable to afford a mobile handset. However, more and more people own two SIM cards: one for their cell phone, and one for mobile broadband.  

Market highlights:

  • Differently from other Latin American countries, Chile’s Telecom Development Fund is financed from the national budget rather than through levies on telecom operators. It offers one-off subsidies allocated through competitive tenders to private companies willing to invest in special projects.
  • Following the acquisition of Compañía Nacional de Telefonos Telefónica del Sur (also known as CNT or Telsur) in January 2010, the locally owned GTD Group increased its fixed-line market share from 4.2% to 10.2%.
  • Thanks to the popularity of triple play packages in Chile, VTR’s cable modem service has been making a comeback in terms of market share.
  • Chile has adopted the Japanese standard ISDB-T/MPEG-4 for digital terrestrial TV services, with a ten-year period for analogue TV to be completely replaced by digital TV.
  • Chile’s regulator Subtel expects to hold an LTE/4G auction in 2010 and operators hope to launch commercial LTE services in Chile by 2012.
  •  

Chile - key telecom parameters - 2008-2009
Sector | 2008 | 2009 (e) |
Internet |   |   |
Internet users (million) | 7.97 | 9 |
Penetration rate | 47.3% | 52.9% |
Annual growth | 8% | 13% |
Broadband |   |   |
Total subscribers (million) | 1.43 | 1.69 |
Penetration rate | 8.5% | 9.9% |
Annual growth | 9% | 19% |
Fixed-lines in service |   |   |
Total subscribers (million) | 3.53 | 3.60 |
Penetration rate | 20.9% | 21.2% |
Annual growth | 1.9% | 2.1% |
Mobile telephony subscribers |   |   |
Total subscribers (million) | 14.80 | 15.74 |
Penetration rate | 87.8% | 92.5% |
Annual growth | 6% | 6% |
(Source: BuddeComm based on industry data)

  For those needing an objective and high-level strategic analysis on Chile, this report is essential reading and gives further information on:
  • Regulatory framework and planned changes to the country’s telecom laws;
  • Mobile market outlook and developments, including spectrum awards;
  • Broadband market trends and players;
  • The remarkable uptake of 3G and mobile broadband;
  • The success of convergence and triple play solutions in Chile;
  • How different scenarios are likely to affect the fixed-line, mobile, and broadband markets in the ten years to 2020.
  •  
Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.

1. Key Statistics
1.1 Country overview
1.2 General outlook
2. Telecommunications Market
2.1 Overview of Chile’s telecom market
2.2 Telecom market trends
3. Regulatory Environment
3.1 Background
3.2 Regulatory authorities
3.2.1 Subtel
3.2.2 Competition authorities
3.3 Privatisation
3.4 Telecom sector liberalisation in Chile
3.5 Telecommunications Development Fund
3.6 Rural and community projects
3.7 Foreign investment
3.8 Multicarrier system
3.9 Tariffs
3.10 Number portability
3.11 Interconnect
3.12 Access
4. Fixed Network Market
4.1 Overview of operators
4.1.1 Local operators
4.1.2 Long-distance operators
4.2 Movistar (Telefónica Chile)
4.3 VTR Globalcom
4.4 Entel Chile
4.5 Telefónica del Sur (Telsur)
4.6 GTD Manquehue and the GTD Group
4.7 Telmex Chile
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 IP and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
5.3.2 Wireless Local Loop (WLL)
6. Internet Market
6.1 Overview
6.1.1 Internet statistics
6.2 Content and e-services
6.2.1 E-commerce
6.2.2 E-banking
6.2.3 E-government
7. Broadband Market
7.1 Overview
7.1.1 Broadband statistics
7.2 Digital strategy 2007-2012
7.3 Broadband players
7.4 Cable modems
7.4.1 VTR Banda Ancha
7.5 Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)
7.5.1 Movistar (Telefónica Chile)
7.5.2 Telsur
7.6 Wireless broadband
7.6.1 Wireless Local Loop (WLL)
7.6.2 WiFi
7.6.3 WiMAX
7.6.4 Internet via satellite
7.7 Mobile broadband
7.8 Broadband Powerline (BPL) and smart grids
7.9 Fibre-to-the-Home (FttH) networks
8. Convergence
8.1 Overview of media convergence
8.2 Triple play models
8.3 Pay TV market
8.3.1 Pay TV operators
8.3.2 Cable TV
8.3.3 Satellite TV
8.3.4 Broadband TV (IPTV and TVoIP)
8.4 Digital Terrestrial TV
9. Mobile Communications
9.1 Overview of Chile’s mobile market
9.1.1 Mobile statistics
9.2 Regulatory issues
9.2.1 2G spectrum auctions
9.2.2 3G spectrum auctions
9.2.3 Fixed-to-mobile call charges
9.2.4 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
9.2.5 Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
9.3 Mobile technologies
9.3.1 Second Generation (2G) mobile
9.3.2 Third Generation (3G) mobile
9.3.3 Long-term evolution (LTE)
9.4 Mobile operators
9.4.1 Movistar
9.4.2 Entel PCS
9.4.3 Claro Chile (América Móvil)
9.4.4 Nextel Chile
9.5 Mobile voice services
9.5.1 Prepaid services
9.5.2 Satellite mobile
9.6 Mobile data services
9.6.1 Short Message Service (SMS)
9.6.2 Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
9.6.3 Wireless Application Protocol (WAP)
9.6.4 Mobile TV
9.7 Mobile content and applications
9.7.1 Location-Based Services (LBS)
9.7.2 Mobile marketing
10. Forecasts
10.1 Forecasts - fixed-line market - 2010; 2015; 2020
10.1.1 Scenario 1 - higher fixed line growth
10.1.2 Scenario 2 - lower fixed line growth
10.2 Forecasts - fixed broadband market - 2010; 2015; 2020
10.2.1 Scenario 1 - higher broadband growth
10.2.2 Scenario 2 - lower broadband growth
10.3 Forecasts - mobile market - 2010; 2015; 2020
10.3.1 Scenario 1 - higher mobile market growth
10.3.2 Scenario 2 - lower mobile market growth
11. Glossary of Abbreviations
Table 1 - Country statistics Chile - 2009
Table 2 - Telephone network statistics - 2009
Table 3 - Internet user statistics - 2009
Table 4 - Broadband statistics - 2009
Table 5 - Mobile statistics - 2009
Table 6 - National telecommunications authority
Table 7 - Evolution of GDP in Chile - 2000-2010
Table 8 - Market share of fixed lines in service - 2000-2009
Table 9 - Entel and Movistar - market share of ILD and DLD traffic - 2001-2009
Table 10 - Movistar - lines in service - 1999-2009
Table 11 - VTR - telephony subscribers - 2000-2009
Table 12 - Entel - lines in service - 2001-2009
Table 13 - Telsur - lines in service - 1999-2009
Table 14 - Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 1996-2010
Table 15 - Public phones - 2000-2009
Table 16 - Internet users and user penetration - 2000-2010
Table 17 - Dial-up subscribers - 2000-2009
Table 18 - Dial-up and broadband market share - 2000-2009
Table 19 - E-commerce transactions - 2001-2009
Table 20 - Fixed broadband subscribers and penetration rates - 2000-2010
Table 21 - Broadband technology market share - 2001-2009
Table 22 - Broadband market share - major companies - 2001-2009
Table 23 - Cable modem subscribers and penetration rates - 2001-2009
Table 24 - VTR - cable modem subscribers - 2000-2009
Table 25 - ADSL subscribers and penetration rates - 2001-2009
Table 26 - Movistar - ADSL subscribers - 2000-2009
Table 27 - Telsur - ADSL subscribers - 2000-2009
Table 28 - Pay TV subscribers by operator and market share - 2006-2009
Table 29 - VTR - cable TV subscribers (analogue and digital technology) - 2000-2009
Table 30 - Movistar - satellite TV subscribers - 2006-2009
Table 31 - Cable TV subscribers and penetration rates - 1995-2009
Table 32 - Satellite TV subscribers and penetration - 2006 - 2009
Table 33 - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate - 1999-2010
Table 34 - Operator market share - 1999-2009
Table 35 - Evolution of mobile ARPU in Chile - major operators - 2006-2008
Table 36 - Movistar - mobile subscribers - 1999-2009
Table 37 - Entel PCS - mobile subscribers - 1999-2009
Table 38 - Claro - mobile subscribers - 1999-2009
Table 39 - Mobile prepaid/postpaid ratio - 1999-2009
Table 40 - SMS messages sent - 2003-2009
Table 41 - Forecast fixed lines - higher growth scenario - 2010; 2015; 2020
Table 42 - Forecast fixed lines - lower growth scenario - 2010; 2015; 2020
Table 43 - Forecast broadband subscribers - higher growth scenario - 2010; 2015; 2020
Table 44 - Forecast broadband subscribers - lower growth scenario - 2010; 2015; 2020
Table 45 - Forecast mobile subscribers - higher growth scenario - 2010; 2015; 2020
Table 46 - Forecast mobile subscribers - lower growth scenario - 2010; 2015; 2020
Exhibit 1 - Regions and primary zones in Chile
Exhibit 2 - Local telephony operators - number of zones of operation - 2009
Exhibit 3 - Telefónica Chile at a glance
Exhibit 4 - Telefónica Chile - company history
Exhibit 5 - VTR Globalcom at a glance
Exhibit 6 - VTR - company history
Exhibit 7 - Entel Chile at a glance
Exhibit 8 - Entel - company history
Exhibit 9 - Telsur at a glance
Exhibit 10 - Telsur - company history
Exhibit 11 - Telmex Chile - company history
Exhibit 12 - Major submarine cable networks landing in Chile
Exhibit 13 - Metrópolis (historical)
Exhibit 14 - Mobile concessions and original shareholders - 1989
Exhibit 15 - Telefónica Móviles Chile at a glance
Exhibit 16 - BellSouth Chile - history
Exhibit 17 - Entel PCS at a glance
Exhibit 18 - Claro Chile at a glance
Exhibit 19 - Smartcom / Chilesat - history

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