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Colombia - Mobile Infrastructure, Broadband, Operators - Statistics and Analyses

Colombia - Mobile Infrastructure, Broadband, Operators - Statistics and Analyses

Growth in Colombia's mobile market has slowed in recent years though it retains significant potential, particularly in the mobile broadband sector where penetration is still low and where strong demand exists in rural areas where fixed-line infrastructure remains poor. The market has seen considerable competition from the MVNO sector, with Virgin Mobile alone having almost 2.9 million subscribers as of mid-2018.

Three MNOs dominate the mobile market: Claro (the trading name of Comunicacíon Celular), Movistar (trading as Colombia Telecomunicacíon), and Tigo (trading as Colombia Móvil and owned by Millicent International). The leading player remains Claro, but its market share has been falling since 2009. The local trunking service provider Avantel serves a small number of mostly corporate customers using digital iDEN technology though it has also provided services based on LTE since mid-2014.

The MVNOs 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. Since Tigo merged with UNE-EPM (becoming TigoUne in the process) it has been able to offer converged services across fixed and mobile networks. Tigo in mid-2017 revised its hosting arrangement with Uff! Móvil in a bid to keep the MVNO in business after it had seen a dramatic fall in its subscriber base. This was a temporary measure and Uff! Móvil ceased trading in mid-2018, heavily indebted to TigoUne.

This report provides insights into Colombia's mobile market, including key market statistics and analyses as well as profiles of the major operators, subscriber forecasts and assessments of market developments and emerging technologies.

Key developments:

MVNO Uff! Movil ends services;
Claro Colombia trials 5G technology;
Regulator increases spectrum cap for MNOs to help improve network capacity;
TigoUne sells 1,200 mobile towers to ATC, launches an M2M service;
Claro fined COP3.16 trillion and Movistar fined COP1.65 trillion for failing to meet certain licence conditions;
MinTIC calls for expressions of interest in the planned auction of spectrum in the 700MHz and 1900MHz bands;
Movistar launches commercial VoLTE services;
Claro extends LTE coverage to 425 municipalities;
Avantel plans $250 million investment in LTE;
Report update includes the regulator's market data to March 2018, operator data to Q3 2018, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Claro/Comcel, Movistar, Tigo (TigoUne), Avantel, DirecTV, UNE-EPM, Uff! Móvil, ETB, Metrotel, Emcali, Virgin Mobile, Móvil Éxito, Globalstar.


1. Synopsis
2. Market analysis
3. Mobile statistics
3.1 General statistics
3.2 Mobile voice
3.2.1 Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE)
3.3 Mobile data
3.3.1 SMS, MMS
3.4 Mobile broadband
3.5 Forecasts mobile subscribers 2019; 2021; 2023
4. Regulatory issues
4.1 Spectrum regulations and auctions
4.1.1 3G
4.1.2 1710MHz, 1.8GNz, 2.5GHz
4.1.3 Proposed auctions
4.2 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
4.3 Mobile Termination Rates (MTRs)
5. Mobile infrastructure
5.1 5G
5.2 4G (LTE)
5.3 3G
5.4 GSM
5.5 Other infrastructure developments
5.5.1 Satellite mobile
5.5.2 Machine-to-Machine (M2M)
6. Major mobile operators
6.1 Claro (Comcel/América Móvil)
6.2 Movistar (Telefónica/Colombia Telecomunicaciones)
6.3 Tigo Colombia (Colombia Móvil/Millicom, EPM, ETB)
6.4 Avantel
6.5 UNE-EPM
7. Mobile Virtual Network Operators
7.1 Market analysis
7.2 Uff! Móvil
7.3 ETB
7.4 Metrotel
7.5 Emcali
7.6 Virgin Mobile
7.7 Móvil Éxito
8. Related reports
Table 1 Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 1997 - 2009
Table 2 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 2010 - 2019
Table 3 Market share of mobile operators 2001 - 2018
Table 4 Mobile prepaid/postpaid ratio 2005 - 2018
Table 5 SMS messages sent 2013 - 2018
Table 6 MMS messages sent 2013 - 2016
Table 7 Mobile internet subscriptions by technology (2G, 3G, 4G) 2011 - 2018
Table 8 Mobile internet subscribers by operator 2013 - 2018
Table 9 Mobile broadband market share by operator 2010 - 2018
Table 10 Active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration 2008 - 2018
Table 11 Forecast mobile subscribers higher growth scenario 2019; 2021; 2023
Table 12 Spectrum allocations 1993
Table 13 Mobile numbers ported 2011 - 2016
Table 14 LTE subscribers 2012 - 2018
Table 15 3G subscribers 2010 - 2018
Table 16 GSM subscribers 2016 - 2018
Table 17 Movistar M2M connections 2014 - 2018
Table 18 Claro Colombia subscribers 2001 - 2018
Table 19 Claro Colombia service revenue 2013 - 2018
Table 20 Claro Colombia mobile service revenue 2016 - 2018
Table 21 Movistar subscribers 2001 - 2018
Table 22 Movistar Colombia financial data 2013 - 2018
Table 23 TigoUne subscribers 2003 2018
Table 24 TigoUne subscribers (MinTIC data) 2015 2018
Table 25 TigoUne financial data (historic) 2010 - 2013
Table 26 Avantel mobile subscribers 2013 2018
Table 27 Historic - UNE-EPM mobile subscribers 2012 2017
Table 28 Uff! mobile subscribers 2011 2018
Table 29 ETB mobile subscribers 2013 2018
Table 30 Virgin Mobile subscribers 2013 2018
Table 31 Virgin Mobile market share of subscribers 2013 2018
Table 32 Móvil Exito subscribers 2013 2018
Chart 1 Mobile subscribers and penetration 2005 2019
Chart 2 Mobile internet subscriptions by technology (2G, 3G, 4G) 2011 2018
Exhibit 1 4G auction results

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