Colombia's mobile penetration is relatively high for the region. While market growth has slowed in recent years, it retains significant potential, particularly in the mobile broadband sector where penetration is still low. Since 2010 there have been considerable changes to the Colombian mobile market, particularly with the launch of several MVNOs and the arrival of LTE services.
Colombia has five Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and six Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs), with UNE being both an MNO and an MVNO.
Three MNOs dominate the mobile market: Claro (the trading name of Comcel), Movistar, and Tigo (the trading name of Colombia Móvil). The leader is Claro, but its market share has been 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.
The MVNOs 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. Tigo has been merged with UNE-EPM, enabling the operator to offer converged services across fixed and mobile networks.
A spectrum auction in June 2013 saw five winning bidders, including the established players Claro, Movistar, Tigo/ETB, Avantel, as well as a new market entrant in the form of the broadcaster DirecTV.
This report provides insights into Colombia's mobile market, including key market statistics and analyses as well as profiles of the major mobile operators. It also contains scenario forecasts for the years 2015 and 2020.
Regulator proposes auctioning 100MHz of spectrum in the 2300MHz-2400MHz band; operators launch VoLTE capabilities; Tigo Colombia launches an M2M service; regulator proposes conditions for 900MHz and 1900MHz licenses; Claro extends LTE coverage; Avantel launches commercial LTE services; UNE-EPM merger with Tigo Columbia receives regulatory approval; DirectTV launches LTE services; Virgin Mobile and Móvil Éxito launch as MVNOs; Movistar and Claro extend licenses for ten years; Colombian bank Banagrícola acquires a 70% stake in Uff! Móvil; Avantel plans $250 million investment in LTE, claims that Movistar and Tigo prevent roaming on their LTE infrastructure; ETB plans to scrap its MVNO and build its own mobile network; regulator's market data to Q2 2014; operator data to Q4 2014; recent market developments.