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Colombia - Mobile Market - Overview, Statistics and Forecasts


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Colombia - Mobile Market - Overview, Statistics and Forecasts

Although below the regional average, Colombia's mobile penetration is quite high compared with the country's relatively low economic indicators. While the market has slowed down, it still holds significant growth potential, particularly in the mobile broadband sector where penetration is still very low. Since years 2010 there have been significant changes in o the Colombian mobile environment, particularly with the launch of several MVNOs and the arrival of 4G/LTE technology.

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.

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.

A highly successful 4G auction in June 2013 saw five winning bidders: Claro, Movistar, Tigo/ETB, Avantel, and DirecTV the latter being a completely new market entrant.

Accompanied by key market statistics and analyses, this report provides an overview of Colombia's mobile market and a brief profile of all mobile operators. It also contains scenario forecasts for the years 2015 and 2020.

Key developments:

Virgin Mobile and Móvil Éxito launch MVNOs; 4G licence winners required to offer services by mid-2014; Movistar launches LTE in Bogota, Medellin, Cali, and Barranquilla; Colombian bank Banagrícola acquires a 70% stake in Uff! Móvil; Avantel plans US$250 million investment in LTE in 2014, claims that Movistar and Tigo prevent roaming on their LTE infrastructure; ETB plans scrapping its MVNO and building its own mobile network; regulator's market data to Q3 2014; market developments to early 2014.

Companies covered in this report include:

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


1. Synopsis
2. Overview of Colombia's mobile market
2.1 Mobile statistics
3. Regulatory issues
3.1 Spectrum regulations and auctions
3.1.1 Third generation (3G)
3.1.2 Long-term Evolution (LTE)
3.2 Mobile number portability
3.3 Theft prevention
4. Mobile technologies
4.1 Overview
4.2 Third Generation (3G) mobile networks (UMTS)
4.3 Long Term Evolution (LTE)
5. Mobile Network operators
5.1 Claro (Comcel/América Móvil)
5.2 Movistar (Telefónica)
5.3 Tigo (Colombia Móvil/Millicom, EPM, ETB)
5.4 Avantel
5.5 UNE-EPM
6. Mobile Virtual Network Operators
6.1 Market analysis
6.2 Uff! Móvil
6.3 UNE-EPM
6.4 ETB
6.5 Metrotel
6.6 Emcali
6.7 Virgin Mobile
6.8 Móvil Éxito
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 Scenario 1 higher mobile market growth
11.2 Scenario 2 lower mobile market growth
11.3 Notes on scenario forecasts
12. Related reports
Table 1 Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 1997-2004
Table 2 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 2005 - 2014
Table 3 Market share of mobile operators 2001-2013
Table 4 Evolution of mobile ARPU in Colombia major operators 2009 - 2012
Table 5 Number Portability results July 2012
Table 6 3G subscribers (mobile broadband and mobile phone access) 2010 - 2013
Table 7 Claro subscribers 2001-2013
Table 8 Movistar subscribers 2001-2013
Table 9 Tigo subscribers 2003-2013
Table 10 Tigo financial data 2010-2013
Table 11 Mobile prepaid/postpaid ratio 2005-2014
Table 12 Mobile broadband market share of operators 2010 - 2013
Table 13 Mobile internet subscriptions by technology 2011 - 2013
Table 14 Forecast mobile subscribers higher growth scenario 2015; 2020
Table 15 Forecast mobile subscribers lower growth scenario 2015; 2020
Chart 1 Mobile subscribers market evolution at a glance 2005 2014
Exhibit 1 4G auction results
Exhibit 2 Comcel (trading as Claro) at a glance
Exhibit 3 Movistar at a glance
Exhibit 4 Tigo at a glance

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