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Colombia - Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts

Colombia - Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts

Mobile network operators expand LTE services following a key spectrum auction

Colombia is included in a group of up-and-coming nations (dubbed CIVETS) which have considerable potential for investors in a range of sectors, including telecommunications. To encourage foreign investment the government, in office since 2010, is shaking off the country’s image as a trouble spot.

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, which in 2014 has begun to develop rapidly as the five licensees which were awarded spectrum at auction in mid-2014 began to launch commercial LTE services. The market is dominated by three MNOs (Claro, Movistar, and Tigo) though there is a lively MVNO sector to provide additional competition. These include Uff! Móvil, ETB, Móvil Éxito and Virgin Mobile.

Fixed-line teledensity in Colombia is well below the Latin American average. The number of lines in service continues to fall steadily, with customers abandoning traditional phones in favour of mobile and VoIP services. As in other Latin American countries, most of the existing fixed telephone lines are concentrated in the larger cities, leaving the rest of the population under-serviced.

Over the last several years the telecom market has seen a number of mergers, which has intensified competition among the major players. In mid-2014 Tigo merged with the municipally-owned UNE-EPM, enabling the operators to develop converged fixed and mobile services.

Colombia’s broadband penetration is relatively high for the region, though it has been hampered by poor fixed-line infrastructure in many areas of the country. The government has launched several initiatives to increase broadband take-up, including the Vive Digital program and the National Fibre Optic Project.

Key developments:

UNE-EPM merger with Tigo Columbia receives regulatory approval; Claro extends LTE coverage; Avantel launches commercial LTE services; DirectTV launches LTE services; Virgin Mobile and Móvil Éxito launch as MVNOs; Movistar and Claro have licenses extended for ten years; Colombian bank Banagrícola acquires a 70% stake in Uff! Móvil; Avantel plans $250 million investment in LTE; DirecTV launches a fixed and wireless internet service based on its LTE network; government plans COP200 billion investment in national WiFi network to 2018; Azteca Comunicaciones completes 95% of its fibre network; Claro to convert digital TV operation to the DVB-C standard by 2015; AT&T agrees to buy DirectTV’s Latin American operations; National Fibre Optic Project requiring an investment of COP1.2 trillion ($600 million); ETB to cover one million premises with fibre by end-2018; ETB launches its IPTV service; New National Television Authority replaces CNTV for regulating and managing TV services; report includes the regulator’s market data to Q1 2014; operator data to Q2 2014; recent market developments.

Companies and subsidiaries mentioned in this report include:

Movistar (Telefónica Telecom ), Claro (Telmex/Comcel), UNE-EPM, Emcali, Tigo, Avantel, DirecTV, Uff! Móvil, Metrotel, Emcali, Virgin Mobile, Móvil Éxito, Globalstar, Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Santa Fe de Bogotá (ETB), Telebucaramanga, Edatel, BT Colombia, Calipso, Caucatel, Colomsat, Synapsis, Global TV.

Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year


  • EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
  • KEY STATISTICS
    • Table Country statistics Colombia - 2014 (e)
    • Table Telephone network statistics - 2014 (e)
    • Table Internet user statistics - 2014 (e)
    • Table Broadband statistics - 2014 (e)
    • Table Mobile statistics - 2014 (e)
    • Table Regulatory authorities
    • COUNTRY OVERVIEW
      • Economic background
        • Table Evolution of GDP in Colombia - 2000 - 2014
  • TELECOMMUNICATIONS MARKET
    • OVERVIEW OF COLOMBIA'S TELECOM MARKET
      • Table Fixed and mobile subscribers in Colombia - 2005 - 2014
      • Table Historic - Fixed and mobile market share - 1998 - 2004
      • Table Fixed and mobile market share - 2005 - 2014
    • HISTORICAL REVIEW
    • MARKET ANALYSIS
      • Table Telcom market revenue (COP) - 2000 - 2014
    • CLOSING THE DIGITAL DIVIDE
  • REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT
    • BACKGROUND
    • CONVERGENCE DECREE
    • THE ICT LAW OF 2009
    • DEVELOPMENTS
    • REGULATORY AUTHORITIES
      • CRC (previously CRT)
      • ANTV
    • PRIVATISATION
    • TELECOM SECTOR LIBERALISATION IN COLOMBIA
    • UNIVERSAL SERVICE FUND
    • LICENSING
    • FOREIGN INVESTMENT
      • Table Telecom investment by operator ($ million) - 2010 - 2012
    • WHOLESALE
    • INTERCONNECT
    • ACCESS
    • NUMBER PORTABILITY
    • MULTICARRIER SYSTEM/CARRIER PRESELECTION
    • PER-MINUTE BILLING
    • SUBSIDIES
    • FINES
  • FIXED NETWORK OPERATORS
    • OVERVIEW OF OPERATORS
      • Local operators
        • Table Share of fixed lines in service (major operators) - 2000 - 2014
      • Long-distance operators
        • Table DLD traffic: market share by operator - 2000 - 2013
        • Table ILD outgoing traffic: market share by operator - 2000 - 2013
    • ETB
      • Table ETB at a glance
      • Table ETB - lines in service - 2000 - 2014
      • Privatisation and merger plans
    • MOVISTAR (TELEFÓNICA TELECOM/COLOMBIA TELECOM)
      • Table Movistar at a glance
      • Table Movistar - fixed lines in service - 2000 - 2014
    • UNE-EPM TELECOMUNICACIONES
      • Table UNE-EPM Telecomunicaciones at a glance
      • Table UNE - lines in service - 2000 - 2014
      • Table UNE subsidiaries and affiliates
      • Previous subsidiaries
      • Edatel
      • Telefónica de Pereira
    • CLARO (TELMEX COLOMBIA/AMÉRICA MÓVIL)
      • Table Telmex Colombia (trading as Claro) at a glance
      • Table Claro fixed lines in service - 2000 - 2014
    • EMCALI
    • TELEBUCARAMANGA
  • TELECOMMUNICATIONS INFRASTRUCTURE
    • NATIONAL TELECOM NETWORK
      • Fixed-line statistics
        • Table Historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 1996 - 2004
        • Table Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 2005 - 2014
    • INTERNATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE
      • Submarine cable networks
      • Satellite networks
      • Terrestrial links
    • INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENTS
      • Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
    • WHOLESAE OVERVIEW
  • BROADBAND MARKET
    • OVERVIEW
      • Internet/broadband statistics
        • Table Historic - Internet users and user penetration rates - 1997 - 2004
        • Table Internet users and user penetration rates- 2005 - 2014
        • Table Broadband subscribers by access speed - 2013 - 2014
        • Table Broadband subscribers by type of access - 2012 - 2014
        • Table Total internet subscribers (fixed and mobile) and penetration - 2012 - 2014
        • Table Fixed-line broadband subscribers and penetration rates - 2002 - 2014
        • Table Broadband technologies in Colombia - market share - 2003 - 2014
        • Table Major broadband operators - market share- 2011 - 2013
        • Table Broadband subscribers by major operator - 2012 - 2014
      • Major ISPs and broadband players
        • Table Major ISPs, broadband players and services offered
    • GOVERNMENT INITIATIVES
      • ICT access projects
      • Compartel
      • National ICT Plan
      • Vive Digital
      • National fibre-optic network
    • CABLE MODEMS
      • Table Cable modem subscribers and penetration rates - 2003 - 2014
    • ASYNCHRONOUS DIGITAL SUBSCRIBER LINE (ADSL)
      • Table ADSL subscribers and penetration rates - 2003 - 2014
    • FIBRE-TO-THE-PREMISES (FTTP) SERVICES
      • Table Fibre broadband subscribers - 2012 - 2014
    • WIMAX
    • MOBILE INTERNET
      • Table Mobile internet subscribers - 2012 - 2014
    • MEDIA CONVERGENCE
      • Triple play solutions
  • DIGITAL MEDIA / DIGITAL ECONOMY
    • DIGITAL ECONOMY
      • E-commerce
        • Table Colombia - B2C e-commerce spending - 2005 - 2014
    • BROADCASTING
      • Market overview
        • Table Pay TV providers' market share - 2013
      • Cable TV
        • Table Cable TV subscribers and penetration rates - 2000 - 2013
        • Table Historic - Major cable-TV providers' market share - 2004 - 2008
      • Satellite TV
        • Table Satellite TV subscribers and penetration rates - 2000 - 2013
        • Table Satellite TV operators' market share - 2004 - 2013
      • Digital terrestrial TV (DTTV)
  • MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS
    • OVERVIEW OF COLOMBIA'S MOBILE MARKET
      • Mobile statistics
        • Table Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate - 1997 - 2004
        • Table Mobile subscribers and penetration rate - 2005 - 2014
        • Table Market share of mobile operators - 2001 - 2014
        • Table Evolution of mobile ARPU in Colombia - major operators - 2009 - 2012
    • REGULATORY ISSUES
      • Spectrum regulations and auctions
        • Table Spectrum allocations - 1993
      • Mobile number portability (MNP)
      • Theft prevention
    • MOBILE TECHNOLOGIES
      • Overview
      • Third Generation (3G) mobile networks (UMTS)
        • Table 3G subscribers - 2010 - 2014
      • Long-term Evolution (LTE)
        • Table LTE subscribers - 2012 - 2014
    • MOBILE NETWORK OPERATORS
      • Claro (Comcel/América Móvil)
        • Table Comcel (trading as Claro) at a glance
        • Table Claro subscribers - 2001 - 2014
      • Movistar (Telefónica/Colombia Telecomunicaciones)
        • Table Movistar at a glance
        • Table Movistar subscribers - 2001 - 2014
      • Tigo (Colombia Móvil/Millicom, EPM, ETB)
        • Table Tigo at a glance
        • Table Tigo subscribers - 2003 - 2014
        • Table Tigo financial data - 2010 - 2013
      • Avantel
        • Table Avantel mobile subscribers - 2013 - 2014
      • UNE-EPM
        • Table UNE-EPM mobile subscribers - 2012 - 2014
    • MOBILE VIRTUAL NETWORK OPERATORS
      • Market analysis
      • Uff! Móvil
        • Table Uff! mobile subscribers - 2012 - 2014
      • ETB
        • Table ETB mobile subscribers - 2013 - 2014
      • Metrotel
      • Emcali
      • Virgin Mobile
        • Table Virgin Mobile subscribers - 2013 - 2014
      • Móvil Éxito
    • MOBILE VOICE SERVICES
      • Prepaid
        • Table Mobile prepaid/postpaid ratio - 2005 - 2014
    • MOBILE MESSAGING
      • Short Message Service (SMS)
    • MOBILE DATA SERVICES
      • Long-term Evolution (LTE)
        • Table 4G auction results
    • MOBILE BROADBAND
      • Table Mobile broadband market share of operators - 2010 - 2013
      • Table Mobile internet subscriptions by technology - 2011 - 2014
    • MOBILE SATELLITE
  • FORECASTS
    • FORECASTS - FIXED-LINE MARKET 2015; 2020
      • higher fixed line growth
        • Table Forecast fixed lines - higher growth scenario -2015; 2020
      • lower fixed line growth
        • Table Forecast fixed lines - lower growth scenario -2015; 2020
    • FORECASTS - FIXED BROADBAND MARKET - 2015; 2020
      • higher broadband growth
        • Table Forecast broadband subscribers - higher growth scenario - 2015; 2020
      • lower broadband growth
        • Table Forecast broadband subscribers - lower growth scenario - 2015; 2020
    • FORECASTS - MOBILE MARKET -2015; 2020
      • higher mobile market growth
        • Table Forecast mobile subscribers - higher growth scenario - 2015; 2020
      • lower mobile market growth
        • Table Forecast mobile subscribers - lower growth scenario - 2015; 2020

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