Market Research Logo

Colombia - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts


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

This annual report offers a wealth of information on the trends and developments in fixed-line and mobile telephony, Internet and broadband, converging media and new technologies in Colombia. Subjects include:

  •  Key statistics and forecasts;
  •  Market and industry overviews;
  •  Government policies and regulatory issues;
  •  Historical information;
  •  Major players (fixed-line, mobile, broadband, and pay TV);
  •  Telecom infrastructure (national and international, fixed and wireless);
  •  Mobile voice and data markets;
  •  Internet market and VoIP;
  •  Broadband (DSL, cable, wireless);
  •  Convergence, triple play, pay TV, IPTV, and digital terrestrial TV.


BuddeComm’s annual publication, Colombia - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts, profiles the third most populous country in Latin America, after Brazil and Mexico.

  Colombia has around 30 local telephone providers, partly private, and partly owned by the municipalities where they operate. It also has an ever-growing number of private long-distance and broadband operators, and four mobile phone companies. The incumbent, Colombia Telecom, has been taken over by Telefónica and renamed Telefónica Telecom. The second-largest fixed-line company, state-owned ETB, has been seeking a strategic partner to help finance its investment needs.

  Local telephony operators need a concession only if they use radio spectrum, while long-distance operators can offer services by obtaining a Convergence Licence and a multicarrier access code. In fact, a single Convergence Licence allows providers to offer long-distance telephony, Internet access, broadband, and other value-added services. Competition will receive a further boost from number portability, to be implemented by 2012.

  This report presents a concise overview of sector liberalisation and privatisation in Colombia; government initiatives and regulations in the telecom industry; company profiles for the major operators in the various telecom sectors; the development of mobile and broadband technologies; the emergence of convergence and IP solutions; essential country and operator statistics in all telecom sectors; and scenario forecasts for the fixed-line, mobile, and broadband markets.

  Key highlights:

  •          Although lower than average for South America, Colombia’s fixed-line teledensity measures up favourably with the country’s GDP per capita. The basic telephony market, however, is stagnant, with customers opting for alternative technologies and mobility in preference to traditional phones.
  •          Colombia’s mobile penetration is considerably higher than would be expected given the country’s general economic indicators, largely thanks to the mobile rates, which have been among the lowest in Latin America.
  •          Colombia’s broadband penetration is only slightly below average for Latin America and has been growing at an impressive rate, but the market may flatten as a result of the global financial crisis. WiMAX, originally welcomed enthusiastically in Colombia, is suffering from the economic downturn.
  •          Pay TV companies have experienced a wave of consolidation. Triple play solutions are popular, offered by the three telecom incumbents as well as by Telmex. Several operators have launched or are planning to launch IPTV, and the country has selected the European DVB standard for Digital Terrestrial TV.
  Key telecom statistics for Colombia - September 2008
Service | Subscribers (million) | Annual growth | Penetration |
Fixed-line telephony | 7.91 | -1% | 16.5% |
Mobile telephony | 39.05 | +23% | 81.2% |
Broadband | 1.78 | +65% | 3.7% |
Pay TV | 2.75 | +45% | 5.7% |
| (Source: BuddeComm)

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

  The following notes provide some background to our scenario forecasting methodology:
  •          This report includes what we term scenario forecasts. By describing long-range scenarios we identify a band within which we expect market growth to occur. The associated text describes what we see as the most likely growth trend within this band.
  •          The projections shown in the tables in this report are based on our own historical information, as well as on telecommunication sector statistics from official and non-official, national and international sources. We assume a possible deviation of 15-20% around this data.
  •          All statistics for GDP, revenue, etc are shown in US$, in order to maintain consistency within and between markets. At the same time we acknowledge that this can introduce some irregularities.
  For those needing high-level strategic information and objective analysis on this region, this 70+ page report is essential reading and gives further information on:
  •          Regulatory developments and spectrum auctions;
  •          Fixed-line developments, including the adoption of alternative technologies such as VoIP;
  •          Mobile telephony growth and the uptake of mobile data services;
  •          Broadband growth and incursions into wireless technologies such as WiMAX;
  •          Convergence, triple play, IPTV, and other emerging technologies;
  •          Scenario forecasts for the fixed-line, mobile, and broadband markets.

1. Key Statistics
1.1 Country overview
1.2 General outlook
2. Telecommunications Market
2.1 Overview of Colombia’s telecom market
2.2 Telecom market trends
3. Regulatory Environment
3.1 Background
3.2 Regulatory authorities
3.2.1 Ministry of Communications
3.2.2 CRT
3.2.3 CNTV
3.3 Licensing
3.4 Privatisation
3.5 Telecom sector liberalisation in Colombia
3.6 Multicarrier system and carrier preselection
3.7 Convergence Decree
3.8 Foreign investment
3.9 Number portability (NP)
3.10 Per-minute billing
3.11 Interconnect
3.12 Rural telephony
3.13 Compartel
3.14 Consumer rights
3.15 Free-Trade Agreement (FTA)
4. Fixed Network Operators in Colombia
4.1 Overview of operators
4.1.1 Local operators
4.1.2 Long-distance operators
4.2 Telefónica Telecom (previously Colombia Telecom)
4.2.1 Telebucaramanga
4.3 ETB
4.4 UNE-EPM Telecomunicaciones
4.4.1 Edatel
4.4.2 Emtelsa
4.4.3 EPM Bogotá
4.4.4 Telefónica de Pereira
4.5 Telmex Colombia
4.6 Emcali
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 Wireless Local Loop (WLL)
5.3.2 Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
6. Internet Market
6.1 Overview
6.1.1 Internet statistics
6.2 Compartel
6.3 One Laptop per Child project
7. Broadband Market
7.1 Overview
7.1.1 Broadband statistics
7.2 Major ISPs and broadband players
7.3 Cable modems
7.4 Asynchronous Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)
7.5 Wireless broadband
7.5.1 WiFi
7.5.2 WiMAX
8. Convergence
8.1 Overview of media convergence
8.2 Triple play models
8.2.1 Regulatory issues
8.3 Pay TV
8.3.1 Cable TV
8.3.2 Satellite TV
8.4 Broadband TV (IPTV)
8.5 Digital terrestrial TV
9. Mobile Communications
9.1 Overview of Colombia’s mobile market
9.1.1 Mobile statistics
9.2 Regulatory issues
9.2.1 Spectrum auctions
9.3 Mobile technologies
9.3.1 Digital
9.3.2 Third generation (3G) mobile
9.4 Major mobile operators
9.4.1 Comcel (América Móvil)
9.4.2 Movistar (Telefónica)
9.4.3 Tigo (Colombia Móvil - Millicom)
9.4.4 Avantel
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)
10. Forecasts
10.1 Forecasts - fixed-line market to 2018
10.1.1 Scenario 1 - higher fixed line growth
10.1.2 Scenario 2 - lower fixed line growth
10.2 Forecasts - broadband market to 2018
10.2.1 Scenario 1 - higher broadband growth
10.2.2 Scenario 2 - lower broadband growth
10.3 Forecasts - mobile market to 2018
10.3.1 Scenario 1 - higher mobile market growth
10.3.2 Scenario 2 - lower mobile market growth
11. Glossary of Abbreviations
List of Tables
Table 1 - Country statistics Colombia - 2008
Table 2 - Telephone network statistics - September 2008
Table 3 - Internet user statistics - 2008
Table 4 - Broadband statistics - September 2008
Table 5 - Mobile statistics - September 2008
Table 6 - Regulatory authorities
Table 7 - Telecommunications revenue and annual change - 2000 - 2007
Table 8 - Telecom revenue by segment - 2007
Table 9 - Major operators’ market share of fixed lines in service - 2000 - 2008
Table 10 - DLD traffic - market share by operator - 1999 - 2007
Table 11 - ILD outgoing traffic - market share by operator - 1999 - 2007
Table 12 - Telefónica Telecom lines in service and annual change - 2000 - 2008
Table 13 - ETB lines in service and annual change - 2000 - 2008
Table 14 - UNE-EPM lines in service and annual change - 2000 - 2008
Table 15 - Fixed lines in service, annual change and teledensity - 1996 - 2008
Table 16 - Teledensity by department - 2007 - 2008
Table 17 - Internet users, annual change and user penetration - 1997 - 2008
Table 18 - Dial-up subscribers and annual change - 2003 - 2008
Table 19 - Dial-up and broadband market share - 2003 - 2008
Table 20 - Broadband subscribers, annual change and penetration rates - 2002 - 2008
Table 21 - Broadband market share by technology - 2003 - 2008
Table 22 - Broadband market share by major operator - September 2008
Table 23 - Cable modem subscribers, annual change and penetration rates - 2003 - 2008
Table 24 - ADSL subscribers, annual change and penetration rates - 2003 - 2008
Table 25 - WiMAX subscribers, annual change and penetration rates - 2006 - 2008
Table 26 - Cable TV subscribers, annual change and penetration rates - 2000 - 2008
Table 27 - Major cable TV operators’ market share - 2004 - 2008
Table 28 - Satellite TV subscribers, annual change and penetration rates - 2000 - 2008
Table 29 - Satellite TV operators’ market share - 2004 - 2008
Table 30 - Mobile operators, subscribers and annual change - September 2008
Table 31 - Mobile subscribers, annual change and penetration rate - 1997 - 2008
Table 32 - Mobile market share by operator - 2002 - 2008
Table 33 - Evolution of ARPU in Colombia - mobile operators - 2005 - 2007
Table 34 - Comcel subscribers and annual change - 2000 - 2008
Table 35 - Movistar subscribers and annual change - 2001 - 2008
Table 36 - Tigo subscribers and annual change - 2003 - 2008
Table 37 - Mobile prepaid/postpaid ratio - 2005 - 2008
Table 38 - Forecast fixed-line subscribers & teledensity - higher growth scenario - 2008; 2013; 2018
Table 39 - Forecast fixed line subscribers & teledensity - lower growth scenario - 2008; 2013; 2018
Table 40 - Forecast broadband subscribers & penetration - higher growth scenario - 2008; 2013; 2018
Table 41 - Forecast broadband subscribers & penetration - lower growth scenario - 2008; 2013; 2018
Table 42 - Forecast mobile subscribers & penetration - higher growth scenario - 2008; 2013; 2018
Table 43 - Forecast mobile subscribers & penetration - lower growth scenario - 2008; 2013; 2018
List of Exhibits
Exhibit 1 - Long distance access codes - incumbents and new carriers - June 2008
Exhibit 2 - Telefónica Telecom at a glance
Exhibit 3 - Colombia Telecom - company history
Exhibit 4 - Colombia Telecom - privatisation
Exhibit 5 - Barranquilla Telecomunicaciones (liquidated)
Exhibit 6 - ETB at a glance
Exhibit 7 - UNE-EPM Telecomunicaciones at a glance
Exhibit 8 - UNE-EPM telecom subsidiaries
Exhibit 9 - Orbitel - history
Exhibit 10 - Telmex Colombia at a glance
Exhibit 11 - Telmex Colombia acquisition of AT&T
Exhibit 12 - Major submarine cable networks landing in Colombia
Exhibit 13 - Major ISPs, broadband players and services offered
Exhibit 14 - Coldecón (liquidated)
Exhibit 15 - Departmental WiMAX licences issued in December 2006
Exhibit 16 - Colombian regions for mobile licensing
Exhibit 17 - Comcel, Occel, and Celcaribe company history
Exhibit 18 - TEM Colombia company history
Exhibit 19 - Colombia Móvil company history

Download our eBook: How to Succeed Using Market Research

Learn how to effectively navigate the market research process to help guide your organization on the journey to success.

Download eBook

Share this report