Strong expansion expected in Ecuador’s mobile and fixed broadband markets
Ecuador has the lowest fixed telephone prices in the region, mainly because tariffs are set by the government. Nonetheless, in line with the global trend, Ecuadorians have been turning to mobile handsets in preference to the traditional fixed-line phone.
Ecuador is one of the poorer countries in Latin America, yet its mobile penetration is higher than the regional average. Indeed, the country’s telecom market is heavily skewed towards mobility, with seven mobile phones for every fixed line in service.
During the second half of 2011 and first months of 2012, the mobile market appeared to stall, as the compulsory registration of SIM cards, which started in July 2011, removed inactive accounts. The slowdown, however, should only be temporary, particularly in the case of mobile broadband, which operators have been promoting as an alternative to fixed broadband. Considering the country’s low teledensity and fixed broadband penetration, the mobile broadband market is expected to grow strongly in the coming years.
Fixed broadband, however, is also growing strongly, with state-owned CNT capitalising on its relatively new ADSL service. The government is keen to advance universalisation and improve teledensity, and we can expect CNT to continue its efforts to expand the country’s infrastructure.
Besides CNT, there are another eight fixed-line companies and a large number of broadband providers.
In the mobile market, Ecuador has three operators:
Claro – the market leader, controlled by América Móvil;
Movistar – controlled by Telefónica;
CNT – the smallest operator, with only 2% of the market.
Ecuador has adopted anti-trust regulations for the first time, including a controversial article that limits private ownership in the broadcasting market.
A new telecom bill has been in the pipeline since 2009, but parliamentary approval has been repeatedly postponed.
Claro, Ecuador’s leading mobile operator, gains from mobile portability.
The pay TV market receives a boost from CNT’s launch of satellite TV services.
The government’s National Broadband Plan aims to triple broadband connections by 2016.
As a measure to reduce the theft of mobile devices, SIM card owners are required to register their details or be disconnected.
Companies covered in this report:
Fixed line operators include CNT, Etapa, TVCable (Suratel), Claro (Ecuadortelecom/Telmex), Linkotel, Etapatelecom, Global Crossing, Grupo Coripar, and Starsat.
Mobile operators include Claro, Movistar, and CNT.
Fixed broadband providers include CNT, TVCable, Claro, PuntoNet, Ecuanet/Megadatos. Easynet, Trans-telco, Empresa Eléctrica Azogues, Empresa Eléctrica Regional Centrosur, Transelectric, and Telconet.
Pay TV providers include TVCable, DirecTV, Univisa, Claro, and CNT TV.
Ecuador’s fixed-line, broadband, and mobile statistics – 2010 - 2012
Sector | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 (e)
Fixed-lines in service
Total subscribers (million) | 2.08 | 2.21 | 2.30
Total subscribers | 458,000 | 635,000 | 790,000
Mobile telephony subscribers
Total subscribers (million) | 15.12 | 15.87 | 16.40
(Source: BuddeComm based on industry data)
Ecuador has excellent growth prospects especially in mobile and fixed broadband services. The report covers trends and developments in the fixed-line, mobile, internet, broadband, and pay TV markets.
Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
Facts, figures, and statistics;
Government policies and regulatory issues;
Major players (fixed, mobile and broadband);
Fixed-line market and infrastructure;
Broadband market (including ADSL, cable modem, BPL, FttH, and WiMAX);
Internet and VoIP;
Convergence and triple play solutions;
Broadcasting (including cable TV and satellite-based TV services);
Mobile market (including 3G and mobile broadband);
Scenario forecasts for the fixed-line, mobile, and broadband markets for the years 2015 and 2020.
Lucia Bibolini July 2012
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