Market Research Logo

2008 Latin America - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband in the Andean Bloc

The Andean Bloc countries are Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, which are among the poorest countries in South America, with the lowest telecom indicators but with room for growth in all markets. Investment opportunities are good particularly in alternative technologies suited to the area’s rugged terrain. This annual report offers a wealth of information on the trends and developments in telecommunications, mobile, Internet, broadband, and converging media. 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, and developments in digital TV.


BuddeComm’s Annual Publication on the Andean Bloc countries, 2008 Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband in Latin America - the Andean Bloc, profiles four nations that occupy the north-west and centre-west side of South America, bordering the Pacific Ocean - except for Bolivia, which is land-locked. With a total land area of 3.8 million sq km and a population of 99.5 million, these countries are characterised by tropical lowlands, snow-capped mountains, and extremely ragged landscapes.

The Andean Community of Nations - Comunidad Andina de Naciones (CAN) - is a trade bloc comprising Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. CAN’s membership decreased from six to four countries following the withdrawal of Chile in 1976, and of Venezuela in 2006. Founded in 1969, the trade bloc was called the Andean Pact until 1996. CAN’s headquarters are in Lima, Peru.

Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru are among the poorest countries in South America, with the worst macroeconomic indicators in the region. Fixed-line teledensity is limited throughout the Andes by the low population density and the rough mountainous landscapes, which hinder the laying of copper wire. Bolivia has South America’s lowest mobile penetration and second lowest fixed line teledensity. On the upside, there is considerable room for growth in all four markets, and good investment opportunities, particularly in alternative technologies suited to the area’s rugged terrain.

This report presents a concise overview of sector liberalisation and privatisation in the Andean sub-region, government initiatives and regulations in the telecom industry, the development of product offerings for both mobile and broadband technologies, essential country and operator statistics in all telecom sectors, and the emergence of convergence and triple play.

Key highlights

  • The fixed-line market has been liberalised in all four nations. Apart from Peru, which has one fixed line incumbent that dominates the last mile, the other countries have several regional operators - Bolivia has 15 local telephone cooperatives, and Colombia has around 30 local providers that operate municipally, regionally, or nationally. Long distance telephony is extremely competitive in all four markets. VoIP telephony has been adopted by a number of operators and is available through Internet cafés and telecentres.
  • Due to the poor fixed-line teledensity, mobility has become the chosen alternative in the Andean countries, leading to a ratio of around 4.5 mobile phones for every fixed-line in service. Prepaid cards have played a significant role in driving growth, making mobile phones accessible to many customers who do not meet credit requirements for postpaid services.
  • Besides mobile telephony, operators have been using various wireless and satellite technologies to reach isolated communities. WiMAX has become the future hope for this region, and the first WiMAX or pre-WiMAX networks have been deployed in all four countries.
  • Broadband uptake is below the South American average, varying from about 2% in Peru and Colombia, to 0.1% and 0.6% in Bolivia and Ecuador respectively. ADSL is the leading technology by far. In Colombia, however, cable modem is strong and WiMAX has gained a 5% market share.
  • Triple play strategies combining telephone, broadband, and pay TV services have been adopted or are being rolled out in all four markets. Colombia is the most advanced of the four in the area of convergence, with several major players offering triple play service, while the Peruvian government has created a single licensing system in the hope of encouraging convergence.
Mobile penetration and annual growth in Andean countries - 2006
Country Penetration Annual growth
Bolivia 35.8% 26%
Colombia 67.0% 9%
Ecuador 74.1% 20%
Peru 43.1% 64%

(Source: BuddeComm 2008)

1. Bolivia
1.1 Key statistics
1.2 Telecommunications market
1.2.1 Overview of Bolivia’s telecom market
1.3 Regulatory environment
1.3.1 Background
1.3.2 Regulatory authority
1.3.3 Privatisation of Entel
1.3.4 Renationalization of Entel
1.3.5 Telecom sector liberalisation in Bolivia
1.3.6 Foreign investment
1.3.7 Per-second billing
1.4 Telecom network operators in Bolivia
1.4.1 Overview of operators
1.4.2 Entel
1.4.3 Cooperatives
1.5 Telecommunications infrastructure
1.5.1 National telecom networks
1.5.2 International infrastructure
1.5.3 Infrastructure developments
1.6 Internet market
1.6.1 Overview
1.7 Broadband market
1.7.1 Overview
1.8 Convergence
1.8.1 Overview of media convergence
1.8.2 Pay TV
1.9 Mobile communications
1.9.1 Overview of Bolivia’s mobile market
1.9.2 Mobile technologies and mobile data services
1.9.3 Regulatory issues
1.9.4 Major mobile operators
1.9.5 Mobile voice services
2. Colombia
2.1 Key statistics
2.2 Telecommunication market
2.2.1 Overview of Colombia’s telecom market
2.3 Regulatory environment
2.3.1 Background
2.3.2 Regulatory authorities
2.3.3 Privatisation
2.3.4 Telecom sector liberalisation in Colombia
2.3.5 Number portability
2.3.6 Per-minute billing
2.3.7 Interconnect
2.3.8 Rural telephony
2.3.9 Consumer rights
2.3.10 Compartel
2.3.11 Free-Trade Agreement (FTA)
2.4 Telecom network operators in Colombia
2.4.1 Overview of operators
2.4.2 Telefónica Telecom (previously Colombia Telecom)
2.4.3 ETB
2.4.4 UNE EPM Telecomunicaciones
2.4.5 Emcali
2.4.6 Telmex Colombia
2.5 Telecommunications infrastructure
2.5.1 National telecom networks
2.5.2 International infrastructure
2.5.3 Infrastructure developments
2.6 Internet market
2.6.1 Overview
2.6.2 Compartel
2.7 Broadband market
2.7.1 Overview
2.7.2 Major ISPs and broadband players
2.7.3 Cable modems
2.7.4 Asynchronous Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)
2.7.5 Wireless broadband
2.8 Convergence
2.8.1 Overview of media convergence
2.8.2 Triple play models
2.8.3 Digital TV
2.8.4 Broadband TV (IPTV)
2.8.5 Digital Terrestrial TV (DTTV)
2.9 Mobile communications
2.9.1 Overview of Colombia’s mobile market
2.9.2 Regulatory issues
2.9.3 Mobile technologies
2.9.4 Major mobile operators
2.9.5 Mobile voice services
2.9.6 Mobile data services
2.10 Forecasts
2.10.1 Forecasts - fixed-line services to 2017
2.10.2 Forecasts - broadband market to 2017
2.10.3 Forecasts - mobile market to 2017
3. Ecuador
3.1 Key statistics
3.2 Telecommunications market
3.2.1 Overview of Ecuador’s telecom market
3.3 Regulatory environment
3.3.1 Background
3.3.2 Regulatory authorities
3.3.3 Privatisation
3.3.4 Telecom sector liberalisation in Ecuador
3.3.5 Interconnect
3.4 Telecom network operators in Ecuador
3.4.1 Overview of operators
3.4.2 Andinatel
3.4.3 Pacifictel
3.4.4 Etapa
3.4.5 Linkotel
3.4.6 Setel
3.4.7 Ecutel
3.5 Telecommunications infrastructure
3.5.1 National telecom networks
3.5.2 International infrastructure
3.5.3 Infrastructure developments
3.6 Internet market
3.6.1 Overview
3.7 Broadband market
3.7.1 Overview
3.7.2 Broadband Powerline (BPL)
3.7.3 Wireless broadband
3.8 Pay TV
3.9 Mobile communications
3.9.1 Overview of Ecuador’s mobile market
3.9.2 Regulatory issues
3.9.3 Mobile technologies and mobile data services
3.9.4 Major mobile operators
4. Peru
4.1 Key statistics
4.2 Telecommunications market
4.2.1 Overview of Peru’s telecom market
4.2.2 Milestones
4.3 Regulatory environment
4.3.1 Regulatory authority
4.3.2 FITEL
4.3.3 Privatisation of Telefónica del Perú
4.3.4 Telecom sector liberalisation in Peru
4.3.5 Single concession regime
4.3.6 Carrier preselection
4.3.7 Number Portability (NP)
4.3.8 Settlement rates
4.3.9 Interconnect
4.3.10 Fixed-to-Mobile termination charges
4.3.11 Price cap regulations
4.3.12 Interoperability
4.3.13 Callback services
4.3.14 Agreement with Telefónica del Perú - December 2006
4.3.15 Repercussions of earthquake on telecommunications
4.4 Telecom network operators in Peru
4.4.1 Overview of operators
4.4.2 Telefónica del Perú
4.4.3 Movistar Perú
4.4.4 Telmex Perú
4.4.5 Americatel Perú
4.4.6 Gilat To Home Perú
4.4.7 IDT Perú
4.5 Telecommunications infrastructure
4.5.1 National telecom networks
4.5.2 International infrastructure
4.5.3 Infrastructure developments
4.6 Internet market
4.6.1 Overview
4.7 Broadband market
4.7.1 Overview
4.7.2 Broadband operators
4.7.3 Cable modems
4.7.4 ADSL
4.7.5 Wireless broadband
4.8 Convergence
4.8.1 Overview of media convergence
4.8.2 Digital TV
4.9 Mobile communications
4.9.1 Overview of Peru’s mobile market
4.9.2 Regulatory issues
4.9.3 Mobile technologies
4.9.4 Major mobile operators
4.9.5 Mobile voice services in Peru
4.9.6 Mobile data services
4.10 Forecasts
4.10.1 Forecasts - fixed-line services to 2017
4.10.2 Forecasts - broadband market to 2017
4.10.3 Forecasts - mobile market to 2017


List of Tables and Exhibites


Table 1 - Country statistics Bolivia - 2008
Table 2 - Telephone network statistics - 2006
Table 3 - Internet user statistics - 2006
Table 4 - Broadband statistics - June 2006
Table 5 - Mobile statistics - September 2007
Table 6 - National telecommunications authority
Table 7 - Fixed-line to mobile ratio - 1996 - 2007
Table 8 - Fixed lines in service, annual change and teledensity - 1996 - 2006
Table 9 - Public payphones and annual change - 1997 - 2006
Table 10 - Internet users, annual change and user penetration - 1997 - 2006
Table 11 - Dial-up subscribers and annual change - 1997 - 2006
Table 12 - Broadband subscribers, annual change and penetration - 2002 - 2006
Table 13 - Cable TV subscribers, annual change and penetration - 2000 - 2006
Table 14 - Mobile operators, technology, subscribers and annual change - September 2007
Table 15 - Mobile subscribers, annual change and penetration - 1996 - 2007
Table 16 - Mobile operators’ market share - 2003 - 2007
Table 17 - Country statistics Colombia - 2008
Table 18 - Telephone network statistics - September 2007
Table 19 - Internet user statistics - June 2007
Table 20 - Broadband statistics - June 2007
Table 21 - Mobile statistics - September 2007
Table 22 - Regulatory authorities
Table 23 - Telecom revenue and annual change - 2000 - 2007
Table 24 - Telecom revenue by segment and annual change - 2006
Table 25 - Fixed lines in service - major operators’ market share - 2000 - 2007
Table 26 - DLD traffic: market share by operator - 1999 - 2007
Table 27 - ILD outgoing traffic: market share by operator - 1999 - 2007
Table 28 - Telefónica Telecom lines in service and annual change - 2000 - 2007
Table 29 - ETB lines in service and annual change - 2000 - 2007
Table 30 - UNE EPM lines in service and annual change - 2000 - 2007
Table 31 - Fixed lines in service, annual change and teledensity - 1996 - 2007
Table 32 - Internet users, annual change and user penetration - 1997 - 2007
Table 33 - Dial-up and broadband subscriber ratio - 2003 - 2007
Table 34 - Dial-up subscribers and annual change - 2003 - 2007
Table 35 - Broadband subscribers, annual change and penetration - 2002 - 2007
Table 36 - Broadband market share by technology - 2003 - 2007
Table 37 - Cable modem subscribers, annual change and penetration - 2003 - 2007
Table 38 - ADSL subscribers, annual change and penetration - 2003 - 2007
Table 39 - WiMAX subscribers, annual change and penetration - 2006 - 2007
Table 40 - Cable TV subscribers, annual change and penetration - 2000 - 2007
Table 41 - Major cable TV providers’ market share - 2005 - 2007
Table 42 - Satellite TV subscribers by operator and annual change - 2000 - 2007
Table 43 - Mobile operators, technology, subscribers and annual change - September 2007
Table 44 - Mobile subscribers and annual change, penetration - 1997 - 2007
Table 45 - Mobile market share by operator - 2002 - 2007
Table 46 - Comcel subscribers and annual change - 2000 - 2007
Table 47 - Movistar subscribers and annual change - 2001 - 2007
Table 48 - Tigo subscribers and annual change - 2003 - 2007
Table 49 - Prepaid/postpaid ratio - 2005 - 2007
Table 50 - Forecast fixed-line growth - lower growth scenario - 2007; 2012; 2017
Table 51 - Forecast fixed-line growth - higher growth scenario - 2007; 2012; 2017
Table 52 - Forecast broadband growth - lower growth scenario - 2007; 2012; 2017
Table 53 - Forecast broadband growth - higher growth scenario - 2007; 2012; 2017
Table 54 - Forecast mobile subscriber growth - lower growth scenario - 2007; 2012; 2017
Table 55 - Forecast mobile subscriber growth - higher growth scenario - 2007; 2012; 2017
Table 56 - Country statistics Ecuador - 2008
Table 57 - Telephone network statistics - November 2007
Table 58 - Internet user statistics - September 2007
Table 59 - Broadband statistics - September 2007
Table 60 - Mobile statistics - November 2007
Table 61 - National telecommunications authorities
Table 62 - Market share of mainlines in service by operator - 2001 - 2007
Table 63 - Andinatel lines in service, annual change, and digitisation - 2001 - 2007
Table 64 - Pacifictel lines in service, annual change, and digitisation - 2001 - 2007
Table 65 - Etapa lines in service, annual change, and digitisation - 2001 - 2007
Table 66 - Linkotel lines in service, annual change, and digitisation - 2004 - 2007
Table 67 - Fixed lines in service, annual change, teledensity, and digitisation - 1996 - 2007
Table 68 - Public telephones and annual change - 2003 - 2007
Table 69 - Internet users, annual change, and user penetration - 2000 - 2007
Table 70 - Dial-up subscribers and annual change - 2000 - 2007
Table 71 - Dial-up and broadband subscriber ratio - 2000 - 2007
Table 72 - Broadband subscribers, annual change and penetration - 2001 - 2007
Table 73 - Pay TV subscribers by technology and annual change - 2004 - 2007
Table 74 - Mobile operators, technology, subscribers and annual change - September 2007
Table 75 - Mobile subscribers, annual change, and penetration - 1996 - 2007
Table 76 - Mobile operators’ market share - 1996 - 2007
Table 77 - Prepaid subscriber ratio by operator - 2002 - 2007
Table 78 - Conecel mobile subscribers and annual change - 1996 - 2007
Table 79 - Otecel mobile subscribers and annual change - 1996 - 2007
Table 80 - Alegro mobile subscribers and annual change - 2003 - 2007
Table 81 - Country statistics Peru - 2008
Table 82 - Telecom revenue and investment statistics - 2006
Table 83 - Telephone network statistics - September 2007
Table 84 - Internet user statistics - September 2007
Table 85 - Broadband statistics - 2007
Table 86 - Mobile statistics - September 2007
Table 87 - National telecommunications authority
Table 88 - Number of licensed operators per service - 2004 - 2007
Table 89 - Share of fixed lines in service (top four operators) - 2001 - 2007
Table 90 - Share of domestic long distance traffic (top five operators) - 2000 - 2007
Table 91 - Share of international long distance outgoing traffic (top five operators) - 2000 - 2007
Table 92 - TdP fixed lines in service and annual change - 2001 - 2007
Table 93 - Movistar fixed lines in service and annual change - 2001 - 2007
Table 94 - Telmex Perú fixed lines in service and annual change - 2001 - 2007
Table 95 - Americatel fixed lines in service and annual change - 2002 - 2007
Table 96 - Fixed lines in service, annual change and teledensity - 1996 - 2007
Table 97 - Fibre optic cable length - 2002 - 2007
Table 98 - Public telephones and annual change - 1997 - 2007
Table 99 - FITEL Rural Projects Program
Table 100 - Internet users, annual change, and user penetration - 1997 - 2007
Table 101 - Narrowband + broadband subscribers, annual change, and penetration - 1999 - 2007
Table 102 - Narrowband and broadband access ratio - 1999 - 2007
Table 103 - Dial-up subscribers and annual change - 2000 - 2007
Table 104 - Cabinas públicas and annual change - 2000 - 2005
Table 105 - Broadband subscribers, annual change and penetration - 2000 - 2007
Table 106 - Broadband subscriber ratios by technology - 1999 - 2006
Table 107 - TdP broadband subscribers and annual change - 2003 - 2007
Table 108 - Cable modem subscribers and annual change - 2000 - 2006
Table 109 - ADSL subscribers and annual change - 2001 - 2006
Table 110 - Cable TV subscribers, annual change and penetration - 1999 - 2007
Table 111 - Cable Mágico subscribers and annual change - 2002 - 2007
Table 112 - Cable Express subscribers and annual change - 2002 - 2007
Table 113 - Cable Star subscribers and annual change - 2002 - 2007
Table 114 - Mobile operators, technology, subscribers and annual change - September 2007
Table 115 - Mobile subscribers, annual change and penetration - 1996 - 2007
Table 116 - Company market share - 1996 - 2007
Table 117 - Mobile technology market share - 2004 - 2007
Table 118 - Movistar mobile subscribers and annual change - 2001 - 2007
Table 119 - Claro subscribers and annual change - 2001 - 2007
Table 120 - Nextel subscribers and annual change - 2001 - 2007
Table 121 - Prepaid/postpaid ratio - 2001 - 2007
Table 122 - SMS messages per company - 2004 - 2007
Table 123 - MMS sent per company - 2004 - 2007
Table 124 - Forecast fixed-line growth - lower growth scenario - 2007; 2012; 2017
Table 125 - Forecast fixed-line growth - higher growth scenario - 2007; 2012; 2017
Table 126 - Forecast broadband growth - lower growth scenario - 2007; 2012; 2017
Table 127 - Forecast broadband growth - higher growth scenario - 2007; 2012; 2017
Table 128 - Forecast mobile subscriber growth - lower growth scenario - 2007; 2012; 2017
Table 129 - Forecast mobile subscriber growth - higher growth scenario - 2007; 2012; 2017
Exhibit 1 - Major submarine cable network landing in Bolivia
Exhibit 2 - Telefónica Telecom at a glance
Exhibit 3 - Colombia Telecom company history
Exhibit 4 - Colombia Telecom privatisation
Exhibit 5 - ETB at a glance
Exhibit 6 - UNE EPM telecom subsidiaries
Exhibit 7 - Orbitel history
Exhibit 8 - Telmex Colombia - acquisition of AT&T
Exhibit 9 - Major submarine cable networks landing in Colombia
Exhibit 10 - Major ISPs and broadband players - 2007
Exhibit 11 - Departmental WiMAX licences issued - December 2006
Exhibit 12 - Colombian regions for mobile licensing
Exhibit 13 - Comcel, Occel, and Celcaribe company history
Exhibit 14 - TEM Colombia company history
Exhibit 15 - Colombia Móvil company history
Exhibit 16 - Major submarine cable network landing in Ecuador
Exhibit 17 - Telefónica del Perú at a glance
Exhibit 18 - Telmex Perú company history
Exhibit 19 - Major submarine cable networks landing in Peru
Exhibit 20 - History of the Internet in Peru
Exhibit 21 - Telefónica Móviles Perú (TEM Perú) history
Exhibit 22 - BellSouth Peru and Comunicaciones Móviles del Perú (CMP) history
Exhibit 23 - TIM Perú 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