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2008 Latin America - Telecoms, Mobile & Broadband in the Eastern Nations

The Eastern Nations of South America are Brazil, Guyana, Paraguay, Suriname, and Venezuela, five countries vastly different in size and economic development. Brazil is a leading investment destination for international operators and suppliers, given its size and potential to develop into a top world market. Despite the differences in size and economy, mobile penetration is similar in all five countries. Fixed-to-mobile substitution is prevalent throughout the sub-region, led by Paraguay where mobile phones outnumber fixed lines in service by as much as twelve to one. 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 Eastern nations of South America, 2008 Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband in Latin America - the Eastern Nations, profiles five nations that occupy the north-east and centre-east of South America, bordering the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea - except for Paraguay, which is land-locked. Guyana and Suriname share many characteristics with the Caribbean Nations, with which they are frequently associated. Brazil is a leading investment destination for international operators and suppliers, given its size and potential to develop into a top world market.

The Eastern Nations of Latin America are considerably diverse. In size, they range from Brazil, the fifth largest country in the world, with a land area of 8.5 million sq km and 191 million people, to Suriname, the smallest country in South America, with 161 thousand sq km and half a million people. Economically, the countries are also vastly different. With the fourth largest oil reserves in the world, Venezuela’s GDP per capita is one of the region’s highest, while Guyana’s is one of the lowest.

Despite the huge differences in size and economy, mobile penetration is similar in all five countries. Fixed-to-mobile substitution is prevalent throughout the sub-region, led by Paraguay where mobile phones outnumber fixed lines in service by as much as twelve to one.

This report presents a concise overview of sector liberalisation and privatisation among the Eastern nations of South America, 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 Brazil and Venezuela; although the incumbents continue to dominate the fixed-line infrastructure in both countries, they are slowly losing market share to smaller operators. Guyana and Suriname are preparing for fixed-line liberalisation after years of failed attempts, while Paraguay continues to function in a monopolistic environment.
  • Brazil’s fixed-line market has been privatised since 1998, while Venezuela’s was privatised in 1991 and renationalised in 2007. Suriname and Paraguay’s incumbents are wholly state-owned. Guyana’s incumbent telco has been privatised since 1991, but holds exclusivity over all fixed-line services.
  • Mobile telephony is highly competitive in all five countries, with several operators offering services. Mobile penetration ranges from around 60% to 80%, and the mobile market continues to post double-digit growth. 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.
  • Broadband penetration is low but on the rise, varying from about 4% in Brazil and 3% in Venezuela, to less than 0.5% in Suriname, Guyana, and Paraguay. There is good investment potential in this market.
  • Triple play strategies combining voice, Internet, and video services have been adopted in Brazil and Venezuela, but the small markets of Suriname, Guyana, and Paraguay are still behind technologically.
Eastern nations - mobile penetration and annual growth - September 2007
Country Penetration Annual growth
Brazil 60.6% 17.0%
Guyana 65.9% 77%
Paraguay 74.5% 46%
Suriname 72.6% 18%
Venezuela 80.4% 35%
(Source: BuddeComm)

For those needing high-level strategic information and objective analysis on this region, this 170+ 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, High Definition TV, IPTV, and other new technologies;
  • Scenario forecasts for the fixed line, mobile, and broadband markets of Brazil and Venezuela.
Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.

1. Brazil
1.1 Key statistics
1.2 Telecommunications market
1.2.1 Overview of Brazil’s telecom market
1.3 Regulatory environment
1.3.1 History
1.3.2 Regulatory developments
1.3.3 Regulatory authority
1.3.4 Privatisation of Telebrás
1.3.5 Mirror companies
1.3.6 Telecom sector liberalisation in Brazil
1.3.7 Universalisation goals
1.3.8 Government telecom funds (Fust, Fistel, and Funttel)
1.3.9 Foreign investment
1.3.10 Number portability (NP)
1.3.11 Access
1.3.12 Interconnect
1.3.13 Tariffs
1.3.14 Per-minute billing system
1.3.15 Special Class Individual Access (AICE)
1.3.16 Fixed-line contract renewal - January 2006
1.4 Telecom network operators in Brazil
1.4.1 Overview of fixed network market
1.4.2 Oi (Telemar)
1.4.3 Brasil Telecom
1.4.4 Telesp
1.4.5 Embratel
1.4.6 GVT
1.4.7 Intelig Telecom
1.4.8 CTBC Telecom
1.4.9 Sercomtel
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
1.6.2 Brazil’s ISP market
1.7 Broadband market
1.7.1 Overview
1.7.2 Cable modems
1.7.3 ADSL
1.7.4 Broadband Powerline (BPL)
1.7.5 Wireless broadband
1.8 Content and e-services in Brazil
1.8.1 E-commerce
1.8.2 E-government
1.9 Convergence
1.9.1 Overview of media convergence
1.9.2 Fixed-Mobile Convergence (FMC)
1.9.3 Triple play models
1.9.4 Quadruple play
1.9.5 Regulatory issues
1.9.6 Digital TV
1.10 Mobile communications
1.10.1 Overview of Brazil’s mobile market
1.10.2 Privatisation of Telebrás
1.10.3 Regulatory issues
1.10.4 Mobile technologies
1.10.5 Mobile operators in Brazil
1.10.6 Mobile voice services
1.10.7 Mobile data services
1.10.8 Mobile content and applications
1.11 Forecasts
1.11.1 Overview
1.11.2 Forecasts - fixed-line market to 2017
1.11.3 Forecasts - broadband market to 2017
1.11.4 Forecasts - mobile market to 2017
2. Guyana
2.1 Key statistics
2.2 Telecommunications market
2.2.1 Overview of Guyana’s telecom market
2.3 Regulatory environment
2.3.1 Background
2.3.2 Regulatory authority
2.3.3 Privatisation
2.3.4 Telecom sector liberalisation in Guyana
2.3.5 Settlement rates
2.4 Telecom network operator in Guyana
2.4.1 Guyana Telephone & Telegraph Company (GT&T)
2.5 Telecommunications infrastructure
2.5.1 National telecom networks
2.5.2 International
2.6 Internet and broadband market
2.6.1 Overview
2.7 Mobile communications
2.7.1 Overview of Guyana’s mobile market
2.7.2 Mobile technologies and mobile data services
2.7.3 Major mobile operators
2.7.4 Mobile voice services
3. Paraguay
3.1 Key statistics
3.2 Telecommunications market
3.2.1 Overview of Paraguay’s telecom market
3.3 Regulatory environment
3.3.1 Background
3.3.2 Regulatory authority
3.3.3 Privatisation of Copaco
3.3.4 Telecom sector liberalisation in Paraguay
3.3.5 Foreign investment
3.3.6 Per-second billing
3.4 Telecom network operator in Paraguay
3.4.1 Copaco
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 Asynchronous Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)
3.7.3 WiMAX
3.8 Convergence
3.8.1 Overview of media convergence
3.8.2 Pay TV
3.9 Mobile communications
3.9.1 Overview of Paraguay’s mobile market
3.9.2 Mobile technologies and mobile data services
3.9.3 Major mobile operators
3.9.4 Mobile voice services in Paraguay
4. Suriname
4.1 Key statistics
4.2 Telecommunications market
4.2.1 Overview of Suriname’s telecom market
4.3 Regulatory environment
4.3.1 Background
4.3.2 Regulatory authority
4.3.3 Telecom sector liberalisation in Suriname
4.4 Telecom network operator in Suriname
4.4.1 Telesur
4.5 Telecommunications infrastructure
4.5.1 National telecom network
4.5.2 International infrastructure
4.5.3 Infrastructure developments
4.6 Internet and broadband market
4.6.1 Overview
4.7 Mobile communications
4.7.1 Overview of Suriname’s mobile market
4.7.2 Mobile technologies and mobile data services
4.7.3 Major mobile operators
4.7.4 Mobile voice services
5. Venezuela
5.1 Key statistics
5.2 Telecommunications market
5.2.1 Overview of Venezuela’s telecom market
5.3 Regulatory environment
5.3.1 Background
5.3.2 Regulatory authority
5.3.3 Privatisation of CANTV
5.3.4 Renationalisation of CANTV
5.3.5 Telecom sector liberalisation in Venezuela
5.3.6 Interconnection
5.3.7 Investment opportunities in Venezuela
5.4 Telecom network operators in Venezuela
5.4.1 Overview of operators
5.4.2 CANTV
5.4.3 Movistar (Telefónica)
5.4.4 Digitel
5.4.5 NetUno (previously Veninfotel)
5.4.6 New Global Telecom Venezuela (NGTV)
5.4.7 Telecom Venezuela (formerly CVG Telecom)
5.5 Telecommunications infrastructure
5.5.1 National telecom network
5.5.2 International infrastructure
5.5.3 Infrastructure developments
5.6 Internet market
5.6.1 Overview
5.7 Broadband market
5.7.1 Overview
5.7.2 Cable modems
5.7.3 Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)
5.7.4 Wireless broadband
5.7.5 Broadband Powerline (BPL)
5.8 Convergence
5.8.1 Overview of media convergence
5.8.2 Triple play models
5.8.3 Pay TV
5.8.4 Digital Terrestrial TV
5.9 Mobile communications
5.9.1 Overview of Venezuela’s mobile market
5.9.2 Regulatory issues
5.9.3 Mobile technologies
5.9.4 Major mobile operators
5.9.5 Mobile voice services in Venezuela
5.9.6 Mobile data services
5.10 Forecasts
5.10.1 Overview
5.10.2 Forecasts - fixed-line market to 2017
5.10.3 Forecasts - broadband market to 2017
5.10.4 Forecasts - mobile market to 2017
6. Glossary of Abbreviations


List of Tables


Table 1 - Country statistics Brazil - 2008
Table 2 - Telephone network statistics - 2007
Table 3 - Internet user statistics - 2007
Table 4 - Broadband statistics - 2007
Table 5 - Mobile statistics - 2007
Table 6 - National telecommunications authority
Table 7 - Operators’ market share of fixed lines in service - 2000 - 2007
Table 8 - Oi’s fixed lines in service and annual change - 1998 - 2007
Table 9 - Brasil Telecom’s fixed lines in service, annual change digitisation - 1998 - 2007
Table 10 - Telesp’s fixed lines in service, annual change digitisation - 1999 - 2007
Table 11 - GVT’s fixed lines in service and annual change - 2003 - 2007
Table 12 - GVT - connected VoIP subscribers and annual change - 2005 - 2007
Table 13 - Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 1998 - 2007
Table 14 - Public payphones and annual change - 1998 - 2007
Table 15 - Internet users, annual change and penetration - 2002 - 2007
Table 16 - Active Internet users with own computer and annual change - 2000 - 2007
Table 17 - Broadband subscribers, annual change and penetration rates - 2001 - 2007
Table 18 - Broadband market share by technology - 2001 - 2007
Table 19 - Cable modem subscribers, annual change and penetration rates - 2001 - 2007
Table 20 - Net Virtua subscribers and annual change - 2002 - 2007
Table 21 - ADSL subscribers, annual change and penetration rates - 2001 - 2007
Table 22 - ADSL operators’ market share - 2002 - 2007
Table 23 - Telesp ADSL subscribers and annual change - 2000 - 2007
Table 24 - Brasil Telecom ADSL subscribers and annual change - 2001 - 2007
Table 25 - Oi ADSL subscribers and annual change - 2001 - 2007
Table 26 - GVT ADSL subscribers and annual change - 2003 - 2007
Table 27 - Pay TV concessions - 2007
Table 28 - Pay TV subscribers, annual change and penetration rates - 1999 - 2007
Table 29 - Pay TV subscriber ratio by technology - 2000 - 2007
Table 30 - Cable TV subscribers, annual change and penetration rates - 2000 - 2007
Table 31 - MMDS subscribers, annual change and penetration rates - 2000 - 2007
Table 32 - DTH subscribers, annual change and penetration rates - 2000 - 2007
Table 33 - Major pay TV companies market share - 1998; 2003 - 2007
Table 34 - Net Serviços pay TV subscribers and annual change - 2000 - 2007
Table 35 - TVA pay TV and broadband subscribers and annual change - 2003 - 2007
Table 36 - Mobile operators, technology, subscribers and annual change - September 2007
Table 37 - Mobile subscribers, annual change and penetration - 1997 - 2007
Table 38 - Operators’ market share - 2003 - 2007
Table 39 - Band A, B, D, and E subscribers - 2000 - 2007
Table 40 - Mobile subscribers by technology - 2002 - 2007
Table 41 - Market share by technology - 2002 - 2007
Table 42 - Annual change by technology - 2003 - 2007
Table 43 - Operators’ market share - 2003 - 2007
Table 44 - Evolution of ARPU - major operators - 2005 - 2007
Table 45 - Vivo subscribers and annual change - 2002 - 2007
Table 46 - Telemig subscribers and annual change - 2002 - 2007
Table 47 - Vivo subscribers per subsidiary (historical) - 2002 - 2005
Table 48 - TIM Brasil subscribers and annual change - 2003 - 2007
Table 49 - TIM Brasil subscribers per subsidiary (historical) - 2002 - 2005
Table 50 - Claro subscribers and annual change - 2002 - 2007
Table 51 - Oi subscribers and annual change - 2002 - 2007
Table 52 - Amazônia Celular subscribers and annual change - 2002 - 2007
Table 53 - BrT Mobile subscribers and annual change - 2004 - 2007
Table 54 - CTBC subscribers and annual change - 2003 - 2007
Table 55 - Sercomtel subscribers and annual change - 2003 - 2007
Table 56 - Nextel Brasil mobile subscribers and annual change - 2004 - 2007
Table 57 - Prepaid subscribers, annual change and market share - 2002 - 2007
Table 58 - Forecast fixed-line growth - lower growth scenario - 2007; 2012; 2017
Table 59 - Forecast fixed-line growth - higher growth scenario - 2007; 2012; 2017
Table 60 - Forecast broadband growth - lower growth scenario - 2007; 2012; 2017
Table 61 - Forecast broadband growth - higher growth scenario - 2007; 2012; 2017
Table 62 - Forecast mobile subscriber growth - lower growth scenario - 2007; 2012; 2017
Table 63 - Forecast mobile subscriber growth - higher growth scenario - 2007; 2012; 2017
Table 64 - Mobile subscribers, penetration and annual change - 1997 - 2007
Table 65 - Mobile operators’ market share - 2000 - 2007
Table 66 - Claro subscribers and annual change - 2000 - 2007
Table 67 - Comcel - subscribers and annual change - 2000 - 2007
Table 68 - Movistar subscribers and annual change - 2000 - 2007
Table 69 - Prepaid/postpaid ratio - 2002 - 2007
Table 70 - Country statistics Honduras - 2008
Table 71 - Telephone network statistics - September 2007
Table 72 - Internet user statistics - 2006
Table 73 - Mobile statistics - September 2007
Table 74 - National telecommunications authority
Table 75 - Market share of fixed lines in service - 2003 - 2007
Table 76 - Number of operators: fixed, mobile, data, ISP and CATV markets - 2004 - 2006
Table 77 - Fixed lines in service, annual change and teledensity - 1997 - 2007
Table 78 - Public telephones and annual change - 1997 - 2006
Table 79 - Internet users, annual change and penetration - 1997 - 2006
Table 80 - Internet subscribers, annual change, and penetration - 2002 - 2006
Table 81 - Pay TV subscribers and annual change - 2002 - 2006
Table 82 - Mobile operators, subscribers and annual change - September 2007
Table 83 - Mobile subscribers, annual change and penetration - 1997 - 2007
Table 84 - Mobile operators’ market share - 2002 - 2007
Table 85 - Prepaid/postpaid ratio - 1997 - 2006
Table 86 - Tigo subscribers and annual change - 2000 - 2007
Table 87 - Claro subscribers and annual change - 2003 - 2007
Table 88 - Country statistics Nicaragua - 2008
Table 89 - Telephone network statistics - 2006
Table 90 - Internet user statistics - 2006
Table 91 - Broadband statistics - 2006
Table 92 - Mobile statistics - September 2007
Table 93 - National telecommunications authority
Table 94 - Fixed lines in service, annual change and teledensity - 1996 - 2006
Table 95 - Public phones and annual change - 1998 - 2007
Table 96 - Internet users, annual change and user penetration - 1997 - 2006
Table 97 - Internet subscribers and annual change - 2000 - 2006
Table 98 - Internet market share by technology - 2000 - 2006
Table 99 - Broadband subscribers, penetration and household penetration - 2000 - 2006
Table 100 - Mobile operators, subscribers and annual change - September 2007
Table 101 - Mobile subscribers and penetration - 2000 - 2007
Table 102 - Operators’ mobile market share - 2004 - 2007
Table 103 - Postpaid/prepaid ratio - 2003 - 2007
Table 104 - Claro subscribers and annual change - 2002 - 2007
Table 105 - Movistar subscribers and annual change - 2000 - 2007
Table 106 - Country statistics Panama - 2008
Table 107 - Telephone network statistics - 2006
Table 108 - Internet user statistics - 2006
Table 109 - Broadband statistics - 2006
Table 110 - Mobile statistics - September 2007
Table 111 - National telecommunications authority
Table 112 - Number of telecom concessions - March 2007
Table 113 - Fixed lines in service, annual change and teledensity - 1998 - 2006
Table 114 - Public telephones and annual change - 1998 - 2006
Table 115 - Internet users, annual change and user penetration - 1996 - 2006
Table 116 - Dial-up subscribers, per capita and household penetration - 1998 - 2006
Table 117 - C&WP ADSL subscribers and annual change - 2004 - 2007
Table 118 - Broadband subscribers, per capita and household penetration - 1998 - 2006
Table 119 - Broadband subscriber ratios by technology - 2000 - 2006
Table 120 - Mobile operators, subscribers and annual change - September 2007
Table 121 - Mobile subscribers, annual change and penetration - 1997 - 2007
Table 122 - Operators’ mobile market share - 2003 - 2007
Table 123 - Postpaid/prepaid ratio - 1998 - 2006
Table 124 - Forecast fixed-line subscribers - weaker market growth scenario - 2007; 2012; 2017
Table 125 - Forecast fixed-line subscribers - stronger market growth scenario - 2007; 2012; 2017
Table 126 - Forecast mobile subscribers - weaker market growth scenario - 2007; 2012; 2017
Table 127 - Forecast mobile subscribers - stronger market growth scenario - 2007; 2012; 2017
Table 128 - Mobile prepaid/postpaid ratio - 1997 - 2007
Table 129 - SMS messages sent and annual change - 2002 - 2006
Table 130 - Forecast fixed-line growth - lower growth scenario - 2007; 2012; 2017
Table 131 - Forecast fixed-line growth - higher growth scenario - 2007; 2012; 2017
Table 132 - Forecast broadband growth - lower growth scenario - 2007; 2012; 2017
Table 133 - Forecast broadband growth - higher growth scenario - 2007; 2012; 2017
Table 134 - Forecast mobile subscriber growth - lower growth scenario - 2007; 2012; 2017
Table 135 - Forecast mobile subscriber growth - higher growth scenario - 2007; 2012; 2017
List of Exhibit
Exhibit 1 - Regions of Brazil
Exhibit 2 - Privatisation of Telebrás
Exhibit 3 - Fixed-line incumbents and mirror companies by region
Exhibit 4 - Regions of Brazil
Exhibit 5 - Telemar Norte Leste at a glance
Exhibit 6 - Brasil Telecom at a glance
Exhibit 7 - Disputes between Citigroup, Opportunity, and Telecom Italia
Exhibit 8 - Telesp at a glance
Exhibit 9 - Embratel Participações at a glance
Exhibit 10 - Principal subsidiaries of Embratel Participações - 2007
Exhibit 11 - Vésper - history
Exhibit 12 - Major submarine cable networks landing in Brazil
Exhibit 13 - Geostationary satellites operating in Brazil - 2007
Exhibit 14 - America Online Latin America - the rise and fall of an ISP
Exhibit 15 - Net Serviços de Comunicação (formerly Globo Cabo) - company history
Exhibit 16 - Vivax - company history
Exhibit 17 - Subdivision of Brazil into regions and areas
Exhibit 18 - A-band mobile operators and technologies
Exhibit 19 - B-band mobile operators and technologies
Exhibit 20 - Band-D mobile operators and technologies
Exhibit 21 - Band-E mobile operators and technologies
Exhibit 22 - 3G auction winners
Exhibit 23 - Bands F, G, I, and J for 3G services - areas and operators
Exhibit 24 - Subdivision of Brazil into regions and areas
Exhibit 25 - Telpart - historical
Exhibit 26 - Vivo group - historical structure
Exhibit 27 - Vivo group - corporate restructure
Exhibit 28 - TIM Brasil - early beginnings
Exhibit 29 - TIM Brasil - launch of GSM services
Exhibit 30 - TIM Brasil - company restructure - 2003 - 2006
Exhibit 31 - Telecom Américas - origins, structure, and acquisitions
Exhibit 32 - Licensed mobile companies
Exhibit 33 - CANTV at a glance
Exhibit 34 - The creation of Telecom Venezuela (CVG Telecom)
Exhibit 35 - Major submarine cable networks landing in Venezuela
Exhibit 36 - Mobile telephony in Venezuela - historical overview
Exhibit 37 - Mobile telephony in Venezuela - licensing regions
Exhibit 38 - Movistar - company history
Exhibit 39 - Digitel - historical
Exhibit 40 - Infonet - historical
Exhibit 41 - Digicel - historical

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