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Latin American Broadband and Internet Market


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

This report covers developments in the broadband and Internet markets of Latin America and the Caribbean.

  The countries covered in the report include: Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Suriname, Uruguay, Venezuela, and the small Caribbean island nations.


Broadband penetration in Latin America and the Caribbean was about 4.9% in early 2009, well below the world average of 6.1%. The slow uptake of broadband in the region can be attributed to several factors, the main one being the high prices charged by providers. In fact, despite liberalisation, in most countries the fixed-line incumbents dominate the local loop - and hence the ADSL market - and are only challenged by cable modem providers. Other inhibiting factors include low PC penetration, insufficient fixed-line infrastructure, highly unequal income distribution, a lack of economies of scale, and regulatory hurdles.  

On the positive side, competition has been increasing and prices have been dropping in most countries. Given the region’s general economic indicators, there remains ample space for expansion. Although the situation varies considerably from country to country, the region as a whole should be a fertile ground for broadband investment. Indeed, Latin America was the world’s fastest-growing broadband market in the fourth quarter of 2008.  

The options available in the region are ADSL, cable modem, wireless broadband, mobile broadband, and satellite broadband. ADSL is the prevalent technology, followed by cable modem. Mobile broadband, only two years after launch, has managed to attract about 5 million subscribers. WiMAX, on the other hand, after suffering serious setbacks due to licensing delays, has been further knocked back by the global financial crisis.  

Broadband subscribers and penetration - major Latin American countries - 2007 - 2008 Country | 2007 | 2008 | Annual change | Penetration per capita | Household penetration | (million) | Argentina | 2.56 | 3.44 | +35% | 8.7% | 31.4% | Brazil | 7.72 | 10.20 | +32% | 5.3% | 18.0% | Chile | 1.31 | 1.45 | +10% | 8.6% | 29.4% | Colombia | 1.21 | 1.98 | +64% | 4.1% | 18.8% | Mexico | 4.55 | 6.90 | +52% | 6.5% | 21.8% | Peru | 0.59 | 0.74 | +26% | 2.5% | 10.5% | Venezuela | 0.86 | 1.28 | +49% | 4.4% | 17.4% | | (Source: BuddeComm based on industry data with BuddeComm estimates)

 Key highlights:Argentina

Argentina’s Internet market is the third largest in Latin America, after Brazil and Mexico. In terms of Internet user penetration (50.3% per capita), it is well above the regional average and more than twice as high as the world average (which was about 23% in early 2009). Argentina’s broadband market is the most developed in the region and has the highest penetration rate. ADSL is the main broadband technology, but cable modem occupies a significant place with about one third of the subscriber base. The market is divided fairly equally between three players: Telefónica de Argentina, Telecom Argentina, and Grupo Clarín. While the first two offer ADSL services primarily in their regions of operation, Grupo Clarín provides cable modem broadband on a nationwide basis; this has helped to foster competition and reduce broadband prices, which are among the lowest in Latin America.  

Brazil

Compared with other economic indicators, Brazil’s Internet penetration is lower than expected, and there is considerable room for growth. In terms of subscriber numbers, Brazil is the regional broadband leader, but it trails neighbouring Chile and Argentina in terms of penetration. Broadband uptake has been stifled by high prices and weak competition. Broadband charges in Brazil have been dropping while speeds have been increasing, but prices are far too high for the Brazilian socio-economic environment. In fact, broadband tariffs are considerably higher than in neighbouring Argentina. ADSL is the leading broadband technology, with 70% market share, followed by cable modem with 25%, and wireless broadband with 5%. The country is considered a world leader by many in terms of e-government, and is also quite active in the area of e-education.  

Mexico

Broadband is one of the highest growth sectors in Mexico’s telecommunications market, with revenues continuing to record double digit growth for the fourth quarter of 2008 despite the broader economy posting negative growth for that period. Telmex’s ADSL product, Prodigy Infinitum, continued to post very strong growth rates during 2008. Nevertheless, there remains significant scope for growth, as Mexico’s broadband penetration is merely one-quarter of the OECD average, while its broadband prices are higher than most other OECD nations. High prices and low penetration levels are attributed to a lack of investment and competition due to, in part, foreign investment restrictions and a lack of local loop unbundling. Telmex dominates with approximately 95% of the ADSL market.  

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

1. Argentina
1.1 Internet market
1.1.1 Overview
1.2 Broadband market
1.2.1 Overview
1.2.2 Broadband players
1.2.3 Cable modems
1.2.4 Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)
1.2.5 Wireless broadband
1.2.6 Mobile broadband
1.2.7 Broadband Powerline (BPL)
1.2.8 Content and e-services
2. Belize
2.1 Internet market
2.1.1 Overview
2.2 Broadband market
3. Bolivia
3.1 Internet market
3.1.1 Overview
3.2 Broadband market
3.2.1 Overview
3.2.2 WiMAX
4. Brazil
4.1 Internet market
4.1.1 Overview
4.1.2 Brazil’s ISP market
4.1.3 Internet economy
4.2 Broadband market
4.2.1 Overview
4.2.2 Cable modems
4.2.3 ADSL
4.2.4 Wireless broadband
4.2.5 Broadband Powerline (BPL) and smart grids
4.2.6 Fibre-to-the-Home (FttH) networks
5. Caribbean Countries
5.1 Broadband and Internet market
5.1.1 Overview
6. Chile
6.1 Internet market
6.1.1 Overview
6.2 Broadband market
6.2.1 Overview
6.2.2 Digital Strategy 2007-2012
6.2.3 Broadband operators
6.2.4 Cable modems
6.2.5 ADSL
6.2.6 Broadband Powerline (BPL) and smart grids
6.2.7 Fibre-to-the-Home (FttH) networks
6.2.8 Wireless broadband
7. Colombia
7.1 Internet market
7.1.1 Overview
7.1.2 Compartel
7.1.3 One Laptop per Child project
7.2 Broadband market
7.2.1 Overview
7.2.2 Major ISPs and broadband players
7.2.3 Cable modems
7.2.4 ADSL
7.2.5 Wireless broadband
8. Costa Rica
8.1 Internet market
8.1.1 Overview
8.2 Broadband market
8.2.1 Overview
8.2.2 Cable modems
8.2.3 ADSL
8.2.4 Wireless broadband
9. Cuba
9.1 Internet market
9.1.1 Overview
10. Dominican Republic
10.1 Internet market
10.1.1 Overview
10.2 Broadband market
10.2.1 Overview
10.2.2 ADSL
10.2.3 Cable modems
10.2.4 Wireless broadband
11. Ecuador
11.1 Internet market
11.1.1 Overview
11.2 Broadband market
11.2.1 Overview
11.2.2 Broadband Powerline (BPL)
11.2.3 Wireless broadband
12. El Salvador
12.1 Internet market
12.1.1 Overview
12.2 Broadband market
12.2.1 Overview
12.2.2 ADSL
12.2.3 WiMAX
13. Guatemala
13.1 Internet market
13.1.1 Overview
13.2 Broadband market
13.2.1 Overview
13.2.2 Broadband providers
14. Guyana
14.1 Internet and broadband market
14.1.1 Overview
15. Haiti
15.1 Internet market
15.1.1 Overview
15.1.2 ISP market
15.2 Broadband market
15.2.1 Wireless broadband
16. Honduras
16.1 Internet market
16.1.1 Overview
16.2 Broadband market
16.2.1 Overview
17. Jamaica
17.1 Internet market
17.1.1 Overview
17.2 Broadband market
17.2.1 Overview
17.2.2 Cable broadband
17.2.3 Wireless broadband
18. Mexico
18.1 Internet market
18.1.1 Overview
18.1.2 ISP market
18.2 Broadband market
18.2.1 Overview
18.2.2 ADSL
18.2.3 Cable modems
18.2.4 Wireless broadband
18.2.5 Broadband over powerline (BPL)
19. Nicaragua
19.1 Internet market
19.1.1 Overview
19.2 Broadband market
19.2.1 Overview
20. Panama
20.1 Internet market
20.1.1 Overview
20.2 Broadband market
20.2.1 Overview
21. Paraguay
21.1 Internet market
21.1.1 Overview
21.2 Broadband market
21.2.1 Overview
21.2.2 Cable modems
21.2.3 ADSL
21.2.4 WiMAX
22. Peru
22.1 Internet market
22.1.1 Overview
22.1.2 Cabinas públicas
22.1.3 One Laptop per Child project
22.2 Broadband market
22.2.1 Overview
22.2.2 FITEL broadband projects
22.2.3 Broadband operators
22.2.4 Cable modems
22.2.5 ADSL
22.2.6 Wireless broadband
23. Puerto Rico
23.1 Internet market
23.1.1 Overview
23.2 Broadband market
23.2.1 Overview
23.2.2 Cable modems
23.2.3 DSL
23.2.4 Wireless broadband
24. Suriname
24.1 Internet and broadband market
24.1.1 Overview
24.1.2 ADSL
24.1.3 OLPC
25. Uruguay
25.1 Internet market
25.1.1 Overview
25.1.2 Ceibal project
25.2 Broadband market
25.2.1 Overview
25.2.2 ADSL
25.2.3 Wireless broadband
25.2.4 Broadband providers
25.3 Content and e-services
26. Venezuela
26.1 Internet market
26.1.1 Overview
26.2 Broadband market
26.2.1 Overview
26.2.2 Cable modems
26.2.3 ADSL
26.2.4 Wireless broadband
26.2.5 Broadband Powerline (BPL)
27. Glossary of Abbreviations
Table 1 - Internet users and user penetration rate in Argentina - 1999 - 2008
Table 2 - Residential dial-up subscribers (paid and free) in Argentina - 2001 - 2008
Table 3 - Dial-up and broadband market share in Argentina - 2001 - 2008
Table 4 - Broadband subscribers and penetration rates in Argentina - 2001 - 2008
Table 5 - Broadband market share by technology in Argentina - 2001 - 2008
Table 6 - Broadband market share by operator in Argentina - 2003 - 2007
Table 7 - Speedy ADSL subscribers - 2001 - 2008
Table 8 - Arnet ADSL subscribers - 2001 - 2008
Table 9 - Flash/FiberTel broadband subscribers - 2003 - 2008
Table 10 - Cable modem subscribers and penetration rates in Argentina - 2001 - 2008
Table 11 - ADSL subscribers and penetration rates in Argentina - 2001 - 2008
Table 12 - B2C sales in Argentina - 2003 - 2007
Table 13 - Internet users, annual change and user penetration in Belize - 2000 - 2008
Table 14 - BTL high-speed Internet subscribers and annual change - 2005 - 2008
Table 15 - Broadband lines, annual change and penetration rates in Belize - 2005 - 2008
Table 16 - Internet users and user penetration rate in Bolivia - 1997 - 2007
Table 17 - Dial-up subscribers in Bolivia - 1997 - 2007
Table 18 - Broadband subscribers and penetration rates in Bolivia - 2002 - 2007
Table 19 - Internet users and penetration rate in Brazil - 2002 - 2008
Table 20 - Active Internet users with own computer in Brazil - 2000 - 2008
Table 21 - Broadband subscribers and penetration rates in Brazil - 2001 - 2008
Table 22 - Broadband market share by technology in Brazil - 2001 - 2008
Table 23 - Cable modem subscribers and penetration rates in Brazil - 2001 - 2008
Table 24 - Net Vírtua subscribers and annual change - 2002 - 2008
Table 25 - ADSL subscribers and penetration rates in Brazil - 2001 - 2008
Table 26 - ADSL - operators’ market share in Brazil - 2002 - 2008
Table 27 - Telesp ADSL subscribers and annual change - 2000 - 2008
Table 28 - Brasil Telecom ADSL subscribers and annual change - 2001 - 2008
Table 29 - Oi ADSL subscribers and annual change - 2001 - 2008
Table 30 - GVT ADSL subscribers and annual change - 2003 - 2008
Table 31 - Wireless broadband subscribers and penetration in Brazil - 2006 - 2008
Table 32 - Internet users and penetration in Caribbean countries - 2008
Table 33 - Internet users, annual change and user penetration - 2000 - 2008
Table 34 - Dial-up subscribers and annual change - 2000 - 2008
Table 35 - Dial-up and broadband market share - 2000 - 2008
Table 36 - ISP market share - September 2008
Table 37 - Broadband subscribers annual change and penetration - 2000 - 2008
Table 58 - ADSL subscribers and household penetration in Costa Rica - 2002 - 2008
Table 59 - Internet users and penetration rate in Cuba - 1996 - 2008
Table 60 - Personal computers and penetration rate in Cuba - 2002 - 2007
Table 61 - Internet users and annual change in Dominican Republic - 1998 - 2008
Table 62 - Internet subscribers and household penetration in Dominican Republic - 1998 - 2008
Table 63 - DSL residential & corporate subscribers in Dominican Republic - 2004 - 2008
Table 64 - Internet users and user penetration rate in Ecuador - 2000 - 2008
Table 65 - Dial-up / broadband market share in Ecuador - 2000 - 2008
Table 66 - Broadband subscribers and penetration rates in Ecuador - 2001 - 2008
Table 67 - Internet users and penetration rate in El Salvador - 1996 - 2007
Table 68 - Broadband subscribers and penetration rates in El Salvador - 2003 - 2008
Table 69 - ADSL subscribers and annual change in El Salvador - 2003 - 2008
Table 70 - Internet users and penetration rate in Guatemala - 1997 - 2007
Table 71 - Internet users and user penetration rate in Guyana - 1997 - 2008
Table 72 - Internet users and user penetration rate in Haiti - 1998 - 2008
Table 73 - Internet subscribers, annual change and penetration in Haiti - 2000 - 2008
Table 74 - Cybercafé and CCI points in Honduras - 2002 - 2007
Table 75 - Internet users and penetration rate in Honduras - 1997 - 2007
Table 76 - Internet subscribers and penetration rate in Honduras - 2002 - 2007
Table 77 - Internet users, annual change and user penetration in Jamaica - 2000 - 2008
Table 78 - Market share by connection in Jamaica - 2006
Table 79 - Internet users, annual change and penetration rate in Mexico - 2000 - 2009
Table 80 - Internet subscribers by access technology in Mexico - 2000 - 2008
Table 81 - Location-based computer use in Mexico - 2005 - 2009
Table 82 - Prodigy Infinitum ADSL subscriber lines and annual change - 2002 - 2008
Table 83 - Megacable cable modem subscribers and annual change - 2001 - 2008
Table 84 - Cablemás cable modem subscribers and annual change - 2002 - 2008
Table 85 - Cablevisión cable modem subscribers and annual change - 2002 - 2008
Table 86 - Internet users and penetration rate in Nicaragua - 1997 - 2007
Table 87 - Internet subscribers in Nicaragua - 2000 - 2007
Table 88 - Internet technology market share in Nicaragua - 2000 - 2006
Table 89 - Broadband subscribers and penetration rates in Nicaragua - 2000 - 2007
Table 90 - Internet users and user penetration rate in Panama - 1998 - 2008
Table 91 - Dial-up/broadband market share in Panama - 2001 - 2008
Table 92 - Broadband subscribers and penetration rates in Panama - 1998 - 2008
Table 93 - Broadband subscribers by technology in Panama - 1998 - 2008
Table 94 - Internet users and user penetration in Paraguay - 1997 - 2008
Table 95 - Broadband subscribers and penetration rates in Paraguay - 2002 - 2008
Table 96 - Internet users and penetration rate in Peru - 1997 - 2008
Table 97 - Dial-up and broadband market share in Peru - 1999 - 2008
Table 98 - Dial-up subscribers in Peru - 1999 - 2008
Table 99 - Cabinas públicas in Peru - 2000 - 2007
Table 100 - Broadband subscribers and penetration rates in Peru - 1999 - 2008
Table 101 - Broadband subscriber ratios by technology in Peru - 1999 - 2008
Table 102 - TdP broadband subscribers - 2003 - 2008
Table 103 - Cable modem subscribers in Peru - 2000 - 2008
Table 104 - ADSL subscribers in Peru - 2001 - 2008
Table 105 - Internet users and user penetration rate in Puerto Rico - 2000 - 2009
Table 106 - Broadband lines and annual change in Puerto Rico - 2002 - 2008
Table 107 - PRTC DSL lines - 2002 - 2008
Table 108 - Internet users and user penetration in Suriname - 1997 - 2008
Table 109 - Broadband subscribers and penetration rates in Suriname - 2002 - 2008
Table 110 - Internet users and user penetration rate in Uruguay - 1999 - 2008
Table 111 - Internet dial-up customers in Uruguay - 2003 - 2008
Table 112 - Broadband subscribers and penetration rates in Uruguay - 2005 - 2008
Table 113 - Anteldata - ADSL subscribers - 2003 - 2008
Table 114 - Telecentres/cybercafés in Venezuela - 2001 - 2008
Table 115 - Internet users and user penetration rate in Venezuela - 1998 - 2008
Table 116 - Dial-up subscribers in Venezuela - 2000 - 2008
Table 117 - Dial-up and broadband market share in Venezuela - 2000 - 2008
Table 118 - Broadband subscribers and penetration rates in Venezuela - 2000 - 2008
Table 119 - CANTV ADSL subscribers - 2001 - 2008
Exhibit 1 - Overview of WiMAX
Exhibit 2 - America Online Latin America - the rise and fall of an ISP
Exhibit 3 - An overview of the One Laptop per Child project
Exhibit 4 - Major ISPs, broadband players and services offered in Colombia
Exhibit 5 - Coldecón (liquidated)
Exhibit 6 - Departmental WiMAX licences issued in Colombia - December 2006

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