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Latin American Fixed Voice Market

The countries covered in this 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.  

The report provides key information about the major fixed-line operators in Latin America and the Caribbean. Topics covered include:

  •    brief company history and shareholder structure;
  •   financial performance;
  •    subscriber evolution;
  •      market position.


Latin America’s largest fixed-line operator in terms of lines in service is Telmex, founded and controlled by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim. In terms of revenue, Brazil’s Telesp, owned by Telefónica, is in the lead. The second place, both in terms of fixed lines and revenue, is occupied by Brazilian Oi (Telemar).  

The main international companies operating in Latin America are Telefónica and Telmex. Telefónica dominates the fixed-line market in several countries, while Telmex is the market leader only in Mexico but has operations throughout the region. Telmex’s sister company América Móvil also competes with Telefónica in most of Latin America’s mobile markets, and sometimes also in the fixed-line sector.

  Top 10 fixed-line operators by lines in service - 2007 - 2008 Operator | Country | 2007 | 2008 | Annual change | Fixed lines in service (million) | Telmex (Mexico only) | Mexico | 17.80 | 17.59 | -1.2% | Oi | Brazil | 14.22 | 13.94 | -2.0% | Telesp (Telefónica) | Brazil | 11.97 | 11.66 | -2.5% | Brasil Telecom | Brazil | 8.03 | 8.13 | +1.2% | CANTV | Venezuela | 4.25 | 5.06 | +19.1% | TASA (Telefónica) | Argentina | 4.68 | 4.60 | -1.7% | Telecom Argentina | Argentina | 4.21 | 4.30 | +2.2% | TdP (Telefónica) | Peru | 2.84 | 2.99 | +5.0% | Colombia Telecom | Colombia | 2.33 | 2.30 | -1.3% | CTC (Telefónica) | Chile | 2.17 | 2.12 | -2.4% | | (Source: BuddeComm based on company data)

  Key highlights:Argentina

Argentina has adopted a single licence for all telecom services (Licencia Única), including fixed and mobile telephony, Internet access, data communications, and value added services. Argentina’s long-distance market is highly competitive, but in the basic telephony sector, meaningful competition has yet to develop. Two regional incumbents, Telefónica de Argentina and Telecom Argentina, dominate the local fixed-line infrastructure. Telecom Argentina is under cross-holding scrutiny since rival operator Telefónica acquired a stake in its parent company, Telecom Italia.  

Brazil

The bulk of Brazil’s fixed-line network is divided between Telefónica’s Telesp and locally owned Oi, which is in the process of taking over the third incumbent, Brasil Telecom. América Móvil’s Embratel is the long-distance domestic and international telecom incumbent. The government authorised the merger of Oi and Brasil Telecom as a way of creating a strong national player able to compete with foreign-owned giants América Móvil and Telefónica, which would otherwise dominate the Brazilian fixed, mobile, and broadband markets.  

Mexico

With the opening of the telecom market, numerous new entrants were licensed to provide services in Mexico. Nevertheless, Telmex still dominates the fixed-line market with around 90% of lines, maintaining a stranglehold over the country’s last mile infrastructure. In fact, Mexico remains the last country in the OECD yet to unbundle its local loop. In mid-2008, Telmex spun off its international operations, keeping the lion’s share of the company’s debt and releasing its international operations from its domestic operations. Telmex reported a decline in revenues for the year ending December 2008 due to poor performance in voice services. It enjoyed robust growth, on the other hand, in its Internet segment, and in particular from data related services.  

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 Fixed network operators in Argentina
1.1.1 Overview of operators
1.1.2 Telefónica de Argentina
1.1.3 Telecom Argentina
1.1.4 Telmex Argentina
1.1.5 Comsat Argentina
1.1.6 IPLAN
1.1.7 Telecom Cooperatives
1.1.8 Global Crossing (previously Impsat)
2. Belize
2.1 Telecom network operators in Belize
2.1.1 Overview of operators
2.1.2 Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL)
3. Bolivia
3.1 Telecom network operators in Bolivia
3.1.1 Overview of operators
3.1.2 Entel
3.1.3 Cooperatives
4. Brazil
4.1 Fixed network operators in Brazil
4.1.1 Overview of fixed network market
4.1.2 Oi (Telemar)
4.1.3 Brasil Telecom
4.1.4 Telesp
4.1.5 Embratel
4.1.6 GVT
4.1.7 Intelig Telecom
4.1.8 CTBC Telecom
4.1.9 Sercomtel
5. Caribbean Countries
5.1 Major telecom operators in the Caribbean
5.1.1 Cable & Wireless
5.1.2 Digicel
5.2 Telecommunications market overview
5.2.1 Fixed line teledensity statistics
6. Chile
6.1 Fixed network operators in Chile
6.1.1 Overview of operators
6.1.2 Telefónica Chile
6.1.3 Entel Chile
6.1.4 VTR Globalcom
6.1.5 Telefónica del Sur (Telsur)
6.1.6 Telmex Chile
6.1.7 GTD Manquehue and the GTD Group
7. Colombia
7.1 Fixed network operators in Colombia
7.1.1 Overview of operators
7.1.2 Telefónica Telecom (previously Colombia Telecom)
7.1.3 ETB
7.1.4 UNE-EPM Telecomunicaciones
7.1.5 Telmex Colombia
7.1.6 Emcali
8. Costa Rica
8.1 Fixed network operator in Costa Rica
8.1.1 ICE
9. Cuba
9.1 Fixed network operator in Cuba
9.1.1 Empresa de Telecomunicaciones del Cuba SA (Etecsa)
10. Dominican Republic
10.1 fixed network operators in the Dominican Republic
10.1.1 Overview of operators
10.1.2 Codetel (formerly Verizon Dominicana)
10.1.3 Tricom
10.1.4 Dgtec
11. Ecuador
11.1 Fixed network operators in Ecuador
11.1.1 Overview of operators
11.1.2 Corporacion Nacional de Telecomunicaciones (CNT)
11.1.3 Etapa
11.1.4 Linkotel
12. El Salvador
12.1 Telecom network operators in El Salvador
12.1.1 Overview of operators
12.1.2 CTE Telecom (América Móvil)
12.1.3 Telefónica
13. Guatemala
13.1 Telecom network operators in Guatemala
13.1.1 Overview of operators
13.1.2 Telgua (América Móvil)
13.1.3 TEM Guatemala (Telefónica)
14. Guyana
14.1 Fixed network operator in Guyana
14.1.1 Guyana Telephone & Telegraph Company (GT&T)
15. Haiti
15.1 Major fixed network operator in Haiti
15.1.1 Telecommunications D’Haiti (Teleco)
16. Honduras
16.1 Telecom network operators in Honduras
16.1.1 Hondutel
16.1.2 Multifon
16.1.3 Tele+ (Comunitel)
17. Jamaica
17.1 Major fixed network operator in Jamaica
17.1.1 Overview
17.1.2 Cable & Wireless Jamaica (C&WJ) (LIME)
18. Mexico
18.1 Fixed network operators in Mexico
18.1.1 Overview of operators
18.1.2 Teléfonos de México (Telmex)
18.1.3 Alestra
18.1.4 Axtel
18.1.5 Maxcom
18.1.6 Marcatel
19. Nicaragua
19.1 Telecom network operators in Nicaragua
19.1.1 Enitel
19.1.2 Movistar (Telefónica)
20. Panama
20.1 Fixed network operators in Panama
20.1.1 Cable & Wireless Panamá
20.1.2 ClaroCOM (Galaxy Communications Corp)
20.1.3 Telecarrier
20.1.4 Advanced Communication Network
20.1.5 Optynex Telecom
21. Paraguay
21.1 Fixed network operator in Paraguay
21.1.1 Copaco
22. Peru
22.1 Fixed network operators in Peru
22.1.1 Overview of operators
22.1.2 Telefónica del Perú
22.1.3 Movistar Perú
22.1.4 Telmex Perú
22.1.5 Americatel Perú
22.1.6 Gilat To Home Perú (GTH)
22.1.7 IDT Perú
23. Puerto Rico
23.1 Fixed network operators in Puerto Rico
23.1.1 Overview of operators
23.1.2 Puerto Rico Telephone Company (PRTC/TELPRI)
23.1.3 Centennial de Puerto Rico (CPR)
23.1.4 Telefónica Larga Distancia de Puerto Rico (TLD)
24. Suriname
24.1 Fixed network operator in Suriname
24.1.1 Telesur
25. Uruguay
25.1 Fixed network operators in Uruguay
25.1.1 Overview of operators
25.1.2 Antel
26. Venezuela
26.1 Fixed network operators in Venezuela
26.1.1 Overview of operators
26.1.2 CANTV
26.1.3 Movistar (Telefónica)
26.1.4 Digitel
26.1.5 NetUno (previously Veninfotel)
27. Glossary of Abbreviations
Table 1 - Market share of fixed lines in service in Argentina - 2003 - 2007
Table 2 - Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Argentina - 1996 - 2008
Table 3 - TASA fixed lines in service - 2000 - 2008
Table 4 - Telecom Argentina fixed lines in service - 2000 - 2008
Table 5 - Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Belize - 1998 - 2008
Table 6 - BTL fixed lines, annual change and payphones - 2003 - 2008
Table 7 - Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Bolivia - 1996 - 2008
Table 8 - Entel ADSL subscribers - 2003 - 2007
Table 9 - Entel fixed lines in service - 2000 - 2007
Table 10 - Operators’ market share of fixed lines in service in Brazil - 2000 - 2008
Table 11 - Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Brazil - 1998 - 2008
Table 12 - Oi fixed lines in service, annual change and digitisation rate - 1998 - 2008
Table 13 - Brasil Telecom fixed lines in service and digitisation rate - 1998 - 2008
Table 14 - Telesp fixed lines in service and digitisation rate - 1999 - 2008
Table 15 - Net connected voice clients and annual change - 2006 - 2008
Table 16 - GVT fixed lines in service and annual change - 2003 - 2008
Table 17 - GVT connected VoIP subscribers and annual change - 2005 - 2008
Table 18 - Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Caribbean countries - 2007
Table 19 - Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Chile - 2000 - 2008
Table 20 - Major operators - market share of fixed lines in service in Chile - 2001 - 2008
Table 21 - Entel & Telefónica Chile, market share of ILD & DLD traffic - 2001 - 2008
Table 22 - Telefónica Chile lines in service and annual change - 1999 - 2008
Table 23 - Entel lines in service and annual change - 2001 - 2008
Table 24 - VTR telephony subscribers and annual change - 2000 - 2008
Table 25 - Telsur lines in service and annual change - 1999 - 2008
Table 26 - Major operators’ market share of fixed lines in service in Colombia - 2000 - 2008
Table 27 - Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Colombia - 1996 - 2008
Table 28 - Market share of DLD traffic by operator in Colombia - 1999 - 2007
Table 29 - Market share of ILD outgoing traffic by operator in Colombia - 1999 - 2007
Table 30 - Telefónica Telecom lines in service and annual change - 2000 - 2008
Table 31 - ETB lines in service and annual change - 2000 - 2008
Table 32 - UNE-EPM lines in service and annual change - 2000 - 2008
Table 33 - Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Costa Rica - 1998 - 2008
Table 34 - Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Cuba - 1996 - 2008
Table 35 - Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Dominican Republic - 1997 - 2008
Table 36 - Operators’ market share of fixed lines in service in Ecuador - 2001 - 2009
Table 37 - Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Ecuador - 1996 - 2009
Table 38 - CNT (previously Andinatel and Pacifictel) lines in service - 2001 - 2009
Table 39 - Etapa lines in service and annual change - 2001 - 2009
Table 40 - Fixed lines in service and teledensity in El Salvador - 1996 - 2008
Table 41 - Telecom fixed lines in service and annual change - 2003 - 2008
Table 42 - Market share fixed lines in service by major operators in Guatemala - 2002 - 2008
Table 43 - Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Guatemala - 1996 - 2008
Table 44 - Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Guyana - 1997 - 2008
Table 45 - Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Haiti - 1998 - 2007
Table 46 - Market share of fixed lines in service in Honduras - 2003 - 2007
Table 47 - Number of operators: fixed, mobile, data, ISP and CATV markets in Honduras - 2004 - 2007
Table 48 - Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Honduras - 1997 - 2008
Table 49 - Hondutel fixed lines in service - 1997 - 2007
Table 50 - Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Jamaica - 1996 - 2008
Table 51 - Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Mexico - 1996 - 2008
Table 52 - Telmex lines in service and annual change - 1997 - 2008
Table 53 - Alestra lines in service by sector and annual change - 1999 - 2007
Table 54 - Axtel lines in service and annual change - 2002 - 2007
Table 55 - Maxcom lines in service and annual change - 2001 - 2008
Table 56 - Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Nicaragua - 1996 - 2007
Table 57 - Number of telecom concessions in Panama - March 2009
Table 58 - Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Panama - 1998 - 2008
Table 59 - Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Paraguay - 2000 - 2008
Table 60 - Share of fixed lines in service (top 4 operators) in Peru- 2001 - 2008
Table 61 - Share of domestic long-distance traffic (top 4 operators) in Peru - 2000 - 2008
Table 62 - Share of international long-distance outgoing traffic (top 4
Table 72 - Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Venezuela - 1997 - 2008
Table 73 - Fixed line market share by operator in Venezuela - 2003 - 2007
Table 74 - Fixed-line prepaid/postpaid ratio in Venezuela - 2001 - 2008
Table 75 - CANTV fixed lines in service and market share - 2001 - 2008
Table 76 - Movistar WLL lines - 2004 - 2008
Exhibit 1 - Telefónica de Argentina at a glance
Exhibit 2 - Telecom Argentina at a glance
Exhibit 3 - Telmex Argentina - company history
Exhibit 4 - Belize Telecommunications Ltd - history prior to 2005
Exhibit 5 - Belize Telecommunications Ltd - ownership disputes
Exhibit 6 - Entel Bolivia at a glance
Exhibit 7 - Telemar Norte Leste at a glance
Exhibit 8 - Brasil Telecom at a glance
Exhibit 9 - Disputes between Brasil Telecom’s shareholders (historical)
Exhibit 10 - Telesp at a glance
Exhibit 11 - Embratel Participações at a glance
Exhibit 12 - Principal subsidiaries of Embratel Participações - September 2008
Exhibit 13 - Vésper (historical)
Exhibit 14 - Digicel’s Caribbean operations - 2008
Exhibit 15 - Regions and primary zones in Chile
Exhibit 16 - Local telephony operators - number of zones of operation in Chile - 2008
Exhibit 17 - Telefónica Chile at a glance
Exhibit 18 - Telefónica Chile - company history
Exhibit 19 - Entel Chile at a glance
Exhibit 20 - Entel - company history
Exhibit 21 - VTR Globalcom at a glance
Exhibit 22 - VTR - company history
Exhibit 23 - Telsur at a glance
Exhibit 24 - Telsur - company history
Exhibit 25 - Telmex Chile - company history
Exhibit 26 - GTD Manquehue - company history
Exhibit 27 - Long distance access codes - incumbents and new carriers in Colombia - June 2008
Exhibit 28 - Telefónica Telecom at a glance
Exhibit 29 - Colombia Telecom - company history
Exhibit 30 - Colombia Telecom - privatisation
Exhibit 31 - Barranquilla Telecomunicaciones (liquidated)
Exhibit 32 - ETB at a glance
Exhibit 33 - UNE-EPM Telecomunicaciones at a glance
Exhibit 34 - UNE-EPM telecom subsidiaries
Exhibit 35 - Orbitel - history
Exhibit 36 - Telmex Colombia at a glance
Exhibit 37 - Telmex Colombia acquisition of AT&T
Exhibit 38 - Andinatel - history
Exhibit 39 - Pacifictel - history
Exhibit 40 - Americatel versus CTE
Exhibit 41 - Fixed-line local telephony licence holders in Mexico
Exhibit 42 - Fixed-wireless local telephony licence holders in Mexico
Exhibit 43 - Long-distance licence holders in Mexico
Exhibit 44 - Telmex at a glance
Exhibit 45 - Telefónica del Perú at a glance
Exhibit 46 - Telmex Perú - company history
Exhibit 47 - Licensed ILD operators in Uruguay - January 2009

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