Market Research Logo

Mobile Operators - Latin America

Mobile Operators - Latin America

Continuing market consolidation and merger activity signify major changes for 2015

Latin America’s mobile market is dominated by four multinational operators, which together account for about 80% of the region’s subscribers. There remains room for a vibrant MVNO segment, while changes to company share ownership, as well as recent regulatory measures and the competitive strain experienced by some players continue to make the market fluid.

Mexico’s América Móvil is the largest player in the region, operating in 17 countries. The company also has a significant presence in the US via its MVNO Tracfone, and has recently ventured into Europe by taking stakes in two key local operators. It has a 25.7% interest in KPN, through which it has access to the Dutch and Belgian mobile markets, as also a 26.8% stake in Telekom Austria, through which it has access to seven other markets including Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Macedonia, Bulgaria and Belarus.

In Latin America, the second largest operator is Spain’s Telefónica, providing services under the Movistar brand in all markets except Brazil, where it operates under the Vivo brand. Brazil is Telefónica’s key market in the region, where it has over 79 million mobile subscribers.

Telecom Italia operates in Brazil, as also still in Argentina via its stake in Telecom Argentina, and Paraguay. The operator will soon exit Argentina, having sold its interest in the incumbent operator for $960 million. Millicom provides mobile services, branded as Tigo, in three Central American countries (El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras) and three South American (Bolivia, Colombia, Paraguay), while Digicel and Cable & Wireless are the dominant players in the Caribbean.

The regional mobile market showed great promise during the 1990s when it was first opened up to competition, and when governments and regulators began licensing spectrum. A number of international operators ventured into these markets, though uncertainties concerning licence regimes, as well as the vicissitudes caused by changing strategies and economic performances of players led to considerable consolidation. This is ongoing, with US-based NII Holdings, which provides wireless services under the Nextel brand in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Chile, announcing in August 2014 that it may file for bankruptcy. The operator has about 9.3 million mobile subscribers in these markets, having lost 6% of its subscriber base year-on-year.

In Mexico, a new regulatory regime was recently introduced aimed at curbing the dominance of América Móvil, which controls 70% of the wireless market and 80% of landlines. In response, in July 2014 América Móvil announced that it would sell assets to reduce its local market share to below 50% by 2018. This will enable other operators to compete more effectively, while future spectrum auctions will be geared to encouraging the market entry of new players.

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


  • EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
  • OVERVIEW MAJOR MOBILE OPERATORS IN LATIN AMERICA
    • Table LAC's major mobile operators - subscribers - 2010 - 2014
    • Table América Móvil - subscribers in the LAC region - 2010 - 2014
    • Table Telefónica - subscribers in the LAC region - 2010 - 2014
    • Table Telecom Italia - subscribers in the LAC region - 2010 - 2014
    • Table Millicom International Cellular - subscribers in the LAC region - 2010 - 2014
  • ARGENTINA
    • OVERVIEW OF ARGENTINA'S MOBILE MARKET
    • MOBILE NETWORK OPERATORS
      • Claro (previously CTI Móvil)
        • Table Claro at a glance
        • Table Claro - mobile subscribers - 1999 - 2013
      • Telecom Personal
        • Table Telecom Personal at a glance
        • Table Personal - mobile subscribers - 1999 - 2014
        • Table Personal - mobile ARPU - 2012 - 2014
        • Table Personal - mobile revenue - 2012 - 2014
      • Movistar
        • Table Movistar at a glance
        • Table Movistar - mobile subscribers - 1999 - 2014
        • Table Movistar - mobile revenue - 2009 - 2014
        • Table Movistar - mobile ARPU - 2008 - 2014
      • Nextel Argentina
        • Table Nextel mobile revenue - 2012 - 2014
        • Table Nextel mobile ARPU - 2012 - 2014
        • Table Nextel - mobile subscribers - 2002 - 2013
    • MOBILE VIRTUAL NETWORK OPERATORS (MVNO)
      • Overview
      • Nuestro Móvil
      • Libre.ar
  • BELIZE
    • OVERVIEW OF BELIZE'S MOBILE MARKET
    • MAJOR MOBILE OPERATORS
      • BTL (DigiCell)
      • SpeedNet (Smart)
  • BOLIVIA
    • OVERVIEW OF BOLIVIA'S MOBILE MARKET
    • MAJOR MOBILE OPERATORS
      • Entel Movil
        • Table Entel - mobile subscribers - 2000 - 2013
        • Table Entel - 4G mobile subscribers - 2012 - 2013
      • Tigo (Telecel)
        • Table Tigo - mobile subscribers - 2003 - 2014
      • Viva (NuevaTel)
    • MOBILE VIRTUAL NETWORK OPERATORS (MVNOS)
  • BRAZIL
    • OVERVIEW OF BRAZIL'S MOBILE MARKET
    • MOBILE NETWORK OPERATORS (MNOS)
      • Overview
        • Table Mobile operators' market share - 2002 - 2013
        • Table 3G/Mobile broadband market share by operator - 2009 - 2014
        • Table 3G services (phone & broadband) - operators' annual growth - 2010 - 2013
        • Table Subdivision of Brazil into regions and areas for mobile licensing
      • Vivo (Telefônica Brasil)
        • Table Telefônica Brasil (trading as Vivo) at a glance
        • Table Vivo mobile revenue - 2010 - 2013
        • Table Vivo mobile subscribers - 2002 - 2014
        • Table Vivo/Telemig- mobile subscribers - 2002 - 2007 (historical)
        • Table Vivo - concessions
      • TIM Brasil
        • Table TIM Brasil at a glance
        • Table TIM Brasil - mobile financial data - 2010 - 2014
        • Table TIM Brasil - mobile subscribers - 2002 - 2014
        • Table TIM Brasil - concession awards for frequency bands A, B, D, E
      • Claro
        • Table Claro Brasil at a glance
        • Table Claro mobile revenue - 2010 - 2014
        • Table Claro - mobile subscribers - 2002 - 2014
        • Table Claro - concessions
      • Oi
        • Table Oi (TNL PCS) at a glance
        • Table Oi mobile revenue by sector - 2012 - 2013
        • Table Oi - mobile subscribers - 2002 - 2014
        • Table Oi/Amazônia/BrT - mobile subscribers -2002 - 2008 (historic)
        • Table Oi - concession awards for frequency bands A, D, E, M
      • Nextel Brasil
        • Table NII Holdings mobile revenue - 2012 - 2014
        • Table Nextel Brazil revenue - 2010 - 2014
        • Table Nextel Brazil - mobile subscribers - 2002 - 2014
      • CTBC/Algar Telecom
        • Table Algar telecom mobile revenue - 2009 - 2013
        • Table Algar Telecom mobile subscribers - 2003 - 2013
      • Sercomtel Celular
        • Table Sercomtel - mobile subscribers - 2003 - 2013
      • Unicel/Aeiou (defunct)
    • MOBILE VIRTUAL NETWORK OPERATORS (MVNO)
      • Porto Seguro
        • Table Port Seguro M2M connections - 2012 - 2014
      • Vodafone Brazil (Datora)
      • Virgin Mobile
      • Correios
  • CARIBBEAN COUNTRIES
    • OVERVIEW OF MOBILE MARKETS IN THE CARIBBEAN
    • MAJOR TELECOM OPERATORS IN THE CARIBBEAN
      • LIME (Cable & Wireless)
        • Table LIME financial data (Caribbean) - 2010 - 2013
        • Table LIME revenue by sector - 2010 - 2013
      • Digicel
        • Table Digicel's Caribbean operations
        • Table Digicel Group financial data - 2010 - 2013
  • CHILE
    • OVERVIEW OF CHILE'S MOBILE MARKET
    • MOBILE NETWORK OPERATORS
      • Table Mobile operators' market share- 2000 - 2013
      • Entel PCS
        • Table Entel PCS at a glance
        • Table Entel PCS - mobile subscribers - 2000 - 2014
        • Table Entel PCS - mobile broadband subscribers - 2012 - 2014
      • Movistar (Telefónica Móviles Chile)
        • Table Telefónica Móviles Chile at a glance
        • Table Movistar - mobile subscribers - 2000 - 2014
      • Claro Chile (América Móvil)
        • Table Claro Chile at a glance
        • Table Claro - mobile subscribers - 2000 - 2014
      • Nextel Chile
        • Table Nextel - mobile subscribers - 2008 - 2014
      • VTR
        • Table VTR - mobile subscribers - 2012 - 2014
    • MOBILE VIRTUAL NETWORK OPERATORS (MVNOS)
      • Overview
      • GTD Móvil
      • Virgin Mobile Chile
        • Table Virgin Mobile - mobile subscribers - 2012 - 2014
      • Falabella Móvil
  • COLOMBIA
    • OVERVIEW OF COLOMBIA'S MOBILE MARKET
    • MOBILE NETWORK OPERATORS
      • Claro (Comcel/América Móvil)
        • Table Comcel (trading as Claro) at a glance
        • Table Claro subscribers - 2001-2013
      • Movistar (Telefónica)
        • Table Movistar at a glance
        • Table Movistar subscribers - 2001-2013
      • Tigo (Colombia Móvil/Millicom, EPM, ETB)
        • Table Tigo at a glance
        • Table Tigo subscribers - 2003-2013
        • Table Tigo financial data - 2010-2013
      • Avantel
      • UNE-EPM
    • MOBILE VIRTUAL NETWORK OPERATORS
      • Market analysis
      • Uff! Móvil
      • ETB
      • Metrotel
      • Emcali
      • Virgin Mobile
      • Móvil Éxito
  • COSTA RICA
    • OVERVIEW OF COSTA RICA'S MOBILE MARKET
      • Table Mobile revenue by service 2011 - 2012
    • MAJOR MOBILE OPERATOR
      • ICE
      • Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
  • CUBA
    • OVERVIEW OF CUBA'S MOBILE MARKET
    • MAJOR MOBILE OPERATORS
      • ETECSA
  • DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
    • OVERVIEW OF THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC'S MOBILE MARKET
    • MAJOR MOBILE OPERATORS
      • Claro (formerly Verizon Dominicana)
      • Orange Dominicana
        • Table Orange Dominicana subscribers - 2008 - 2014
        • Table Orange Dominicana revenue - 2008 - 2014
      • Tricom
      • VIVA (formerly Trilogy Dominicana)
  • ECUADOR
    • OVERVIEW OF ECUADOR'S MOBILE MARKET
    • MAJOR MOBILE OPERATORS
      • Table Mobile operators' market share - 1997 - 2014
      • Claro (Conecel)
        • Table Historic - Claro - mobile subscribers - 1997 - 2004
        • Table Claro - mobile subscribers - 2005 - 2014
      • Movistar (Otecel)
        • Table Historic - Movistar - mobile subscribers - 1997 - 2004
        • Table Movistar - mobile subscribers - 2005 - 2014
        • Table Movistar mobile financial data - 2012 - 2013
      • CNT
        • Table CNT - mobile subscribers - 2003 - 2014
  • EL SALVADOR
    • OVERVIEW OF EL SALVADOR'S MOBILE MARKET
    • MAJOR MOBILE OPERATORS
      • Tigo (Millicom)
        • Table Tigo - mobile subscribers - 1997 - 2014
      • Claro (América Móvil)
        • Table Historic - Claro - mobile subscribers - 2002 - 2008
      • Movistar (Telefónica Móviles)
        • Table Historic - Movistar - mobile subscribers - 2000 - 2008
      • Digicel
        • Table Historic - Digicel - mobile subscribers - 2003 - 2008
      • RED (Intelfon)
        • Table Historic - RED - mobile subscribers - 2005 - 2008
  • GUATEMALA
    • OVERVIEW OF GUATEMALA'S MOBILE MARKET
    • MAJOR MOBILE OPERATORS
      • Tigo (Millicom)
        • Table Tigo - mobile subscribers - 2000 - 2013
      • Claro (América Móvil)
        • Table Claro - mobile subscribers (historic) - 2000 - 2013
      • Movistar (Telefónica)
        • Table Movistar - Central American revenue - 2010 - 2013
        • Table Movistar - mobile subscribers - 2000 - 2013
      • RED (Intelfon)
  • GUYANA
    • OVERVIEW OF GUYANA'S MOBILE MARKET
    • MAJOR MOBILE OPERATORS
      • Cellink (GT&T)
        • Table GT&T mobile subscribers - 1999 - 2013
      • Digicel Guyana
  • HAITI
    • OVERVIEW OF HAITI'S MOBILE MARKET
    • MAJOR MOBILE OPERATORS
      • Digicel
      • Comcel (Voilà)
      • Haiti Telecommunications International (HaiTel)
      • Natcom
      • Rectel (Teleco)
    • MOBILE COMMERCE
  • HONDURAS
    • OVERVIEW OF THE HONDURAN MOBILE MARKET
    • MAJOR MOBILE OPERATORS
      • Tigo/Celtel (Millicom)
        • Table Tigo - mobile subscribers - 2000 - 2014
        • Table Tigo financial data - 2009 - 2010
        • Table Tigo mobile ARPU - 2009 - 2010
      • Claro/Sercom (América Móvil)
        • Table Claro - mobile subscribers - 2003 - 2013
      • Hondutel
      • Digicel
  • JAMAICA
    • OVERVIEW OF THE JAMAICAN MOBILE MARKET
    • MAJOR MOBILE OPERATORS
      • Digicel
      • Claro
      • LIME
    • M-BANKING
  • MEXICO
    • OVERVIEW OF MEXICO'S MOBILE MARKET
    • MAJOR MOBILE OPERATORS
      • Telcel
        • Table Telcel subscribers and annual change - 2000 - 2014
        • Table Telcel churn, monthly minutes of use and ARPU - 2008 - 2014
        • Table Telcel wireless revenue - 2010 - 2014
      • Movistar
        • Table Movistar subscribers and annual change - 2001 - 2014
        • Table Movistar minutes of use and ARPU - 2008 - 2014
        • Table Movistar financial data - 2008 - 2014
      • Grupo Iusacell
        • Table Iusacell subscribers and annual change - 2000 - 2010
        • Table Unefón subscribers and annual change (historic) - 2000 - 2007
      • Nextel de México
      • Mobile Virtual network operators
  • NICARAGUA
    • OVERVIEW OF NICARAGUA'S MOBILE MARKET
    • MAJOR MOBILE OPERATORS
      • Claro (América Móvil)
        • Table Historic - Claro mobile subscribers - 2003 - 2008
      • Movistar (Telefónica)
        • Table Historic - Movistar mobile subscribers - 2000 - 2008
  • PANAMA
    • OVERVIEW OF PANAMA'S MOBILE MARKET
    • MAJOR MOBILE OPERATORS
      • +Móvil (C&WP)
        • Table C&W - mobile subscribers - 2005 - 2014
      • Movistar (Telefónica)
      • Digicel Panamá
      • Claro Panamá (América Móvil)
  • PARAGUAY
    • OVERVIEW OF PARAGUAY'S MOBILE MARKET
    • MAJOR MOBILE OPERATORS
      • Tigo (Millicom International Cellular)
        • Table Tigo - mobile subscribers - 2002 - 2014
      • Personal (Núcleo/Telecom Argentina)
        • Table Personal - mobile subscribers - 2002 - 2014
        • Table Personal - handset sales - 2011 - 2013
        • Table Personal mobile revenue - 2011 - 2014
      • Claro (América Móvil)
      • Vox (Hola Paraguay/Copaco)
  • PERU
    • OVERVIEW OF PERU'S MOBILE MARKET
    • MAJOR MOBILE OPERATORS
      • Movistar Perú (Telefónica Móviles Perú)
        • Table Telefónica Móviles Perú at a glance
        • Table Movistar - mobile subscribers - 2001 - 2014
      • Claro Perú (América Móvil)
        • Table Claro Perú at a glance
        • Table Claro Peru mobile revenue - 2009 - 2014
        • Table Claro Peru - mobile subscribers - 2001 - 2014
      • Mobile Perú (Entel)
        • Table Mobile Perú at a glance
        • Table Mobile Peru subscribers - 2001 - 2014
        • Table Mobile Peru subscribers by type - 2013 - 2014
      • Viettel Peru
  • PUERTO RICO
    • OVERVIEW OF PUERTO RICO'S MOBILE MARKET
    • MAJOR MOBILE OPERATORS
      • AT&T Mobility
      • Claro (América Móvil)
      • T-Mobile
      • Sprint PCS
      • Open Mobile
  • SURINAME
    • OVERVIEW OF SURINAME'S MOBILE MARKET
    • MAJOR MOBILE OPERATORS
      • TeleG (Telesur)
      • Digicel
      • Uniqa
  • URUGUAY
    • OVERVIEW OF URUGUAY'S MOBILE MARKET
    • MAJOR MOBILE OPERATORS
      • Antel
        • Table Antel - mobile subscribers - 2002 - 2013
      • Movistar
        • Table Movistar - mobile subscribers-2002 - 2013
      • Claro
        • Table Claro - mobile subscribers - 2004 - 2013
  • VENEZUELA
    • OVERVIEW OF VENEZUELA'S MOBILE MARKET
    • MAJOR MOBILE OPERATORS
      • Table Market share of mobile operators - 2001 - 2013
      • Movilnet (CANTV)
        • Table Movilnet at a glance
        • Table Movilnet - mobile subscribers - 2001 - 2013
      • Movistar (Telefónica)
        • Table Movistar at a glance
        • Table Movistar subscribers - 2001 - 2013
      • Digitel
        • Table Digitel at a glance

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