Paraguay - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Market Insights and Statistics

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Paraguay - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Market Insights and Statistics

Increasing international bandwidth encouraging growth in internet use

BuddeComm's report Paraguay - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband, and Forecasts provides a comprehensive overview of the trends and developments in the country's telecommunications market, including the regulator's market data to June 2013, operator data to the end of 2013 and market developments to April 2014.

Economic background

Paraguay endured political instability and a poor economic performance in 2012, with GDP falling by 1.2%, though 2013 is expected to have recorded growth of between 10% and 12%. The outlook for 2014 remains uncertain, but is generally expected to see continued economic growth, albeit at a slower pace than in 2013.

Almost half of Paraguay's population live below the poverty line, and though GDP per capita is improving it remains among the lowest in the region. Corruption is rife, as are drug smuggling and money laundering. Nevertheless, the country has enormous potential for growth. Foreign investors are welcome in all economic sectors.

Exclusivity and competition

The state-owned incumbent, Corporación Paraguaya de Comunicaciones (Copaco), retains a monopoly on all fixed-line voice services, including local telephony, international long distance telephony, and VoIP. In the mobile market, however, there has been competition since 1998. The internet market is also open to competition, and there are over a dozen ISPs offering services. Copaco lost its monopoly over the international backbone for internet connectivity in early 2009.

Fixed line infrastructure

Unlike Uruguay's state monopoly Antel, or Costa Rica's ICE, underinvestment in infrastructure by Copaco has meant that lift Paraguay's teledensity remains very low. In order for Paraguay's telecom market to develop and reach greater potential in terms of access and revenue, the operator needs to be radically restructured.

Another major drawback for Copaco and for Paraguay's telecommunications generally is the country's landlocked position, which makes it dependant on neighbouring nations for interconnection with submarine cable networks. This has driven up the price of telecom services, particularly broadband.

Fixed broadband

Paraguay's fixed broadband penetration is among the lowest in the region, but the market is growing rapidly, primarily in Asunción and other major urban centres. Available technologies include ADSL, cable modem, FttP, and WiMAX. Copaco has a near-monopoly in the ADSL market. ADSL is the main fixed broadband technology, but it is unavailable in much of the country due to low teledensity.

Copaco's main competitor in the fixed broadband market is Millicom's Tigo, which offers broadband via cable modem under the brand name Tigo Hogar. The service is available in Asunción and neighbouring towns over a Hybrid Fibre-Coaxial (HFC) network. Tigo also provides broadband using WiMAX and FttP technologies.

Mobile telephony

Paraguay's mobile market is served by four operators: Millicom's Tigo (the market leader), Telecom Argentina's Personal, América Móvil's Claro, and Copaco's Vox.

The mobile network operators have been able to exploit the country's fixed-line infrastructure, capitalising on consumer preference for mobile services in the absence of reliable fixed-line networks. There are about 18 mobile phones in Paraguay for every fixed-line in service, the highest proportion in Latin America.

Mobile broadband

The shortcomings of the fixed broadband sector have also helped boost the uptake of mobile broadband, which is available in Paraguay through all four mobile operators using USB modems. As in other Latin American countries, it has become the fastest growing telecom sector. Strong growth is expected to continue in this market, which looks set to follow a similar pattern to voice services.

Table 1 Penetration of telecom services 2014 (e)
Sector | Penetration
Fixed-line telephony | 6.5%
Fixed-broadband | 1.6%
Mobile telephony | 106.2%
(Source: BuddeComm based on industry data)

Market highlights:

The planned auction AWS spectrum in the 1700MHz and 2100MHz bands will further encourage competition in the mobile market.

The leading mobile operator, Tigo, is also the leading pay TV operator following its acquisition of CableVisión in mid-2012.

Satellite TV services have driven the growth in the number of pay TV subscribers.

LTE service launches are spearheading consumer use of mobile data services.

In late 2013 the regulator announced plans to install free WiFi networks in 50 town centres by 2015, paid for by the Universal Service Fund (USF).

The National Telecommunications Commission and the Ministry of Health and Welfare at the end of 2013 signed an agreement to provide free broadband and data transmission services for the public health system, to be funded by the Universal Services Fund;

Paraguay expresses interest in joining the South American fibre ring project developed by the Union of South American Nations.

Tigo has entered into a partnership with Facebook by which its subscribers gain free access to Facebook services in Spanish and Guarani.

The regulator has confirmed plans to launch a tender for spectrum in the 700MHz band in 2015;

Personal (Telecom) launches a satellite TV service;

Regulator initiates a free WiFi program under the Universal Service Fund which, with hotspots installed in 30 public areas in 19 municipalities.

The report includes operator data to Q3 2014 and recent market developments.

Paraguay is an interesting albeit challenging market for prospective telecom investors, with considerable long-term growth potential especially in the fixed and mobile broadband sectors. The report covers trends and developments in the fixed-line, mobile, broadband, and pay TV markets.

Subjects include:

Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
Facts, figures, and statistics;
Government policies and regulatory issues;
Major players (fixed, mobile, and broadband);
Fixed-line market and infrastructure;
Broadband market (including ADSL, cable modem, WiMAX, and FttH);
Broadcasting (including cable TV, satellite TV, and digital terrestrial TV);
Mobile market (including 3G and mobile broadband);
Convergence and triple play solutions;
Internet, VoIP, IPTV;
Scenario forecasts for the fixed-line, mobile, and broadband markets for the years 2015 and 2020;
Tigo and Vox secure FSU funding to add locations to the national fibre network;
Claro develops M2M services with Jasper Wireless.

1. Executive summary
2. Key statistics
3. Country overview
3.1 Economic background
4. Telecommunications market
4.1 Overview of Paraguay's telecom market
4.2 Market analysis
4.3 eHealth
5. Regulatory environment
5.1 Background
5.2 Regulatory authority
5.2.1 Comision Nacional de Telecomunicaciones (Conatel)
5.3 Number Portability
5.4 Universal Service Fund
5.5 Foreign investment
6. Fixed network operators in Paraguay
6.1 Copaco
7. Telecommunications infrastructure
7.1 National telecom network
7.1.1 Fixed-line statistics
7.1.2 Forecasts fixed-line market 2015; 2020
7.1.3 Public payphones
7.2 International infrastructure
7.3 Infrastructure developments
7.3.1 Wireless Local Loop (WLL)
7.3.2 IP and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
8. Wholesale
9. Broadband access market
9.1 Overview
9.1.1 Broadband statistics
9.2 WiMAX
9.2.1 Forecasts fixed broadband market 2015; 2020
10. Convergence
11. Broadcasting
11.1 Pay TV
11.2 Digital terrestrial TV
11.3 Internet Protocol TV (IPTV)
12. Mobile communications
12.1 Overview of Paraguay's mobile market
12.1.1 Mobile statistics
12.1.2 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
12.1.3 Forecasts mobile market 2015; 2020
12.2 Regulatory issues
12.2.1 Spectrum allocations and spectrum auctions
12.3 Mobile technologies
12.3.1 Overview
12.3.2 Third generation (3G) mobile
12.3.3 Long-term Evolution (LTE)
12.3.4 Spectrum auction - 1700MHz and 2100MHz
12.4 Major mobile operators
12.4.1 Tigo (Millicom International Cellular)
12.4.2 Personal (Núcleo/Telecom Argentina)
12.4.3 Claro (América Móvil)
12.4.4 Vox (Hola Paraguay/Copaco)
12.5 Mobile Messaging
12.5.1 Short Message Service (SMS)
12.5.2 Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
12.6 Mobile broadband
12.7 Machine-to-Machine (M2M)
12.8 Mobile satellite
13. Related reports
Table 1 Penetration of telecom services 2014 (e)
Table 2 Country statistics 2014 (e)
Table 3 Telephone network statistics 2014 (e)
Table 4 Internet user statistics 2014 (e)
Table 5 Broadband statistics 2014 (e)
Table 6 Mobile statistics 2014 (e)
Table 7 National telecommunications authority
Table 8 Evolution of GDP in Paraguay 2000 - 2014
Table 9 Fixed and mobile market share of subscribers 1998 - 2014
Table 10 Historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity 1997 - 2004
Table 11 Fixed lines in service and teledensity 2005 - 2014
Table 12 Forecast fixed-line subscribers higher growth scenario 2015; 2020
Table 13 Forecast fixed-line subscribers lower growth scenario 2015; 2020
Table 14 International bandwidth 2005- 2013
Table 15 Historic - Internet users and user penetration 1998 - 2004
Table 16 Internet users and user penetration 2005 - 2014
Table 17 Historic - Broadband subscribers, annual change and penetration 2000 - 2004
Table 18 Broadband subscribers, annual change and penetration 2005 - 2014
Table 19 Cable and DSL broadband subscribers 2009 - 2014
Table 20 Fixed internet subscribers by access speed 2011 - 2013
Table 21 Forecast fixed broadband subscribers higher growth scenario 2015; 2020
Table 22 Forecast broadband subscribers lower growth scenario 2015; 2020
Table 23 Pay TV subscribers by platform 2010- 2013
Table 24 Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 1997 - 2004
Table 25 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 2005 - 2014
Table 26 Mobile subscribers: contract and prepaid 2011 - 2013
Table 27 Mobile operators' market share 2002 - 2014
Table 28 Forecast mobile subscribers higher growth scenario 2015; 2020
Table 29 Forecast mobile subscribers lower growth scenario 2015; 2020
Table 30 Mobile spectrum distribution
Table 31 Tigo - mobile subscribers 2002 - 2014
Table 32 Personal - mobile subscribers 2002 - 2014
Table 33 Personal handset sales 2011 - 2013
Table 34 Personal mobile revenue 2011 - 2014
Table 35 SMS traffic 2012 - 2014
Table 36 Mobile broadband penetration 2009 - 2014
Table 37 Mobile broadband subscribers by data rate 2009 - 2013
Chart 1 Fixed lines in service and teledensity 2005 2014
Chart 2 Internet users and user penetration 2005 2014
Chart 3 Broadband subscribers, annual change and penetration 2005 2014
Chart 4 Fixed internet subscribers by access speed 2011 - 2013
Chart 5 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 2005 2014
Chart 6 Mobile subscribers: contract and prepaid 2011 2013
Exhibit 1 Map of Paraguay

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