Mobile telephony is one of Peru’s most dynamic markets, with penetration rates upwards of 110%. This is higher than average for Latin America, a remarkable achievement considering that the country’s GDP per capita is well below the regional average. There are, however, huge disparities between urban and rural areas. In mountainous villages, where people often lack the basic necessities, mobile phones are a rarity. Penetration data hides the fact that almost one quarter of the population has no mobile phone at all, while many Peruvians – especially urban dwellers – have multiple mobile subscriptions.
Three companies compete in the mobile market: Telefónica, trading as Movistar, is the leader; América Móvil, trading as Claro, is in second place; and third is Nextel del Perú. Vietnam’s Viettel is due to become Peru’s fourth mobile network operator, with service launch expected in the first half of 2013, while Virgin Mobile plans to enter the market as a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO).
Peru’s mobile market still has considerable potential to expand, especially if economic growth continues to lift people out of poverty. Furthermore, due to the country’s low fixed broadband penetration, 3G services are likely to boom in the coming years. With the expansion of UMTS networks and the declining price of laptops and smartphones, we expect both mobile broadband and phone-based internet browsing to escalate.
Accompanied by key market statistics and analyses, this report provides an overview of the market and a brief profile of mobile operators. It also contains scenario forecasts for the years 2015 and 2020.
Viettel has pledged to invest US$324 million in infrastructure and set-up costs; the government is planning to auction spectrum for LTE services; text messaging in Peru is undeveloped compared with other Latin American countries; Movistar’s licences have expired, making Peru the second country in Latin America to face the thorny issue of mobile licence renewal.
Companies covered in this report include:
Telefónica del Perú (trading as Movistar), América Móvil Perú (trading as Claro), Nextel del Perú, Viettel Peru, Virgin Mobile.
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