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Uruguay - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband

Uruguay is one of the regional leaders in several key indicators, such as adult literacy, Internet penetration, and teledensity. In fact, despite being a state-owned monopoly, Uruguay’s local fixed line market has achieved the second highest teledensity in Latin America after Costa Rica (bar a few of the wealthier Caribbean islands). Fixed line growth, however, has begun to stagnate in favour of mobile phones. Uruguay’s mobile penetration used to be well below its neighbours, yet the unprecedented growth that began in 2005 has lifted it about 39% above the regional average. All three mobile operators (state-owned Ancel, Telefónica’s Movistar, and América Móvil’s Claro) have launched 3G services. Uruguay is the first Latin American country to have adopted Europe’s DVB standard for digital TV. This report provides an overview of the country’s telecom sector accompanied by relevant statistics and analyses.


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Uruguay is one of the regional leaders in several key indicators, such as adult literacy, Internet penetration, and teledensity. Mobile telephony and broadband have been the fastest growing telecom sectors, accounting for an increasing portion of the country’s total telecom revenues. As a result of the economic slowdown, however, the telecom market is likely to remain flat in 2009.

Despite being a state-owned monopoly, Uruguay’s local fixed line market has achieved the second highest teledensity in Latin America after Costa Rica (bar a few of the wealthier Caribbean islands), but fixed line growth has begun to stagnate in favour of mobile phones.

With one of the highest literacy rates in Latin America and around 50% of households having their own PC, Uruguay is one of the world’s leading software exporters and Latin America’s outsourcing hub. Uruguay has numerous telecentres that offer Internet and long-distance telephony services. A government universal access program has installed community access centres and supplied schools throughout the country with free Internet connection.

Uruguay’s mobile penetration is about 39% above the Latin American average. This is an outstanding performance, considering that in 2004, before market liberalisation, Uruguay had one of the lowest mobile penetration rates in the region.

Key highlights:

  • Uruguay’s mobile penetration is about 110%, having passed the 100% mark in August 2008. All three mobile operators (state-owned Ancel, Telefónica’s Movistar, and América Móvil’s Claro) have launched 3G services. For more information, see chapter 11.4, page 21.
  • Uruguay is one of the few countries in the world where broadband access via cable modem is prohibited. There has been talk of regulatory changes to legalise cable broadband, as it would allow triple play solutions and foster greater dynamisms in the broadband market. For more information, see chapter 8, page 12.
  • The Uruguayan government has launched a program dubbed Cardales, aimed at providing Internet access, pay TV, and telephony to all Uruguayan families that do not already have these services. For more information, see chapter 10.2, page 15.
  • The outlook for cable TV in 2009 is not promising. In fact, cable TV has been the first telecom sector to feel the effects of the downturn, with the number of subscribers declining 1.5% in the in the second half of 2008. For more information, see chapter 10.3, page 15.
  • Uruguay is deploying digital terrestrial TV, having become the first Latin American country to adopt Europe’s DVB standard. For more information, see chapter 10.4, page 17.

  • SYNOPSIS
  • KEY STATISTICS
    • Table Country statistics Uruguay - 2008
    • Table Telephone network statistics - 2008
    • Table Internet user statistics - 2008
    • Table Broadband statistics - 2008
    • Table Mobile statistics - 2008
    • Table National telecommunications authority
  • COUNTRY OVERVIEW
  • TELECOMMUNICATIONS MARKET
    • OVERVIEW OF URUGUAY'S TELECOM MARKET
    • MARKET ANALYSIS - 2007 - 2009
      • Table Telecom operating revenues and sector breakdown - 2005 - 2007
  • REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT
    • REGULATORY AUTHORITY
      • UnidadReguladora de Servicios de Comunicaciones (URSEC)
    • TELECOM SECTOR LIBERALISATION IN URUGUAY
    • PRIVATISATION OF ANTEL
  • FIXED NETWORK OPERATORS IN URUGUAY
    • OVERVIEW OF OPERATORS
      • Table Licensed ILD operators in Uruguay - January 2009
    • ANTEL
      • Table Antel at a glance
  • TELECOMMUNICATIONS INFRASTRUCTURE
    • NATIONAL TELECOM NETWORK
      • Table Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 1997 -2008
      • Public payphones
        • Table Public payphones - 1997 -2008
    • INTERNATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE
      • Submarine cable networks
        • Table Major submarine cable network landing in Uruguay
      • Satellite networks
  • INTERNET MARKET
    • OVERVIEW
      • Table Internet users and user penetration rate - 1999 - 2008
      • Table Internet Dial-up customers - 2003 - 2008
    • CEIBAL PROJECT
  • BROADBAND MARKET
    • OVERVIEW
      • Table Broadband subscribers and penetration rates - 2005 - 2008
    • ASYMMETRIC DIGITAL SUBSCRIBER LINE (ADSL)
      • Table Anteldata - ADSL subscribers - 2003 - 2008
    • WIRELESS BROADBAND
      • WiFi
      • WiMAX
    • BROADBAND PROVIDERS
  • CONTENT AND E-SERVICES
  • CONVERGENCE
    • OVERVIEW OF MEDIA CONVERGENCE
    • TRIPLE PLAY
      • PAY TV
        • Table Pay TV subscribers and penetration rates - 2001 - 2008
        • Table Pay TV market share - 2008
    • DIGITAL TERRESTRIAL TV
  • MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS
    • OVERVIEW OF URUGUAY'S MOBILE MARKET
      • Mobile statistics
        • Table Mobile subscribers by operator and technology - 2008
        • Table Mobile subscribers and penetration rate - 1997 - 2008
        • Table Market share by mobile operators - 2000 - 2008
    • REGULATORY ISSUES
      • Spectrum auctions
    • MOBILE TECHNOLOGIES AND MOBILE DATA SERVICES
      • Digital
      • Third generation (3G) mobile
    • MAJOR MOBILE OPERATORS
      • Movistar
        • Table Movistar - mobile subscribers - 2000 - 2008
      • Ancel
        • Table Ancel - mobile subscribers - 1999 - 2008
      • Claro (previously CTI Movil)
        • Table Claro - mobile subscribers - 2004 - 2008
    • MOBILE DATA SERVICES
    • MOBILE VOICE SERVICES
      • Satellite mobile

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