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Uruguay - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts

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Uruguay - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts

Uruguay's FttP network passes 717,000 households

BuddeComm's report Uruguay - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband, and Forecasts provides a comprehensive overview of the trends and developments in the telecommunications market of Uruguay, including the regulator's market data for the first half of 2013, updated telcos' financial and operating data operator, developments in the pay TV sector, and market developments to the end of 2013. It also provides forecasts and analysis on the market for coming years.

Economic background

Uruguay's GDP per capita was one of the highest performing in the region during 2010 and 2011. It has since slowed to a more moderate 3.5%, a level expected to continue into 2014 and 2015. The country is among the more politically stable in Latin America, is relatively free from corruption and is not prone to the natural disasters which affect other countries in the region, particularly in the Caribbean. The government has been supportive of business, and has pursued prudent macroeconomic policies which have been sympathetic to investment. Transparent regulations, growing domestic consumption, high living standards, and a cheap labour force are expected to continue drawing international capital.

Penetration of telecom services

Bar a few Caribbean islands, Uruguay enjoys the highest broadband penetration in Latin America, the second highest fixed-line teledensity after Costa Rica, and the second highest mobile penetration after Panama. With high literacy rates and widespread computer availability, Uruguay is one of the world's leading software exporters and South America's outsourcing hub. In terms of computer penetration, Uruguay tops all other countries in the region by a considerable margin.

Exclusivity and competition

Uruguay is one of the very few Latin American countries where the local fixed-line market is neither privatised nor liberalised. Antel, the state-owned incumbent, has a monopoly in the provision of local telephony and fixed broadband services. Other segments of the telecom market have been opened to competition, including international long-distance telephony, mobile telephony, and fixed-wireless broadband.

Uruguay is also one of the few countries in the world where broadband access via cable modem does not exist. Although cable networks are well equipped technologically, and digital cable TV is widely available, telecom law prohibits data transmission over pay TV networks. There are ongoing discussions over the need to change regulations and permit TV cables to carry data. Cable broadband would help strengthen the pay TV market, make triple-play solutions more widely available, and give customers the freedom to choose their internet provider.

Government broadband initiatives

Antel's Fibre-to-the-Home (FttP) program is by far the most ambitious broadband effort in Latin America. Together with the FttP network, the opening of a new submarine cable system (Bicentenario) in early 2012 has helped boost Uruguay's internet download speed. International bandwidth tripled as a result of the cable landing.

Antel was also one of the first companies in the region to launch commercial LTE services. The LTE network supplements FttP broadband in areas where the latter is not available. It is intended that the entire population will have access to either LTE, FttP, or both technologies.

Mobile market

Three players compete in the Uruguayan mobile market: Antel, Telefónica's Movistar, and América Móvil's Claro. Antel is the mobile market leader, followed by Movistar.

All three mobile operators offer mobile broadband as well as 3G services. Mobile broadband is the fastest growing telecom sector by far. Operators have achieved nationwide UMTS coverage, attracting a growing number of subscribers outside of Montevideo. An estimated 30% of the population have opted for mobile broadband, and the number of subscribers is soaring.

Penetration of telecom services - 2014
Market penetration | 2014 (e)
Fixed-line telephony | 32%
Fixed-broadband | 20%
Mobile telephony | 160% (Source: BuddeComm)

Market highlights:

The government auction blocks of spectrum in the 900MHz, 1900MHz, and 1700-2100MHz frequency bands, raising US$64 million.
The government in mid-2013 cancelled Claro's licence to provide satellite pay-TV services.
Antel's LTE network continues to be expanded across the country, complementing the FttP service.
A service dubbed Universal Hogares aims to connect every Uruguayan home to the internet. The service is available to all those who already have a fixed telephone line, or those who acquire one, and offers basic ADSL access with no monthly fees.
The Bicentenario submarine cable linking Argentina and Uruguay was inaugurated and made operational in early 2012 with an initial capacity of 50Gb/s. The system's total design capacity is 3.84Tb/s.
Alcatel-Lucent was contracted by Claro Uruguay to build an LTE network, with expansion to a number of cities planned during 2014.
By early 2014 Antel's FttP network passed 717,000 premises. A total of 800,000 premises will be passed on completion in 2015, offering data at 120Mb/s.
Antel has signed an LTE connectivity agreement with network operators, allowing roaming between LTE networks globally.

Uruguay is one of the most advanced countries in Latin America, with a well-developed telecom infrastructure. This report covers trends and developments in the fixed-line, mobile, internet, 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, broadband, and pay TV);
Infrastructure developments;
Internet and fixed broadband market (ADSL, wireless, and FttP);
Mobile market (including 3G, LTE, and mobile broadband).

1. Executive summary
2. Key statistics
3. Country overview
3.1 Economic background
4. Telecommunications market
4.1 Overview of Uruguay's telecom market
4.2 Market analysis
5. Regulatory environment
5.1 Regulatory authority
5.1.1 Unidad Reguladora de Servicios de Comunicaciones (URSEC)
5.2 Telecom sector liberalisation in Uruguay
5.3 Privatisation
5.4 Regulatory developments
6. Fixed network operators in Uruguay
6.1 Overview of operators
6.2 Antel
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 Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
7.3.2 Fixed-wireless and Wireless Local Loop (WLL)
8. Wholesale
9. Fixed broadband access market
9.1 Overview
9.1.1 Broadband statistics
9.1.2 Forecasts fixed broadband market 2015; 2020
9.1.3 Ceibal Plan
9.1.4 Internet for All (Universal Hogares)
9.1.5 Fibre-to-the-Premise (FttP) networks
9.2 Media convergence
10. Broadcasting
10.1 Pay TV overview
10.2 Pay-TV statistics
11. Mobile communications
11.1 Overview of Uruguay's mobile market
11.1.1 Mobile statistics
11.1.2 Forecasts mobile market 2015; 2020
11.2 Regulatory issues
11.2.1 Spectrum allocations and spectrum auctions
11.2.2 Auction results 2013
11.3 Mobile technologies
11.3.1 Overview
11.3.2 Third generation mobile
11.3.3 Long-term Evolution (LTE)
11.4 Major mobile operators
11.4.1 Antel
11.4.2 Movistar
11.4.3 Claro
11.5 Mobile voice services
11.5.1 Prepaid
11.6 Mobile Messaging
11.6.1 Short Message Service (SMS)
11.7 Mobile broadband
11.8 Mobile satellite
12. Related reports
Table 1 Country statistics Uruguay 2013 (e)
Table 2 Telephone network statistics 2014 (e)
Table 3 Internet user statistics 2014 (e)
Table 4 Broadband statistics 2014 (e)
Table 5 Mobile statistics 2014 (e)
Table 6 National telecommunications authority
Table 7 Evolution of GDP in Uruguay 2000 - 2013
Table 8 Ratio of mobile to fixed line phones - 1997 - 2013
Table 9 Fixed lines in service and mobile subscribers 2005 - 2014
Table 10 Telecommunications sector contribution to GDP 2005-2014
Table 11 Telecommunications revenue 2008 - 2014
Table 12 Telecommunications revenue by sector 2012
Table 13 Telecom share of revenue by segment 2005 - 2012
Table 14 Fixed-line services revenue 2008 - 2012
Table 15 Fixed-line and mobile traffic 2008 - 2013
Table 16 Historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity 1997 - 2004
Table 17 Fixed lines in service and teledensity 2005 - 2014
Table 18 Forecast fixed line subscribers higher growth scenario 2015; 2020
Table 19 Forecast fixed line subscribers lower growth scenario 2015; 2020
Table 20 Historic - Public payphones 1997 - 2004
Table 21 Public payphones 2005 - 2014
Table 22 Historic - Internet users and user penetration rate 1997 - 2004
Table 23 Internet users and user penetration rate 1997 - 2014
Table 24 Fixed and fixed wireless broadband subscribers and penetration rates 2005 - 2014
Table 25 Fixed broadband operators' market share 2008 - 2013
Table 26 Fixed and mobile broadband subscribers - 2008 - 2013
Table 27 Dial-up internet subscribers - 2008 - 2013
Table 28 Forecast fixed broadband subscribers higher growth scenario 2015; 2020
Table 29 Forecast broadband subscribers lower growth scenario 2015; 2020
Table 30 Pay-TV subscribers and penetration rates 2001 - 2013
Table 31 Pay-TV operators' market share 2009- 2013
Table 32 Mobile market revenue 2008- 2014
Table 33 Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 1997 - 2004
Table 34 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 2005 - 2014
Table 35 Mobile operators' market share 2002 - 2013
Table 36 Evolution of mobile ARPU in Uruguay major operators 2008 - 2011
Table 37 Forecast mobile subscribers higher growth scenario 2015; 2020
Table 38 Forecast mobile subscribers lower growth scenario 2015; 2020
Table 39 Antel mobile subscribers 2002 - 2013
Table 40 Movistar mobile subscribers -2002 - 2013
Table 41 Claro mobile subscribers 2004 - 2013
Table 42 Mobile prepaid/postpaid ratio 2005 - 2013
Table 43 SMS message volume 2009 - 2013
Table 44 Mobile broadband subscribers and penetration rates 2008 - 2014
Chart 1 Fixed and mobile lines 2005 - 2014
Chart 2 Evolution of telecom revenue at a glance 2005-2014
Chart 3 Telecom revenue by segment 2005-2012
Chart 4 Fixed-line and mobile traffic 2008 2013
Chart 5 Fixed lines in service and teledensity 2005 2014
Chart 6 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 2005 2014
Exhibit 1 Map of Uruguay
Exhibit 2 - Licensed ILD operators in Uruguay
Exhibit 3 Antel at a glance

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