Venezuela - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media - Statistics and Analyses
Venezuelan economic crisis causing revenue chaos for telcos
Venezuela’s fixed-line teledensity remains relatively high for the region, though the steady growth in the number of lines in recent years has come to an end and by late 2016 fixed-line penetration dipped below 25%.
In the telephony market CANTV’s sister company Movilnet began offering long-distance telephony services, a move sanctioned by the regulator and partly aimed at securing much needed foreign currency.
The economic troubles are causing considerable distortions in the country’s telecom market. With consumers increasingly careful with their disposable income the number of subscribers to fixed-line and mobile services has fallen, while growth in the number of broadband subscribers has stagnated. There has been pressure on operator revenue, with inflation having prompted operators to increase prices by up to 900% in 2016 (a measure which a subsequent presidential decree aimed to reverse).
CANTV and its main competitors Movistar and Digitel have maintained ambitious investment plans, largely aimed at improving their networks and expanding the reach and capabilities of new technologies and services. However, these plans have been put into disarray as a result of the difficulty in securing foreign currency.
Mobile penetration in Venezuela is below the average for South America, while growth in the sector has been set back by the ongoing economic recession. The number of mobile subscribers has fallen during the last two years though there has been some growth in mobile data traffic, spurred by the popularity of social networks, the prevalence of smartphones and continuing investments from operators in LTE infrastructure. In early 2017 Movilnet finally launched its own LTE services following several delays caused by its inability to purchase equipment from foreign vendors.
Three major players operate in the Venezuelan mobile market: Movilnet, the mobile subsidiary of state-owned CANTV, Movistar, the Venezuelan unit of Spain’s Telefónica, and Digitel, a locally owned private company. In terms of revenue, the mobile sector accounts for about 60% of overall telecom sector revenue, compared to 7% for internet services and 14% for subscription TV services.
This report provides an overview of Venezuela’s telecom infrastructure, market and regulatory environment, together with profiles of major fixed-line operators. It also covers the mobile market, reviewing the main players and providing key market statistics and analyses. In addition the report covers the fixed and fixed-wireless broadband markets as well as the pay TV markets. Mobile and broadband subscriber forecasts are provided to 2022.
Movilnet starts offering long-distance telephony services;
CANTV managing 22,000kms of fibre cabling;
Falling GDP and lower revenue from oil exports continue to place a strain on consumer spend for telecom services;
Movilnet sets up 280 LTE base stations as of June 2017;
Mobile data traffic grows 21% in the third quarter of 2016, year-on-year;
Movistar switches off its CDMA mobile and fixed-wireless voice and data network;
Movilnet announces plan to close its CDMA infrastructure;
CANTV makes progress with Wi-Fi rollout program;
Report update includes the regulator’s market data to September 2016, operators’ data updates to Q2 2017, recent market developments.
Companies mentioned in this report:
CANTV, Movistar, Digitel, Inter, NetUno, Alodiga, Multiphone, Totalcom, Convergía, Movilnet, MovilMax, Tesacom, SuperCable, DirecTV.