Venezuela - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses
Venezuela continues with national broadband project despite economic difficulties
Venezuela’s fixed-line teledensity was relatively high for the region before the steady growth in the number of lines came to an end in 2015. Since then the number of lines has plummeted, and by late 2018 teledensity had fallen to about 14%. The cause is largely linked to the country’s ongoing economic troubles, which have compelled many people to terminate fixed-line telecom services. While some of these lost customers are relying on mobile networks for voice and data services, this sector has also seen a decline in the number of subscribers. The financial concerns of customers have been exacerbated by the decrepit state of much of the fixed network, hampered by the difficulty to pay for equipment from foreign vendors. This has resulted in a poor quality of service in many areas of the country. The economic troubles are causing considerable distortions in the market, both in terms of reportable revenue and investment.
Mobile penetration in Venezuela is below the average for South America, while growth in the sector has been set back in recent years. The number of mobile subscribers fell 11.2% in 2017 as subscribers terminated services in a bid to reduce discretionary spending. Part of the decline is also related to the large number of people who have fled economic hardship: the UN’s International Organisation for Migration (IOM) estimated that 2.3 million Venezuelans have left the country since 2014.
Nevertheless, 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 despite difficulties in financing network upgrades and paying for equipment: Movilnet delayed launching its own LTE services until early 2017 because of its inability to purchase equipment from foreign vendors. In terms of revenue, the mobile sector accounts for about 46% of overall telecom sector revenue, compared to 11.7% for internet services.
Venezuela’s fixed broadband penetration is lower than the regional average, while data speeds are also relatively low. Partly due to the ongoing economic crisis and partly to the rising popularity of mobile broadband, growth in the fixed broadband market slowed for a number of years and in 2017 it fell marginally.
The government has launched a National Fibre-Optic Backbone project, being implemented by CANTV, to provide broadband access nationally. Progress with the project continues.
This report provides an overview of Venezuela’s telecom infrastructure, market and regulatory environment. It also reviews the broadband market, accompanied by relevant statistics, analyses, and subscriber forecasts. In addition the report assesses developments in the mobile segment, profiling the major operators and their strategies to compete in a very difficult market.
CANTV’s fibre network extended to 30,000kms;
Falling GDP and lower revenue from oil exports continue to place a strain on consumer spend for telecom services;
Movilnet extends LTE population coverage to about 47% by mid-2018, reports having one million LTE subscribers;
Mobile data traffic grows 18% in the third quarter of 2017, year-on-year;
CANTV makes progress with National Fibre-Optic Backbone project;
Fixed-broadband subscriber base falls under economic pressures
Report update includes the regulator’s market data for 2017, operator data updates, recent market developments.
Companies mentioned in this report:
CANTV, Movistar (Telefónica Venezuela), Digitel, Inter, NetUno, Alodiga, Multiphone, Totalcom, Convergía, Movilnet, MovilMax, Tesacom, SuperCable, DirecTV.
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