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Uruguay - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media - Statistics and Analyses

  • May 2016
  • -
  • Paul Budde Communication Pty Ltd
  • -
  • 39 pages

Uruguay experiencing further delays to ASO process

Uruguay is among the more politically stable countries in Latin America. The government has been supportive of business, and has pursued prudent macroeconomic policies which have been sympathetic to investment. Transparent regulations, growing domestic consumption, relatively high living standards for the region, and a cheap labour force are expected to continue drawing international capital.
Uruguay enjoys one of the highest broadband penetration rates in Latin America, and the second highest fixed-line teledensity rate after Costa Rica. Mobile penetration is the second highest after Panama. In terms of computer penetration, Uruguay tops all other countries in the region by a considerable margin, and this has facilitated growth in fixed-line broadband adoption.

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 cable TV providers to offer broadband. Cable broadband would help strengthen the pay TV market, make bundled solutions more widely available, and give customers the freedom to choose their internet provider. Nevertheless, there is a fast developing market for OTT videostreaming services. Netflix has been available since September 2011, and other providers also compete.

A new media law was passed in December 2014, aimed at curbing media concentration and providing greater certainty to licence holders. However, media companies have objected to some restrictive provisions, such as those which limit pay TV operators from having more than 25% share of subscribers nationally, or from providing telecom services on their networks.

Antel's Fibre-to-the-Premises (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 bandwidth and data rate. International bandwidth tripled as a result of the cable landing. Antel is also investing in a new sub-sea cable, linking the country to Brazil and with connectivity to Florida. This cable is scheduled to be lit at the end of 2016.

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 through 3G and LTE networks. Mobile broadband is the fastest growing telecom sector by far. Operators have achieved nationwide 3g coverage, attracting a growing number of subscribers outside of Montevideo. More than a third of the population make use of mobile broadband, and the number of subscribers is soaring. 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.

Market penetration rates in Uruguay's telecoms sector 2015 (e)
Sector | Penetration
Fixed-line telephony | 35%
Fixed-broadband | 20%
Mobile telephony | 160%
(Source: BuddeComm)

Key developments:

Telefónica launches Movistar Play for mobile phone customers;
Further delays to ASO process;
Antel invests $30 million in Uruguay-Brazil cable, to be completed by the end of 2017;
Antel connects over half a million premises to Internet Vera fibre network;
New media law criticised for restriction on ban on pay TV operators offering telecom services; Claro again prepares to launch DTH services after its licence was twice revoked;
Spectrum allocations in the 900MHz, 1900MHz, and 1700-2100MHz bands helping to extend mobile broadband services;.
International bandwidth increased to 161Gb/s;
Movistar extends commercial LTE services;
Report includes the regulator's market data to June 2015, telcos' operating and financial data to Q1 2016, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Antel, Claro Uruguay, Movistar Uruguay, Dedicado.

Table Of Contents

Uruguay - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media - Statistics and Analyses
1. Executive summary
2. Key statistics
3. Country overview
4. Telecommunications market
4.1 Historical overview
4.2 Market analysis
5. Regulatory environment
5.1 Regulatory authority
5.2 Government policies
5.2.1 Telecom sector liberalisation in Uruguay
5.2.2 Privatisation
5.2.3 New Media Law December 2014
5.2.4 Ceibal Plan
5.2.5 Internet for All (Universal Hogares)
6. Fixed network operators
6.1 Introduction
6.2 Antel
7. Telecommunications infrastructure
7.1 Overview of the national telecom network
7.2 International infrastructure
7.3 Infrastructure developments
7.3.1 Fixed-wireless and Wireless Local Loop (WLL)
8. Wholesale
9. Fixed-line broadband market
9.1 Market analysis
9.2 Broadband statistics
9.2.1 Forecasts broadband subscribers 2016; 2018; 2021
9.2.2 Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP) networks
10. Digital Media
10.1 Bundled services
10.2 Pay TV overview
10.3 Pay-TV statistics
10.4 Digital Terrestrial TV (DTTV)
10.5 Communications: Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
11. Mobile market
11.1 Market analysis
11.2 Mobile statistics
11.2.1 Short Message Service (SMS)
11.3 Mobile broadband
11.4 Forecasts mobile subscribers 2016; 2018; 2021
11.5 Regulatory issues
11.5.1 Spectrum allocations and spectrum auctions
11.5.2 Auction results 2013
11.5.3 SIM card registration
11.6 Mobile infrastructure
11.6.1 Digital networks
11.6.2 3G
11.6.3 Long-term Evolution (LTE)
11.6.4 Mobile satellite
11.7 Major mobile operators
11.7.1 Antel
11.7.2 Movistar
11.7.3 Claro
12. Related reports

Tables and Charts

Table 1 Country statistics Uruguay 2015 (e)
Table 2 Telephone network statistics 2015 (e)
Table 3 Internet user statistics 2015 (e)
Table 4 Broadband statistics 2015 (e)
Table 5 Mobile statistics 2015 (e)
Table 6 National telecommunications authority
Table 7 Evolution of GDP in Uruguay 2000 - 2015
Table 8 Ratio of mobile to fixed-line phones - 1997 - 2015
Table 9 Telecom services comparative change in price 2005 - 2013
Table 10 Telecommunications contribution to GDP 2008 - 2015
Table 11 Telecommunications revenue 2008 - 2016
Table 12 Telecommunications services revenue 2013 - 2015
Table 13 Fixed-line revenue 2008 - 2016
Table 14 Telecom share of revenue by segment 2005 2014
Table 15 Fixed-line services revenue 2008 - 2016
Table 16 Fixed-line national traffic 2008 - 2016
Table 17 Fixed-line traffic to mobile networks - 2005 - 2016
Table 18 Historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity 1997 - 2009
Table 19 Fixed lines in service and teledensity 2010 - 2016
Table 20 Historic - Public payphones 1997 - 2009
Table 21 Public payphones 2010 - 2015
Table 22 International internet bandwidth 2001 - 2015
Table 23 Historic - Internet users and user penetration rate 1997 - 2009
Table 24 Internet users and user penetration rate 2010 - 2016
Table 25 Fixed and fixed wireless broadband subscribers and penetration rates 2005 - 2016
Table 26 Fixed-line broadband subscribers by platform 2011 - 2014
Table 27 Fixed broadband operators' market share 2008 - 2015
Table 28 Dial-up internet subscribers - 2008 - 2014
Table 29 Dial-up internet traffic - 2011 - 2015
Table 30 Data/internet revenue 2012; 2014
Table 31 Forecast fixed broadband subscribers 2016; 2018; 2021
Table 32 Pay-TV subscribers and penetration rates 2001 - 2015
Table 33 Pay-TV revenue 2011 - 2014
Table 34 Pay-TV operators' market share 2010- 2015
Table 35 Pay-TV subscribers by platform June 2015
Table 36 Mobile market revenue 2008- 2016
Table 37 Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 1997 - 2009
Table 38 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 2010 - 2016
Table 39 Mobile operators' market share 2002 - 2015
Table 40 Evolution of mobile ARPU in Uruguay major operators 2008 - 2011
Table 42 Mobile prepaid/postpaid ratio 2005 - 2015
Table 43 Mobile prepaid and contract subscribers 2007 - 2015
Table 44 SMS message volume 2009 - 2015
Table 45 Average SMS sent per subscriber per month 2012 - 2014
Table 46 Mobile broadband subscribers and penetration rates 2008 - 2016
Table 47 Mobile internet connections by speed 2014 - 2015
Table 48 Proportion of mobile internet connections by speed 2014 - 2015
Table 49 Forecast mobile subscribers 2016; 2018; 2021
Table 50 Antel mobile subscribers 2002 - 2015
Table 51 Movistar Uruguay mobile subscribers - 2002 - 2016
Table 52 Movistar Uruguay mobile revenue - 2012 - 2016
Table 53 Claro mobile subscribers 2004 - 2015
Chart 1 Telecom revenue by segment 2005 - 2014
Chart 2 Fixed lines in service and teledensity 2005 2016
Chart 3 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 2005 2016
Exhibit 1 Map of Uruguay
Exhibit 2 - Licensed ILD operators in Uruguay
Exhibit 3 Antel at a glance

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