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

  • December 2016
  • 73 pages
  • Paul Budde Communication Pty Ltd
Report ID: 3450969

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Colombia makes progress with National Fibre Optic project
Colombia’s telecom infrastructure is reasonably well developed in the main business centres, where service availability is high. However, infrastructure remains poor in small urban centres and rural areas. The government has endeavoured to address this with a number of public programs, and has facilitated the entry of operators to the mobile market in a bid to improve competition and extend the availability of mobile broadband services nationally.

Colombia has about 20 local telephony providers, operating municipally, regionally, or nationally. Many of these started as private companies, but later became public concerns owned by their respective municipalities. The number of lines in service continues to fall steadily, with customers abandoning traditional phones in favour of mobile voice and data services. As in other Latin American countries, most of the existing fixed telephone lines are concentrated in the larger cities, leaving the rest of the population under-serviced.

Broadband penetration is relatively high for the region, though growth in the sector has been hampered by poor fixed-line infrastructure in many areas. The government has launched several initiatives to increase broadband take-up, and has in place the National ICT Plan 2008-2019 aimed at encouraging the use of ICTs and of internet services as a vehicle for economic growth. The ‘Live Digital for the People 2014-2018’ program is concentrated on promoting the use of ICT in sectors including agriculture, education, health and tourism, and also involves projects that subsidise internet access for schools, low-income households, and rural areas. There is also the Digital Connections Project, aimed at improving services in the more deprived urban areas. These efforts have had considerable success, leading to far higher growth in the number of broadband subscriptions among the lower socio-economic groups in recent years.

The cable broadband sector commands about half of the market by subscribers, with DSL having 40%. Fibre-based broadband has a growing market share, reaching 4% by mid-2016. The resurgence of cable is largely due to the growing popularity of bundled services which upgraded cable infrastructure can better support. However, growth in fibre broadband connections has far outpaced the other platforms, and the developing footprint of fibre networks is increasingly leading to the migration of DSL subscribers to fibre.

Growth in the mobile market has slowed in recent years though it retains significant potential, particularly in the mobile broadband sector where penetration is still low and where strong demand exists in rural areas where fixed-line infrastructure id poor. The market has seen considerable competition from the MVNO sector, with Virgin Mobile alone having almost 2.6 million subscribers as of mid-2016.

This report provides an overview of Colombia’s telecom infrastructure and regulatory environment. It includes profiles of the major fixed-line operators and a range of market statistics and analyses. The report also reviews the broadband and pay TV markets, accompanied by relevant statistics, analyses, and broadband subscriber forecasts to 2021. In addition the report provides insights into Colombia’s mobile market, including key market statistics and analyses as well as profiles of the major mobile operators and MVNOs, as well as subscriber forecasts.

Key developments:

Bogota City Council votes to sell its 88% interest in the local telco ETB;
Azteca completes 20,500km terrestrial cable connecting 80% of the country;
América Móvil makes commercial use of its AMX-1 submarine cable;
Movistar launches commercial VoLTE services;
Regulator amends fixed-to-mobile MTRs;
Regulator sets in train a multi-spectrum auction;
Operators launch VoLTE services;
Movistar and Claro extend licenses for ten years;
Regulator launches phase two of its Digital Connections Project extending broadband to underserved areas;
Government investing COP200 billion in national Wi-Fi network to 2018;
COP1.2 trillion to be invested in National Fibre Optic Project; ETB to cover one million premises with fibre by end-2018;
Report update includes the regulator’s market data to Q2 2016, telcos’ operating and financial data to Q3 2016, recent market developments.


Companies mentioned in this report:

Movistar/Telefónica Colombia, Claro (Telmex/Comcel), UNE-EPM, Emcali, Tigo, Avantel, Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Santa Fe de Bogotá (ETB), Telebucaramanga, Telefónica de Pereira, Edatel, BT Colombia, Calipso, Caucatel, Colomsat, Synapsis, DirecTV, Global TV, Uff! Móvil, Metrotel, Virgin Mobile, Móvil Éxito, Globalstar.

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