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El Salvador: Operators Focus on 3G Development as Uncertainty Around the Allocation of 4G Spectrum Continues

  • March 2016
  • 31 pages
  • GlobalData
Report ID: 3688710

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Summary
With revenue of $1.1bn in 2015, or 4.5% of GDP, the Salvadorian telecom and pay-TV services market is the third smallest in Latin America, beating only Bolivia and Nicaragua, both of which have lower PPP-adjusted GDP per capita levels. Pyramid Research expects total telecom service revenue will grow at a modest 1.4% CAGR between 2015 and 2020 to reach $1.2bn in 2020.

Key Findings
- Mobile subscriptions in El Salvador reached 9.2m at year-end 2015, resulting in a population penetration rate of 143.0%, above the regional average of 125%. Looking ahead, we expect mobile subscriptions in El Salvador to grow at a modest 1.2% CAGR between 2015 and 2020, to reach 9.7m and a penetration rate of 147.5%. Growth will mainly come from mobile operators attracting first-time subscribers as they expand their network footprint to suburban and rural areas of the country.

- The mobile market in El Salvador is considerably competitive, with five operators present in a relatively small market and none controlling more than 35% of subscriptions. Tigo is the largest mobile network operator in El Salvador with 2.9m subscribers and a 32.0% share at year-end 2015. The operator is followed by Claro and Digicel with 29.1% and 22.8% shares, respectively. Movistar, a distant fourth player, captured 15.7% of total subscriptions. Intelfon, operating under the RED brand, is the smallest operator with a 0.4% share at year-end 2015, providing services using iDEN technology.

- The Salvadorian government has been slow on issuing wireless spectrum for the improvement and deployment of mobile broadband services in the country. In fact, El Salvador is one of the few countries in Latin America that has not yet seen the commercial launch of LTE services.

- Broadband lines reached 362,000 at year-end 2015, equating to a penetration rate of 5.6%, well below the regional average of 11.8%. El Salvador remains one of the few countries in the region without a national broadband plan in place. Historically, return-focused investments, a lack of policy instruments to boost the geographic coverage of broadband access and market concentration have kept fixed broadband prices out of the reach of the masses in El Salvador. Looking ahead, we expect broadband lines to increase at a CAGR of 9.3% between 2015 and 2020, reaching a penetration of 8.6% by the end of 2020.

- The pay-TV market in El Salvador generated $70.3m in service revenue in 2015, up from $63.9m in 2014. Pay-TV accounts reached 338,000 at year-end 2015, for a household penetration of 20.0%, below the region's average of 42.1%. This is partly due to the relatively low levels of competition and the underlying trend of pirated/illegal pay-TV options available. Going forward, we estimate pay-TV penetration to reach 27.6% by year-end 2020, equating to 503,000 pay-TV accounts.

Synopsis
Pyramid Research's report, “El Salvador: Operators Focus on 3G Development as Uncertainty Around the Allocation of 4G Spectrum Continues,” provides an executive-level overview of the telecommunications market in El Salvador today, with detailed forecasts of key indicators up to 2020. It delivers deep quantitative and qualitative insight into the Salvadorian telecom market, analyzing key trends, evaluating near-term opportunities and assessing risk factors, based on proprietary data from Pyramid Research's databases. It provides in-depth analysis of the following:

- El Salvador in a regional context; a comparative review of market size and trends with that of other countries in the region.

- Economic, demographic and political context in El Salvador.

- The regulatory environment and trends; a review of the regulatory setting and agenda for the next 18-24 months as well as relevant developments pertaining to spectrum licensing, national broadband plans, number portability and more.

- A demand profile; analysis as well as forecasts and historical figures of service revenue from fixed telephony (including VoIP), broadband, mobile voice and data, and pay-TV markets.

- The service evolution; a look at the change in the breakdown of overall revenue by fixed/pay-TV and mobile sectors and by voice, data and video in the current year as well as the end of the forecast period.

- The competitive landscape; an examination of key trends in competition and service providers' performance, revenue market shares and expected moves over the next 18-24 months.

- An in-depth sector analysis of fixed telephony and broadband services, mobile voice and data services, and pay-TV services; a quantitative analysis of service adoption trends by technology/platform as well as operator, average revenue per line/subscription and service revenue through the end of the forecast period.

- Main opportunities; this section details the near-term opportunities for operators, vendors and investors in El Salvador's telecommunications and pay-TV markets.

Reasons To Buy
- Facilitates service providers, mobile operators, tower operators, equipment manufacturers/vendors, investment banks, management consulting companies, industry associations and regulators, to gain a context of the Salvadorian telecom services market, to align business strategies.·      Understand El Salvador's telecommunications regulatory framework, and how it will evolve over the next 18-24 months.

- Assess El Salvador's fixed telephony (including VoIP), broadband, mobile voice and data, and pay-TV market size.

- Investigate current and forecast trends in El Salvador's fixed telephony (including VoIP), broadband, mobile voice and data, and pay-TV markets.

- Gain insight on El Salvador's telecom and pay-TV market competitive landscape, examining key trends in competition and service providers' performance, revenue market shares and expected moves over the next five years.

- Identify and assess the near-term opportunities for operators, vendors and investors in El Salvador's telecommunications and pay-TV markets.

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