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Latin American Mobile Operators

  • Publication Date:July 2009
  • Publisher:BuddeComm
  • Product Type: Report
  • Pages:145

Latin American Mobile Operators

During the 1990s and around the turn of the millennium, a number of international companies ventured into Latin America's burgeoning mobile arena, including Am?(C)rica M??vil, Bell Canada International, BellSouth International, Cable & Wireless, Digicel, France Telecom, Millicom International, Portugal Telecom, Telecom Italia Mobile (TIM), Telef??nica, and Verizon Communications.

Since 2003, however, the market has undergone a process of consolidation. Several international investors have withdrawn from the region, leaving about half a dozen major multinational operators that serve roughly 81% of the market.

Am?(C)rica M??vil and Telef??nica/Portugal Telecom compete with each other in most of Latin America's major economies. Between them, they serve about 64% of the region's mobile subscribers. Am?(C)rica M??vil is the leader, with a 37% market share. Digicel has a small 2% market share, but is the leading operator in the Caribbean sub-region.

After sliding alarmingly from almost US$60 in 1997 to less than US$20 in 2002, mobile ARPU has stabilised at around US$16, although it has fallen under US$11 in some of the major markets. Venezuela is the region's best performer with US$26 mobile ARPU.

Major international mobile operators - subscribers and market share - 2007 - 2008 Company | 2007 | 2008 | Annual change | Market share | Subscribers (million) | Am?(C)rica M??vil | 143.91 | 171.53 | +19% | 37% | Telef??nica/Portugal Telecom | 100.54 | 123.39 | +23% | 27% | Telecom Italia | 43.65 | 50.18 | +15% | 11% | Millicom | 14.73 | 18.64 | +27% | 4% | Subtotal | 302.83 | 363.74 | +20% | 79% | Others (national + international) | 78.41 | 94.52 | +21% | 21% | Total | 381.24 | 458.26 | +20% | 100% | (Source: BuddeComm based on company data and Global Mobile)

Key highlights:Argentina Telef??nica's Movistar, Am?(C)rica M??vil's Claro, and Telecom Argentina's Telecom Personal run a close competition for market share. Previously, there were four mobile companies competing nationwide, but in 2005, Telef??nica acquired Bellsouth's operation, and the merged company was re-launched under the trading name Movistar. One of the merger conditions imposed by the government required Movistar to relinquish 42.5MHz of its spectrum. The government is expected to launch an auction in 2009 to award the returned spectrum to existing or new mobile operators. Nextel Argentina has a licence for trunking rather than mobile telephony, but the service it offers is similar to that of a standard mobile operator. Two associations of telecom cooperatives, Fecotel and Fecosur, have mobile licences but need spectrum to operate.

Brazil Four companies dominate the Brazilian mobile phone market: Vivo (Telef??nica/Portugal Telecom), Claro (Am?(C)rica M??vil), TIM Brasil, and Oi/Brasil Telecom. Together, these four control 98.5% of Brazil's mobile subscriber base. The consolidation process, which had halted in 2003, resumed in 2007, with the acquisition of Telemig by Vivo and of Amaz??nia Celular by Oi. In 2008, regional incumbents Oi and BrT began the process of merging. The remaining 1.5% of the market is shared between CTBC Telecom, Sercomtel, trunking network operator Nextel Brasil, and start-up company Unicel trading as Aeiou, which began a SIM-only service in September 2008 in metropolitan S??o Paulo.

Mexico In 2000, there were nine operators in the Mexican mobile market. By early 2009, there were only three major operators: America Movil (Telcel), Telef??nica (Movistar) and Grupo Iusacell (Iusacell and Unef??n). Besides these three, Nextel de M?(C)xico operates a mobile trunking network using iDEN technology. Telcel is the clear market leader, with a market share of around 72%, Movistar a distant second (19%), followed by Iusacell (5%). Nextel de M?(C)xico accounts for approximately 3%. In November 2008, the competition agency, the CFC, declared that Telcel has market dominance and that it should be subject to tariff regulation. Telcel is expected to resort to legal action to prevent such price regulation.

Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.

  • 1. Argentina
    • 1.1 Major mobile operators
      • 1.1.1 Operator statistics
      • 1.1.2 Claro (previously CTI M??vil)
      • 1.1.3 Movistar
      • 1.1.4 Telecom Personal
      • 1.1.5 Nextel Argentina
      • 1.1.6 Fecotel and Fecosur
  • 2. Belize
    • 2.1 Major mobile operators
      • 2.1.1 Operator statistics
      • 2.1.2 BTL (DigiCell)
      • 2.1.3 SpeedNet (Smart)
      • 2.1.4 Intelco (defunct)
  • 3. Bolivia
    • 3.1 Mobile operators
      • 3.1.1 Operator statistics
      • 3.1.2 Entel Movil
      • 3.1.3 Tigo (Telecel)
      • 3.1.4 Viva (NuevaTel)
      • 3.1.5 Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
  • 4. Brazil
    • 4.1 Major mobile operators
      • 4.1.1 Overview
      • 4.1.2 Operator statistics
      • 4.1.3 Vivo
      • 4.1.4 Claro
      • 4.1.5 TIM Brasil
      • 4.1.6 Oi (TNL-PCS - Telemar)
      • 4.1.7 Brasil Telecom Celular
      • 4.1.8 Nextel Brasil
      • 4.1.9 CTBC Telecom
      • 4.1.10 Sercomtel Celular
      • 4.1.11 Unicel/Aeiou
  • 5. Caribbean Countries
    • 5.1 Overview of mobile markets in the Caribbean
      • 5.1.1 Mobile statistics
    • 5.2 Satellite mobile
  • 6. Chile
    • 6.1 Major mobile operators
      • 6.1.1 Movistar
      • 6.1.2 Entel PCS
      • 6.1.3 Claro
      • 6.1.4 Nextel Chile
      • 6.1.5 Vodafone's Partner Market
  • 7. Colombia
    • 7.1 Major mobile operators
      • 7.1.1 Operator statstics
      • 7.1.2 Comcel (Am?(C)rica M??vil)
      • 7.1.3 Movistar (Telef??nica)
      • 7.1.4 Tigo (Colombia M??vil - Millicom)
      • 7.1.5 Avantel
  • 8. Costa Rica
    • 8.1 Major mobile operator
      • 8.1.1 Operator statistics
      • 8.1.2 ICE
  • 9. Cuba
    • 9.1 Major mobile operator
      • 9.1.1 Operator statistics
      • 9.1.2 Telefonos Celulares de Cuba (Cubacel)
  • 10. Dominican Republic
    • 10.1 Major mobile operators
      • 10.1.1 Operator statistics
      • 10.1.2 Claro (formerly Verizon Dominicana)
      • 10.1.3 Orange Dominicana
      • 10.1.4 Tricom
      • 10.1.5 VIVA (formerly Trilogy Dominicana)
  • 11. Ecuador
    • 11.1 Major mobile operators
      • 11.1.1 Operator statistics
      • 11.1.2 Porta (Conecel)
      • 11.1.3 Movistar (Otecel)
      • 11.1.4 Alegro (Telecsa)
  • 12. El Salvador
    • 12.1 Major mobile operators
      • 12.1.1 Operator statistics
      • 12.1.2 Tigo / Telem??vil (Millicom)
      • 12.1.3 Claro / CTE Personal (Am?(C)rica M??vil)
      • 12.1.4 Movistar (Telef??nica M??viles)
      • 12.1.5 Digicel
      • 12.1.6 RED (Intelfon)
  • 13. Guatemala
    • 13.1 Major mobile operators
      • 13.1.1 Operator statistics
      • 13.1.2 Tigo / Comcel (Millicom)
      • 13.1.3 Claro / Sercom (Am?(C)rica M??vil)
      • 13.1.4 Movistar (Telef??nica M??viles)
      • 13.1.5 RED (Intelfon)
  • 14. Guyana
    • 14.1 Major mobile operators
      • 14.1.1 Operator statistics
      • 14.1.2 Digicel Guyana
      • 14.1.3 Cellink (GT&T)
  • 15. Haiti
    • 15.1 Major mobile operators
      • 15.1.1 Operator statistics
      • 15.1.2 Haiti Telecommunications International (HaiTel)
      • 15.1.3 Communication Cellulaire d'Haiti (Comcel)
      • 15.1.4 Digicel
      • 15.1.5 Rectel (Teleco)
  • 16. Honduras
    • 16.1 Major mobile operators
      • 16.1.1 Operaotr statistics
      • 16.1.2 Tigo / Celtel (Millicom)
      • 16.1.3 Claro / Sercom (Am?(C)rica M??vil)
      • 16.1.4 Hondutel
      • 16.1.5 Digicel
  • 17. Jamaica
    • 17.1 Major mobile operators
      • 17.1.1 Operator statistics
      • 17.1.2 Digicel Jamaica (Mossel)
      • 17.1.3 Cable & Wireless Jamaica (LIME)
      • 17.1.4 Claro (formerly MiPhone)
  • 18. Mexico
    • 18.1 Major mobile operators
      • 18.1.1 Operator statistics
      • 18.1.2 Telcel
      • 18.1.3 Movistar
      • 18.1.4 Grupo Iusacell
      • 18.1.5 Unef??n
      • 18.1.6 Nextel de M?(C)xico
  • 19. Nicaragua
    • 19.1 Major mobile operators
      • 19.1.1 Operator statistics
      • 19.1.2 Claro (Am?(C)rica M??vil)
      • 19.1.3 Movistar (Telef??nica)
  • 20. Panama
    • 20.1 Major mobile operators
      • 20.1.1 Operator statistics
      • 20.1.2 +Movil (C&WP)
      • 20.1.3 Movistar (Telef??nica)
      • 20.1.4 Digicel
      • 20.1.5 Claro Panama (Am?(C)rica M??vil)
  • 21. Paraguay
    • 21.1 Major mobile operators
      • 21.1.1 Operator statistics
      • 21.1.2 Tigo (Millicom International Cellular)
      • 21.1.3 N??cleo (Telecom Personal/Telecom Argentina)
      • 21.1.4 Claro (Am?(C)rica M??vil)
      • 21.1.5 Vox (Hola Paraguay/KDDI)
  • 22. Peru
    • 22.1 Major mobile operators
      • 22.1.1 Operator statistics
      • 22.1.2 Movistar Per?? (Telef??nica M??viles)
      • 22.1.3 Claro Per?? (Am?(C)rica M??vil)
      • 22.1.4 Nextel Per?? (NII Holdings)
  • 23. Puerto Rico
    • 23.1 Major mobile operators
      • 23.1.1 Operator statistics
      • 23.1.2 AT&T Mobility (formerly Cingular Wireless Puerto Rico)
      • 23.1.3 Centennial de Puerto Rico (CPR)
      • 23.1.4 Claro (Am?(C)rica M??vil)
      • 23.1.5 Open Mobile (formerly Movistar Puerto Rico)
      • 23.1.6 T-Mobile (formerly SunCom Puerto Rico)
      • 23.1.7 Sprint PCS
  • 24. Suriname
    • 24.1 Major mobile operators
      • 24.1.1 Mobile statistics
      • 24.1.2 Telesur
      • 24.1.3 Digicel
      • 24.1.4 Uniqa
  • 25. Uruguay
    • 25.1 Major mobile operators
      • 25.1.1 Operator statistics
      • 25.1.2 Movistar
      • 25.1.3 Ancel
      • 25.1.4 Claro (previously CTI M??vil)
  • 26. Venezuela
    • 26.1 Major mobile operators
    • 26.2 Operator statistics
      • 26.2.1 Movilnet (CANTV)
      • 26.2.2 Movistar (Telef??nica)
      • 26.2.3 Digitel GSM
  • 27. Glossary of Abbreviations
  • List of Tables
    • Table 1 - Mobile operators and subscribers in Argentina - September 2008
    • Table 2 - Mobile operators' market share in Argentina - 1999 - 2008
    • Table 3 - Evolution of mobile ARPU in Argentina - major operators - 2006 - 2008
    • Table 4 - Claro mobile subscribers - 1999 - 2008
    • Table 5 - Movistar mobile subscribers - 1999 - 2008
    • Table 6 - Telecom Personal mobile subscribers - 1999 - 2008
    • Table 7 - Nextel Argentina mobile subscribers - 2002 - 2008
    • Table 8 - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Belize - 2008
    • Table 9 - Mobile market share by operator in Belize - 2005 - 2008
    • Table 10 - BTL mobile subscribers and annual change - 2001 - 2008
    • Table 11 - Mobile operators and subscribers in Bolivia - September 2008
    • Table 12 - Mobile market share by operator in Bolivia - 2003 - 2008
    • Table 13 - Mobile operators and subscribers in Brazil - June 2008
    • Table 14 - Operator's market share in Brazil - 2004 - 2008
    • Table 15 - Evolution of ARPU - major operators in Brazil - 2005 - 2007
    • Table 16 - Vivo subscribers and annual change - 2002 - 2008
    • Table 17 - Telemig subscribers and annual change (historical) - 2002 - 2008
    • Table 18 - Vivo subscribers per subsidiary (historical) - 2002 - 2005
    • Table 19 - Claro subscribers and annual change - 2002 - 2008
    • Table 20 - TIM Brasil subscribers and annual change - 2003 - 2008
    • Table 21 - TIM Brasil subscribers per subsidiary (historical) - 2002 - 2005
    • Table 22 - Oi subscribers and annual change - 2002 - 2008
    • Table 23 - Amaz??nia Celular subscribers and annual change (historical) - 2002 - 2007
    • Table 24 - BrT Mobile subscribers and annual change - 2004 - 2008
    • Table 25 - Nextel Brasil subscribers and annual change - 2004 - 2008
    • Table 26 - CTBC subscribers and annual change - 2003 - 2008
    • Table 27 - Sercomtel subscribers and annual change - 2003 - 2008
    • Table 28 - Mobile subscribers and penetration rates in the Caribbean countries - 2008
    • Table 29 - Movistar mobile subscribers and annual change - 1999 - 2008
    • Table 30 - Entel PCS mobile subscribers & annual change - 1999 - 2008
    • Table 31 - Claro mobile subscribers - 1999 - 2008
    • Table 32 - Mobile operators and subscribers in Colombia - September 2008
    • Table 33 - Mobile market share by operator in Colombia - 2002 - 2008
    • Table 34 - Evolution of ARPU in Ecuador - mobile operators in Colombia - 2005 - 2007
    • Table 35 - Comcel subscribers and annual change - 2000 - 2008
    • Table 36 - Movistar subscribers and annual change - 2001 - 2008
    • Table 37 - Tigo subscribers and annual change - 2003 - 2008
    • Table 38 - Mobile operators and subscribers in Costa Rica - 2008
    • Table 39 - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate - September 2008
    • Table 40 - Mobile operators and subscribers in the Dominican Republic - 2008
    • Table 41 - Mobile operator's market share in the Dominican Republic - 2003 - 2008
    • Table 42 - Claro mobile subscribers and annual change - 1998 - 2008
    • Table 43 - Mobile operators and subscribers in Ecuador - 2008
    • Table 44 - Mobile operators' market share in Ecuador - 1996 - 2008
    • Table 45 - Prepaid subscriber ratio by operator in Ecuador - 2002 - 2008
    • Table 46 - Evolution of ARPU in Ecuador - mobile operators - 2006 - 2008
    • Table 47 - Porta mobile subscribers - 1996 - 2008
    • Table 48 - Movistar mobile subscribers - 1996 - 2008
    • Table 49 - Alegro mobile subscribers - 2003 - 2008
    • Table 50 - Mobile operators and subscribers in El Salvador - September 2008
    • Table 51 - Mobile operators' market share in El Salvador - 2003 - 2008
    • Table 52 - Tigo mobile subscribers and annual change - 1996 - 2008
    • Table 53 - Claro mobile subscribers and annual change - 2002 - 2008
    • Table 54 - Movistar mobile subscribers and annual change - 2000 - 2008
    • Table 55 - Digicel mobile subscribers and annual change - 2002 - 2008
    • Table 56 - RED mobile subscribers and annual change - 2005 - 2008
    • Table 57 - Mobile operators and subscribers in Guatemala - 2008
    • Table 58 - Market share by mobile operator in Guatemala - 2000 - 2008
    • Table 59 - Tigo mobile subscribers - 2000 - 2008
    • Table 60 - Claro mobile subscribers - 2000 - 2008
    • Table 61 - Movistar mobile subscribers - 2000 - 2008
    • Table 62 - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Guyana - 1998 - 2008
    • Table 63 - Mobile market share by operator in Guyana - 2003 - 2008
    • Table 64 - Digicel mobile subscribers - 2004 - 2008
    • Table 65 - GT&T mobile subscribers - 2003 - 2008
    • Table 66 - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Haiti - September 2008
    • Table 67 - Mobile operators and subscribers in Honduras - 2008
    • Table 68 - Mobile operators' market share in Honduras - 2002 - 2008
    • Table 69 - Tigo mobile subscribers - 2000 - 2008
    • Table 70 - Claro mobile subscribers - 2003 - 2008
    • Table 71 - Hondutel mobile subscribers - 2007 - 2008
    • Table 72 - Mobile operators and subscribers in Jamaica - September 2008
    • Table 73 - Mobile market share by operator in Jamaica - 2004 - 2008
    • Table 74 - Mobile operators and subscribers in Mexico - September 2008
    • Table 75 - Mobile market share by major operator in Mexico - 2001 - 2008
    • Table 76 - Telcel subscribers and annual change - 1998 - 2008
    • Table 77 - Telcel churn, monthly minutes of use and ARPU - 2007 - 2008
    • Table 78 - Movistar subscribers and annual change - 2001 - 2008
    • Table 79 - Movistar churn, minutes of use and ARPU - 2006 - 2008
    • Table 80 - Iusacell subscribers and annual change - 1998 - 2008
    • Table 81 - Unef??n subscribers and annual change - 2000 - 2007
    • Table 82 - Nextel Mexico churn and monthly ARPU - 2007 - 2008
    • Table 83 - Mobile subscribers by operator in Nicaragua - September 2008
    • Table 84 - Mobile market share by operator Nicaragua - 2002 - 2008
    • Table 85 - Claro mobile subscribers - 2002 - 2008
    • Table 86 - Movistar mobile subscribers - 2000 - 2008
    • Table 87 - Mobile subscribers by operator in Panama - 2008
    • Table 88 - Operators' mobile market share in Panama - 2003 - 2008
    • Table 89 - Mobile subscribers by operator in Paraguay - 2008
    • Table 90 - Mobile operators' market share in Paraguay - 2003 - 2008
    • Table 91 - Mobile subscribers by operator in Peru - September 2008
    • Table 92 - Mobile market share by operator in Peru - 1996 - 2008
    • Table 93 - Evolution of ARPU in Peru - mobile operators - 2005 - 2007
    • Table 94 - Movistar mobile subscribers - 2001 - 2008
    • Table 95 - Claro mobile subscribers - 2001 - 2008
    • Table 96 - Nextel mobile subscribers - 2001 - 2008
    • Table 97 - Mobile operators and subscribers in Puerto Rico - 2008
    • Table 98 - Mobile market share by operator in Puerto Rico - 2003 - 2008
    • Table 99 - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Suriname - 2008
    • Table 100 - Mobile subscribers by operator in Uruguay - September 2008
    • Table 101 - Mobile operators' market share in Uruguay - 2000 - 2008
    • Table 102 - Movistar - mobile subscribers - 2000 - 2008
    • Table 103 - Ancel - mobile subscribers - 1999 - 2008
    • Table 104 - Claro mobile subscribers - 2004 - 2008
    • Table 105 - Mobile subscribers by operator in Venezuela - September 2008
    • Table 106 - Market share by mobile operators in Venezuela - 2001 - 2008
    • Table 107 - Evolution of ARPU in Venezuela - mobile operators - 2005 - 2007
    • Table 108 - Movilnet mobile subscribers - 2000 - 2008
    • Table 109 - Movistar mobile subscribers - 2000 - 2008
    • Table 110 - Digitel mobile subscribers - 2003 - 2008
  • List of Exhibits
    • Exhibit 1 - Movicom BellSouth - history
    • Exhibit 2 - Telef??nica Comunicaciones Personales, trading as Unif??n - history
    • Exhibit 3 - Telpart - historical
    • Exhibit 4 - Vivo group - historical structure
    • Exhibit 5 - Vivo group corporate restructure
    • Exhibit 6 - Claro and Telecom Am?(C)ricas - origins, structure, and acquisitions
    • Exhibit 7 - TIM Brasil - early beginnings
    • Exhibit 8 - TIM Brasil - launch of GSM services
    • Exhibit 9 - TIM Brasil - company restructure - 2003 - 2006
    • Exhibit 10 - Brasil Telecom shareholder disputes - historical
    • Exhibit 11 - Telef??nica M??vil Chile - history
    • Exhibit 12 - BellSouth Chile - history
    • Exhibit 13 - Claro/Smartcom/Chilesat - history
    • Exhibit 14 - Comcel, Occel, and Celcaribe company history
    • Exhibit 15 - TEM Colombia company history
    • Exhibit 16 - Colombia M??vil company history
    • Exhibit 17 - BellSouth Guatemala - history
    • Exhibit 18 - Licences of mobile operators in Mexico
    • Exhibit 19 - Telef??nica acquisitions: Bajacel, Movitel, Norcel, Cedetel, and Pegaso
    • Exhibit 20 - Al?? PCS - history
    • Exhibit 21 - Enitel Movil - history
    • Exhibit 22 - Movistar - history
    • Exhibit 23 - BellSouth Panama / Telef??nica M??viles Panam?? - history
    • Exhibit 24 - Licensed mobile companies in Paraguay
    • Exhibit 25 - Telef??nica M??viles Per?? (TEM Per??) - history
    • Exhibit 26 - BellSouth Peru and Comunicaciones M??viles del Per?? (CMP) - history
    • Exhibit 27 - TIM Per?? - history
    • Exhibit 28 - Movistar company history
    • Exhibit 29 - Digitel - historical
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