Uruguay: Ambitious Investments in Telecoms Infrastructure Create Growth Opportunities in Data Market

From: Fast Market Research, Inc.
Published: Tue Feb 16 2016

Uruguay has one of the most developed economies in Latin America, with an estimated PPP-adjusted GDP per capita of $21,050 in 2015, just below Chile ($22,720), Argentina ($22,170) and Panama ($21,750). Uruguay's telecoms market is also one of the most advanced in the region, despite having only partially liberalized the sector. Its high levels of development are the result of a series of ambitious government-led initiatives set to transform the country into a prosperous digital economy. Over the last several years, state-owned operator Antel has been prioritizing the roll out of next generation infrastructure including extensive FTTH/B and LTE networks across the country, a Tier-III data center, and submarine fiber optic cables to improve international links to countries in the region and North America.

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Key Findings

* Uruguay's telecom and pay-TV market will generate $1.7bn in service revenue in 2015, up a mere 0.2% from 2014 in US dollar terms as a result of the depreciation of the Uruguayan peso as the increase in local currency will be 16.4%.
* The contribution of voice services to total telecom revenue will fall by more than 12.3 percentage points to 24.3% over the forecast period, while the contribution of data services (fixed and mobile) will expand from 46% in 2015 to 60.7% in 2020.
* Uruguay will close 2015 with 5.6m active mobile subscriptions and a penetration rate of 160.3%, well above the Latin American average (118.9%) and other mid-income countries in the region, such as Chile (153.7%) and Argentina (145%). We project that Uruguay's mobile subscriber base will continue expanding during the 2015-2020 period, at a 2.4% CAGR
* Antel will remain the largest revenue contributor throughout the entire forecast period, thanks mainly to the lack of competition it faces in many key market segments and its ambitious infrastructure investment projects.
* Uruguay's fixed telecom market is one of the most developed in the region, with an estimated 30.2 fixed access lines per 100 inhabitants at year-end 2015, considerably above the regional average of 17.3. Broadband penetration will top 27.4% of the population at the end of 2015, the highest in the region and well above the average projected for Latin America (11.8%).
* Uruguay will close 2015 with an estimated pay-TV household penetration rate of 55.1%, equating to 769,800 subscriptions, 40% of which are concentrated in the capital of Montevideo. Cable is the leading pay-TV technology in the market, accounting for nearly 78% of all the pay-TV subscriptions. In terms of players, pan-American DTH/satellite operator DirecTV is currently Uruguay's leading pay-TV provider, with an estimated 22.6% market share as of year-end 2015; followed by Cablevision, with an estimated 17.8% share.

Report Synopsis

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