New Report Available: Latin America - Mobile Network Operators and MVNOs

From: Fast Market Research, Inc.
Published: Tue Jul 19 2016

Economic turmoil placing pressure on mobile operators across Latin America

Although there are a number of smaller operators across the region, the mobile market in Latin America continues to be dominated by three operators which each have businesses in multiple countries. The smallest of these four is Luxembourg-based Millicom International, which trades as Tigo. The operator reported having 32.5 million subscribers in its six markets in Central and South America as of March 2016. Telefonica Group reported having 186.4 million subscribers in the region. For reporting purposes the Group now separates its Brazilian unit from the remaining units which come under the Telefonica Hispanoamerica umbrella (including Argentina, Chile, Peru, Colombia, Mexico, Ecuador and Uruguay). Mexico's America Movil, trading as Telcel in its domestic market and as Claro in the remaining 16 markets in the region, reported having 285.2 million subscribers. Other international players include Telecom Italia, which has more than 75 million mobile subscribers in Brazil, and AT&T Mexico, which although is the smaller operator in that country has ambitions to develop its North American Mobile Service area covering more than 400 million people in Mexico and the US. To this end AT&T Mexico secured spectrum in the AWS band earlier in 2016 to facilitate roaming and other services for its subscribers in the two countries.

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The dominance of these operators is being gradually eroded as a result of efforts by a number of national regulators to facilitate the entry of MVNOs and to encourage the participation of smaller players in spectrum auctions. In Mexico, Telcel is being obliged to reduce its market share from 68% as of early 2016 to below 50% by the end of 2018. The company is achieving this by selling assets regionally, which is making room for other operators. There are now several MVNOs offering services in Mexico, although collectively they only have a market share of about 1%.

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