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Latin America Mobile Infrastructure

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Spectrum auctions improving LTE rollouts across Latin American

In recent quarters mobile network operators in Latin America have been under increasing pressure to develop revenue growth. This can partly be attributed to unfavourable currency exchanges, but it is also exacerbated by poorly performing economies. Most countries in the region have seen stagnant or at best low economic in 2015 and into 2016, while those of Brazil and Venezuela have been particularly badly affected. Political turmoil in these countries suggests that potential economic recovery is some time off. The telecom sector has been impacted by these pressures, as customers gear down spending on services.

In addition to economic pressures, operators are seeing lower revenue as a result of regulated voice and data tariffs, ongoing reductions in terminations rates, and lower SMS traffic in the wake of customer adoption for OTT messaging services. Operators are responding by maintaining investment programs aimed at further developing mobile data and broadband services. As a result, non-SMS data revenue is steadily increasing as a proportion of total mobile revenue.

With 3G almost universally available, the emphasis has been on developing the capabilities of HSPA and LTE infrastructure. Most operators by mid-2016 provided LTE population coverage of between 60% and 80%. This will be extended further to the end of 2016 and into 2017. Following a number of recent spectrum auctions, including that in Mexico in February 2016, additional spectrum resources are being made available to operators which will enable them to improve network capacity. Most licences have conditions attached, which often include requirements to host MVNOs but also, commonly, to extend coverage to rural and underserved regions.

A range of technologies are being deployed to improve network infrastructure. In May 2016 Telefónica Mexico deployed Ericsson’s Radio Dot System to improve mobile coverage and signal strength in areas such as shopping malls, airports and commercial buildings in Mexico City. Vendors are also deploying carrier aggregation technologies to push data rates to 300Mb/s and upwards, as also LTE Broadcast technology which is expected to be widely deployed during the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.

These efforts are helping to keep up with demand as consumers increasingly adopt OTT video services, themselves facilitated by the popularity of smartphones equipped with larger screens which are beginning to supplant tablets in the device market. Commonly, data traffic doubled or tripled for most operators in the region in the year to March 2016. This trend is set to continue for the next few years, and though market competition and pricing pressure will slow data revenue growth the data sector will soon become the key component of total mobile revenue, thus further stimulating investment in mobile infrastructure.


Table Of Content


1. Regional statistical overview of mobile subscribers

2. Argentina

2.1 Market analysis

2.2 Digital networks

2.2.1 Third Generation (3G; UMTS)

2.2.2 Long-term Evolution (LTE)

2.3 Other infrastructure developments

2.3.1 Mobile satellite

3. Belize

3.1 Overview of Belize's mobile market

3.2 LTE

4. Bolivia

4.1 Market analysis

4.2 Third Generation (3G)

4.3 Long-term Evolution (LTE)

5. Brazil

5.1 Market analysis

5.2 Mobile technologies

5.3 Analogue networks

5.4 Digital networks

5.4.1 GSM

5.4.2 3G

5.4.3 Long-term Evolution (LTE)

5.4.4 5G developments

5.5 Other infrastructure developments

5.5.1 Femtocells

5.5.2 Satellite mobile

5.6 Machine-to-Machine (M2M)

6. Chile

6.1 Market analysis

6.2 Overview

6.3 Digital networks

6.3.1 GSM

6.3.2 Third Generation (3G) mobile

6.3.3 Long-term Evolution (LTE)

6.4 Other infrastructure developments

6.4.1 Mobile satellite

7. Colombia

7.1 Market analysis

7.2 Digital networks

7.2.1 GSM

7.2.2 3G/UMTS

7.2.3 Long-term Evolution (LTE)

7.3 Other infrastructure developments

7.3.1 Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE)

7.3.2 Satellite mobile

8. Costa Rica

8.1 Market analysis latest developments

8.2 Overview

8.3 Digital networks

8.3.1 Third Generation (3G)

8.3.2 Long-term Evolution (LTE)

9. Cuba

9.1 Overview of Cuba's mobile market

10. Dominican Republic

10.1 Market analysis

10.2 Long-term Evolution (LTE)

10.3 High capacity mobile voice/data services (1xRTT)

10.4 General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)

11. Ecuador

11.1 Overview

11.2 Digital networks

11.2.1 GSM/CDMA

11.3 3G

11.4 LTE

12. El Salvador

12.1 Market analysis latest developments

12.2 Overview

12.3 Digital networks

12.3.1 Third generation (3G)

12.3.2 Mobile satellite

12.3.3 HSPA

13. Guatemala

13.1 Market analysis

13.2 Analogue networks

13.3 Digital networks

13.3.1 Third generation (3G) mobile

13.3.2 Long-term Evolution (LTE)

13.4 Other infrastructure developments

13.4.1 Mobile satellite

14. Guyana

14.1 Market analysis

14.2 Digital networks

14.3 GSM

14.3.1 Satellite mobile

15. Haiti

15.1 Market analysis

16. Honduras

16.1 Market analysis

16.2 Digital networks

16.2.1 GSM/3G

16.3 Third generation (3G) mobile

16.4 LTE

17. Jamaica

17.1 Introduction

17.2 Long-term-Evolution (LTE)

18. Mexico

18.1 Market analysis

18.2 Digital networks

18.2.1 Long-term Evolution (LTE)

18.3 Other infrastructure developments

18.3.1 Open networks

18.3.2 Satellite mobile

18.3.3 Push-to-Talk (PTT)

19. Nicaragua

19.1 Market analysis

19.2 Digital networks

19.2.1 Third generation (3G) mobile

19.2.2 Long-term Evolution (LTE)

19.3 Other infrastructure developments

19.3.1 Mobile satellite

20. Panama

20.1 Overview of Panama's mobile market

20.2 Overview

20.3 Third Generation (3G) mobile networks (UMTS)

20.4 HSPA+

20.5 Long-term Evolution (LTE)

20.6 Satellite broadband

21. Paraguay

21.1 Market analysis

21.2 Digital networks

21.2.1 Third generation (3G) mobile

21.2.2 Long-term Evolution (LTE)

21.3 Other infrastructure developments

21.3.1 Mobile satellite

22. Peru

22.1 Market analysis

22.2 Introduction

22.3 Digital networks

22.3.1 Second Generation (2G) mobile (GSM/CDMA/iDEN)

22.3.2 Third Generation (3G) mobile (UMTS)

22.3.3 Long-term Evolution (LTE)

22.4 Other infrastructure developments

22.4.1 Mobile satellite

23. Puerto Rico

23.1 Market analysis

23.2 Long-term Evolution (LTE)

24. Suriname

24.1 Market analysis

24.2 Overview

24.3 Other infrastructure developments

24.3.1 Mobile satellite

25. Uruguay

25.1 Market analysis

25.2 Digital networks

25.3 3G

25.4 Long-term Evolution (LTE)

25.5 Mobile satellite

26. Venezuela

26.1 Market analysis

26.2 Digital networks

26.2.1 Third Generation (3G) mobile

26.2.2 Long-term Evolution (LTE)

26.3 Other infrastructure developments

26.3.1 CDMA

26.3.2 Mobile satellite

Table 1 Latin America total mobile subscribers and penetration1998 2016

Table 2 Latin America countries mobile subscribers, penetration2012 2016

Table 3 Latin America countries mobile broadband subscribers20122016

Table 4 Latin America countries mobile broadband penetration20122016

Table 5 BrazilMobile market share by technology 20042016

Table 6 BrazilGSM subscribers 20142016

Table 7 Brazil 3G municipal coverage 20082016

Table 8 Brazil 3G subscribers and market share of all mobile subscribers 20082016

Table 9 Brazil LTE subscribers 2013-2016

Table 10 Brazil LTE subscribers by operator 2013-2016

Table 11 Brazil LTE subscriber market share by operator 20142016

Table 12 Brazil M2M terminals (standard) 2008 2016

Table 13 Chile2G subscribers 2013-2015

Table 14 Chile3G subscribers and penetration 20062015

Table 15 ChileOperators' 3G market share 20092015

Table 16 ChileActive LTE subscribers 2013-2015

Table 17 Colombia3G subscribers 2010-2015

Table 18 ColombiaLTE subscribers 20122015

Table 19 Costa RicaAverage traffic per mobile subscriber20112014

Table 20 Costa RicaMobile market share by operator20112014

Table 21 Costa RicaMobile market traffic20112016

Table 22 Costa RicaMobile revenue by service20112016

Table 23 Costa RicaProportion of mobile revenue by type2011-2016

Table 24 Proportion of mobile subscribers by technology 2001-2015

Table 25 EcuadorGSM subscribers 2003-2015

Table 26 Ecuador3G subscribers 2008-2015

Table 27 EcuadorHSPA+ subscribers 2012-2015

Table 28 EcuadorLTE subscribers 2014-2015

List Of Figure

Exhibit 1 Brazil3G network launches by operator 2007-2008

Exhibit 2 HaitiMobile banking

Exhibit 3 HondurasSpectrum band allocations for LTE2013

Exhibit 4 HondurasSpectrum auction awards October 2013

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paul budde communication, buddecomm, telecomunications research, regional, Mobile Communications (voice and infrastructure), Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Latin America (Includes the Caribbean), Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, Venezuela