Telefónica’s Movistar and América Móvil’s Claro have been ordered to give their mobile infrastructure back to the Colombian state when their concessions end in 2014. Colombia’s constitutional court ruled that the two operators are obliged by law to give the entire infrastructure back. According to local news reports, the court’s decision is based on the companies’ possible dominant position if they kept the networks.
Both carriers have invested an estimated total of U.S.$3.650 million to build their infrastructure since they started operating in 1994. José Otero, president of Signals Telecom Group, pointed out that the government could set both the grant price and conditions under which the carriers operated, leaving little room for Movistar and Claro to maneuver.
Meanwhile, Julian Cardona, president of the Colombian Association of Engineers (Aciem), said that the effect on the industry will not be as catastrophic as some might expect, given that executives of both companies were aware of this possibility and this scenario was envisaged in their business plans.
Mexican telecom growth—Mexico ended its second quarter with a total of 102 million mobile lines. The market was led by América Móvil’s Telcel which has a 70.4% share, followed by Movistar (18.7%), Iusacell (7%) and Nextel (3.9%). The Mexican market also reached 12.9 million mobile Internet broadband users.
Brazil’s numbers—The largest country in the Latin American and Caribbean region, Brazil, reached 267 million mobile accesses in July. The numbers were announced by the telecom regulator Anatel. LTE accesses totaled 257,214. Vivo, which provides LTE in 51 cities led, followed by TIM and Claro. The GSM standard still calls for largest share (66.7%) of accesses, followed by wideband code division multiple access or WCDMA (27.6%), M2M data terminals (2.95%), broadband data terminals (2.64%), LTE (0.1%) and CDMA (0.02%).
According to Telebrasil, Brazil ended July with 110 million Internet broadband connections, which is 39% more than July 2012. Of the total connections, 21.4 million were fixed broadband, 73.8 million were cellphone connections, including smartphones, and 14.9 million were data terminals (modems, M2M).
More news from the Latin American market:
- GVT will enter the residential market in São Paulo, Brazil’s largest city, bringing increased competition for the current triple-play players.
- Chilean telecom regulator Subtel discussed changing the conditions for the 700 MHz tender.
- America Móvil will support the sale of E-Plus at improved terms. Carlos Slim’s carrier announced that Telefónica and Telefónica Deutschland Holdings AG have agreed to improve the terms and conditions offered to KPN for the sale of 100% of E-Plus to Telefónica Deutschland.
- Tigo in Bolivia plans to offer LTE in nine district capitals in the country within one year. The estimated investment is U.S.$55 million.
- Venezuelan telco Digitel has invested nearly U.S.$400 million to install a new 3G HSDPA+ network.
- Syniverse inaugurated its new Costa Rican office which will provide technical and support services to customers across Latin America and beyond. Syniverse has invested about $2.3 million in the new customer support center.
- According to IDC, smartphone sales surpassed feature phone sales in Brazil. From April to June this year, 15 million devices were sold, of which 54% were smartphones and 46% were feature phones.
- The DAS and Wi-Fi provider Boingo Wireless announced that it has been selected by the mobile services company Movile to provide global Wi-Fi roaming for the 8 million users that rely on Movile mobile Wi-Fi service.
- Amazon launched the Mexico Kindle Store, offering more than 1,500 free books in Spanish.
Be sure not to miss what’s happening in Latin America’s wireless markets. Check out RCR Wireless News wrap ups.