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LatAm Wrap-Up: Movistar and Claro to give infrastructure back to Colombia; growth in Mexico, Brazil

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%). image002

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:

Be sure not to miss what’s happening in Latin America’s wireless markets. Check out RCR Wireless News wrap ups.

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