Telecom Lead America: The Latin American mobile services
market earned revenues of $79.56 billion in 2011 and is estimated to grow at 6
percent CAGR to reach $112.97 billion in 2017, mainly driven by the increasing
relevance of mobile broadband and value added services.
In order to address the surging demands of data traffic
generated by smart devices, operators are increasing capital expenditure on 3G
network expansion and bandwidth capability.
“Investments in next-generation technologies will
stoke the introduction of several attractive services and applications for end
users,” said Frost & Sullivan Telecom Services Team Leader Renato
Some operators in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and
Mexico have already upgraded their networks to 3.5G, while others are
conducting trials of 3.5G and 4G.
The study, however warned that growth of the market has
been hindering by regulatory delays for spectrum auctions and other new
initiatives such as mobile number portability, mobile virtual network operators
(MVNOs) and cost-based mobile termination rates.
By January 2012, mobile number portability (MNP) was
fully implemented only in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico.
In Argentina, the implementation occurred in March
2012, while the service has not introduced yet in Venezuela.
The market research firm said that the implementation of
MNP is likely to increase competition in mobile services markets and help
reduce average prices.
However, lack of competition in distant geographical
areas and market concentration in some countries are hampering market growth
considerably. Furthermore, operators are burdened by heavy taxes on
mobile services, especially in Brazil.
“The mobile broadband service is demanding huge
investments in backbone, backhaul and other network elements. Mobile operators
will need to develop plans that do not excessively affect the network usage,
while addressing customers’ niche service needs,” Pasquini added.
Latin America telecom market to have 305 million HSPA and LTE
users by 2015
According to the GSMA, Latin America is likely to achieve
750 million mobile connections by 2015, with an average penetration rate of 122