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El Salvador - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

April 2019 | 75 pages | ID: E188FBB3981BEN
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Telef?nica El Salvador sold to Am?rica M?vil

Although El Salvador is the smallest country in central America geographically, it has the fourth largest economy in the region. Economic potential is limited by the relatively small population, while the country’s telecom sector has been restricted by poor infrastructure and unequal income distribution. There have been organisational delays which have retarded the development of telecom services, though during the last two years much progress has been evident, and indeed the telecom sector has been one of the more successful within the overall economy.

El Salvador’s fixed-line teledensity is substantially lower than the Latin American and Caribbean average. There has been a significant drop in the number of fixed lines since 2010, particularly in 2017, largely due to the substitution for mobile-only alternatives. About 94% of all telephony lines in the country are on mobile networks.

Mobile penetration is remarkably high considering El Salvador’s economic indicators, being about a third higher than average for Latin America and the Caribbean. The country was one of the last in the region to provide LTE services, mainly due to the inadequate provision of suitable spectrum. A long-delayed multi-spectrum auction, for which the regulator again launched a public consultation in March 2029, will allow the mobile network operators to improve the reach and quality of their service offerings.

El Salvador’s telecom legislation is one of the more liberal in Latin America, encouraging competition in most areas and permitting foreign investment. However, there are no regulations which promote wholesale broadband, and thus in the DSL market leader Claro retains a virtual monopoly. The only effective cross-platform competition in the broadband market comes from the few cable operators. There has been some market consolidation in recent years, including Telem?vil;s acquisition of the regional cable TV provider Caribena Cable. In May 2019 the competition authority began assessing the sale of Telef?nica El Salvador to Am?rica M?vil, which operates in the country under the Claro brand. Through this process of consolidation a few dominant multinational operators have managed to expand into almost all sectors through a process of convergence.

Key developments:
  • Regulator starts consultation of delayed AWS band auction;
  • Tigo sells tower portfolio on lease-back arrangement;
  • Telef?nica Group sells its local unit to Am?rica M?vil;
  • Government increases tax on some telecom services to 18%;
  • Central Reserve Bank finalises regulatory framework for mobile financial services; enabling a range of m-payment services via subsidiary companies set up by MNOs;
  • Mobile network operators provide near national mobile broadband coverage;
  • Report update includes the regulator’s market data updates to December 2017, telcos’ financial and operating data to Q1 2019, Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses, recent market developments.
Companies mentioned in this report:

Am?rica M?vil (Claro), Millicent International (Tigo), Telef?nica (Movistar), Red, GCA Telecom, Salnet, Amnet, Sky TV.
Key statistics Country overview Telecommunications market Market analysis Regional Latin America Market Comparison Telecom Maturity Index by tier Top-tier – Market Leaders Middle-tier – Market Challengers Bottom-tier – Market Emergents South America Telecom Maturity Index Central America Telecom Maturity Index TMI versus GDP Mobile and mobile broadband penetration Fixed and mobile broadband penetration Regulatory environment Regulatory authority Telecom sector liberalisation Privatisation of Antel DR-CAFTA Fixed network operators Introduction Claro (Am?rica M?vil) Movistar (Telef?nica) Telecommunications infrastructure Overview of the national telecom network International infrastructure Interconnection with other Central American countries Submarine cable networks Satellite networks Wholesale Fixed-line broadband market Market analysis Broadband statistics Wireless Local Loop (WLL) Mobile market Market analysis Mobile statistics Mobile data Mobile broadband Regulatory issues Number Portability (NP) Mobile Termination Rates (MTRs) Spectrum auctions Mobile infrastructure 4G (LTE) 3G Other infrastructure developments Major mobile operators Tigo (Millicom) Claro (Am?rica M?vil) Movistar (Telef?nica M?viles) Digicel Intelfon Mobile content and applications Money transfer, m-banking Related reports

LIST OF EXHIBITS

Exhibit 4 – Tigo/Telem?vil – company history
LIST OF TABLES

Table 1 – Top Level Country Statistics and Telco Authorities – El Salvador – 2018
Table 2 – Evolution of GDP in El Salvador – 2000 – 2018
Table 3 – Telecom revenue by sector – 2013 – 2016
Table 4 – Telecom revenue and investment ($) – 2014 – 2016
Table 5 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 2010 – 2018
Table 6 – Historical - Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 1997 – 2009
Table 7 – International bandwidth – 2001 – 2016
Table 8 – Historic - Internet users and penetration rate – 1996 – 2009
Table 9 – Internet users and penetration rate – 2010- 2018
Table 10 – Broadband subscribers and penetration rates – 2002 – 2018
Table 11 – Cable broadband subscribers – 2014 – 2016
Table 12 – Fibre and other broadband subscribers – 2013 – 2016
Table 13 – DSL subscribers – 2003 – 2018
Table 14 – Fixed broadband connections by access speed – 2012 – 2016
Table 15 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 2010 – 2018
Table 16 – Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 1997 – 2009
Table 17 – Prepaid/postpaid ratio – 2002 – 2016
Table 18 – Prepaid/postpaid subscribers – 2008 – 2016
Table 19 – SMS traffic – 2013 – 2016
Table 20 – MMS traffic – 2013 – 2016
Table 21 – Active mobile broadband subscribers – 2009 – 2018
Table 22 – Mobile broadband subscribers by data rate – 2013 – 2016
Table 23 – Tigo – mobile subscribers – 1997 – 2019
Table 24 – Tigo mobile financial data – 2015 – 2019

LIST OF CHARTS

Chart 10 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 2005 – 2018
Chart 11 – Internet users and penetration rate – 2005- 2018
Chart 12 – Broadband subscribers and penetration rates – 2002 – 2018
Chart 13 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 2005 – 2018
Chart 14 – Active mobile broadband subscribers – 2009 – 2018
Chart 15 – Tigo mobile financial data – 2015 – 2019



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