|Guatemala Telecommunications Research|
Guatemala - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband
Guatemala is one of the poorer countries in Latin America. Its socioeconomic indicators are among the worst in the region. A powerful oligarchy has managed to resist taxation attempts, so that the state survives on extremely low tax revenues. This means that police, prosecutors, and law courts are under-funded, overworked, and often corrupt.
Therefore, the environment can be a challenging one for foreign investors. On the other hand, Guatemala's telecom industry enjoys one of Latin America's most open regulatory frameworks. All telecom sectors, including local telephony, have been open to competition since 1996. Guatemalan law grants national treatment to all foreign investors in the telecom sector
Despite fixed-line competition, Guatemala's fixed-line teledensity is only 9%. Compared with the rest of Latin America, this is no worse than could be expected given the country's extremely low GDP per capita.
América Móvil controls about 70% of the fixed lines in service through its subsidiary Claro, previously known as Telgua. The Telgua brand was discontinued around the start of 2009, when all of América Móvil's Guatemalan services - both fixed and mobile - were unified under the Claro brand name.
Mobile telephony is the most developed telecom market in Guatemala. The intense competition amongst operators has helped to improve services and lower prices. Mobile penetration is about average for the region, therefore remarkably high considering the country's poor socioeconomic indicators. Millicom's Tigo is the mobile market leader, offering services over a GSM/WCDMA network.
Guatemala's broadband market has been slow to develop because of limited infrastructure, widespread poverty, and inadequate education. Technologies used include ADSL, WiMAX, and cable modem. With its ADSL service, Claro is the leading broadband provider.
The telephone system in Guatemala reflects the country's poverty map, with a relatively modern network centred in the city of Guatemala, and woefully under-serviced rural areas.
VoIP is completely deregulated, whether it is PC-to-PC communication or a computer-to-phone link over the Internet. As a result, VoIP has reached widespread acceptance in Guatemala.
Due to the deficiencies of the fixed-line infrastructure, WiMAX and mobile broadband have become important alternatives to meet Guatemala's growing broadband demand.
Digicel plans to launch mobile services in Guatemala in 2011, to become the country's fifth mobile operator.Guatemala - key telecom parameters - 2008 - 2009
Total number of subscribers (million)1.451.23
Internet users (million)1.962.16
Internet users penetration14.3%15.4%
Total number of subscribers79,00085,000
Mobile telephony subscribers
Total number of subscribers (million)10.5111.71
Mobile penetration rate76.8%83.6%
In the short term, Guatemala could be a challenging telecom market for prospective investors, but the longer-term outlook is more promising. The report covers trends and developments in the fixed-line, mobile, Internet, broadband, and pay TV markets. Subjects include:
Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
Facts, figures, and statistics;
Government policies and regulatory issues;
Major players (fixed, mobile and broadband);
Internet and broadband market (DSL, cable modem, wireless);
Mobile market (including 3G and mobile broadband).
Last Update: 22 Mar 2010 Number of Pages: 25
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