Conecta Guate program advancing despite pandemic

Conecta Guate program advancing despite pandemic

Guatemala’s telecom infrastructure has suffered from years of underinvestment from state and provincial governments.

The poor state of fixed-line infrastructure has led to Guatemala having one of the lowest fixed-line teledensities in the region. In many rural regions of the country there is no fixed-line access available, and so mobile services are adopted by necessity.

Private investment has been supported by government and regulatory efforts, resulting in a steady growth in the number of fixed lines which has supported growth in the fixed broadband segment. However, delays in launching LTE services left the country lagging behind in the development of mobile broadband and the benefits which it can bring to the country's social and economic growth.

Two new submarine cables are due for completion by 2022. Improved international connectivity should drive further uptake of both fixed and mobile broadband services.

Key players including Millicom (operating as Tigo Guatemala) and América Móvil are regional and global powerhouses which can tap into expertise and financial resources to bolster their Guatemalan businesses. The acquisition of Telefónica’s Guatemala business by América Móvil in 2019 created a strong competitor to Millicom, which dominates the mobile sector. Intense competition among the operators has helped to improve services and lower prices for end-users.

Given the commercial impetus of operators, insufficient government financial investment has resulted in many regional areas remaining with poor or non-existent services. Nevertheless, the country benefits from one of the most open regulatory frameworks, with all telecom sectors having been open to competition since 1996.

América Móvil controls about 85.1% of the fixed-lines market through its subsidiaries Claro and Movistar. Mobile telephony is the most developed telecom market sector in Guatemala, accounting for 90% of the 22.6 million telephone connections in the country. Mobile penetration is on a par with the regional average, though the slower growth in the mobile subscriber base suggests a level of market saturation, with the emphasis among operators being on generating revenue via mobile data services.

Key developments:

  • Telecom regulator approves the reorder of some spectrum in the 700MHz bandwidth;
  • Guatemala to auction 60MHz in the 700MHz band later in 2021;
  • América Móvil spins off its tower operation;
  • Conecta Guate free internet program advancing despite delays due to pandemic;
  • Pacific Cable should be ready for service later in 2021;
  • Guatemala to connect to the Aurora cable system in 2022;
  • Report update includes the regulator’s market data to June 2020, operators’ data to Q4 2020, Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses, recent market developments.

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Developing Telecoms market report summaries are produced in partnership with BuddeComm, the world’s largest continually updated online telecommunications research service.

The above article is a summary of the following BuddeComm report:

Report title: Guatemala - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Edition: March 2021

Analyst: Henry Lancaster

Number of pages: 106

Companies mentioned in this report: América Móvil (Movistar, Claro, Telgua), Tigo (Millicom), Telefónica, Guatel, Cablenet, Unitel, Comcel, A-Tel, Columbus Business Solutions, Ufinet, Convergence Communications.

Single User PDF Licence Price: US$750

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