- Innovative voice and data services to offset restraints due to regulatory delays and market saturation
SAO PAULO, July 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Superior coverage and quality of mobile broadband services and the deeper penetration of smart devices are compelling mobile operators in Latin America to provide value-added services. To keep pace with the demands of data traffic generated by smart devices, operators are increasing capital expenditure on 3G network expansion and bandwidth capability.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (http://www.wireless.frost.com), Latin America Mobile Services Market Outlook I, 2011, finds that the market earned revenues of $79.56 billion in 2011 and estimates this to reach $112.97 billion in 2017 at a compound annual growth rate of 6.0 percent, mainly driven by the increasing relevance of mobile broadband and value added services.
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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. With 4G speeds reaching up to 1Gbps in low mobility communication, mobile broadband is likely to substitute fixed broadband for a large percentage of the population, opening up a vast market for mobile service providers.
"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 Pasquini.
Despite the market potential, operators are hindered by regulatory delays. Initiatives such as mobile number portability, mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs), cost-based mobile termination rates, and spectrum auctions, which could have stimulated competition and attracted entrants, are being implemented only in 2012 or later in some countries.
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, approximately 12 years after the publication of the decree 764, which established the right for users to change operators while keeping the number. Only in Venezuela was there no clear indication of this service's introduction. The implementation of MNP is likely to increase competition in mobile services markets and help reduce average prices.
However, even with MNP impelling operators to innovate mobile services, the lack of competition in distant geographical areas and market concentration in some countries are hampering market growth considerably. Further, operators are burdened by heavy taxes on mobile services, especially in Brazil, while operators in remote locations and small cities will find it tough to obtain return on investment (ROI) on their network installations.
To survive in such difficult operating conditions, mobile operators have to launch innovative voice and data services, bundle mobile telephony with other telecommunication services, increase 3G network coverage, and improve service quality. Mobile operators are also making up for saturation in the voice services market by channeling their investments towards novel sources of revenues, opening a new stage in the mobile market competition.
"The mobile broadband service is demanding huge investments in backbone, backhaul and other network elements," notes Pasquini. "Mobile operators will need to develop plans that do not excessively affect the network usage, while addressing customers' niche service needs."
Latin America Mobile Services Market Outlook I, 2011 is part of the Mobile & Wireless Communications Growth Partnership Services program, which also includes research in the following markets: Latin American Mobile Broadband Services Markets, Latin American Mobile Enterprise Services Markets, Latin America Mobile Content Markets, and Latin American Machine-to-Machine Services Markets. All research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.
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Latin America Mobile Services Market Outlook I, 2011
Corporate Communications – Latin America
SOURCE Frost & Sullivan