The telecom sector in Latin America is expected to forge ahead with 4G network rollouts and fiber buildouts in 2016 despite sluggishness in the global economy, the latest Business News Americas (BNamericas) Telecom Outlook suggests.
According to the report, 4G network growth in Latin America will be spurred on by upcoming spectrum auctions in Paraguay, Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, Mexico and Costa Rica, and opportunities for terrestrial digital television (DTT) migration programs are also expected to increase. BNamericas said Latin America also has plenty of room for increasing Internet adoption and said mobile will likely be the most sensible medium.
Despite turbulent economic conditions, the report said signs of hope for continued telecom investments have surfaced. In Brazil in particular, the country’s broadband plan was spared despite more than 23 percent in spending cuts to the country’s ministry of communications. BNamericas’ forecast said nearly $11 billion in investments are expected to be poured into Colombia alone between 2014 and 2018 in both the public and private sectors. Mexico is also predicted to attract several billion dollars in investments in the coming years, the report said.
The BNamerica’s Outlook appears to be consistent with an August report from Dataxis that predicted Mexico’s telecom service revenues will grow 4.2 percent by 2018 to a total of $26.3 billion, while the total number of mobile lines will grow 7.4 percent and the mobile penetration rate will climb to 90 percent in the same timeframe.
U.S. wireless carriers are already looking to capitalize on opportunities south of the border. AT&T in particular has made a significant play to increase its market share in Mexico with the acquisition of Mexican carriers Iuacell and Nextel Mexico and the initiation of a rebranding effort in the country. The company has said it plans to invest $3 billion to expand wireless coverage to 100 million people in the country by the end of 2018.