Posts filed under ‘Claro’
Uruguayan state-owned telecoms operator Antel has announced its mobile unit Ancel has reached 1.5 million subscribers. Ancel is closing the gap between itself and rival cellco America Movil-owned Claro Uruguay, which had 1.459 million wireless subscribers at 31 March 2009. Ancel launched a GSM-1800 network including GPRS in Montevideo April 2004, with an EDGE upgrade initiated in the following October. Ancel first trialled 3G services in September 2005, in partnership with Chinese vendor Huawei. 3.5G services were launched in July 2007 in Montevideo and a year later its 3G network was available nationwide. Ancel plans to invest USD81 million in 2009, mainly to expand its GSM and 3G coverage.
Chilean telecoms regulator Subtel has extended the date for receiving and opening bids for 3G licences by five days, to 20 July writes BNamericas citing Subtel. The long-anticipated auction of UMTS concessions was launched in April, with bidding rules on sale until 30 June. In accordance with a Supreme Court ruling on 27 January, existing wireless players can participate in the spectrum auction, but if any company surpasses the 60MHz limit it is obliged to return some of its spectrum in other bands to the state. The three existing operators in the country are at or close to the limit: Entel PCS already has 60MHz, while Movistar and Claro have 55MHz each. Subtel has expressed that the intention of this measure is to allow a fourth operator to enter the market and focus expressly on offering 3G services.
Comision Nacional de Comunicaciones (CNC), Argentina’s telecoms regulator, has reported the country’s wireless lines in service increased by almost 15% compared to end-2007. At 31 December 2008 the country’s wireless subscribers totaled 46.5 million, up from 40.4 million a year earlier, of which, 41.6 million (90%) customers were pre-paid. The regulator did release a breakdown of the country’s individual wireless operators, Movistar was narrowly the country’s largest cellco by subscribers with 14.65 million at 30 September 2008, while main rival Claro Argentina claimed 14.64 million wireless customers. Telecom Personal had a subscriber base of 11.94 million at the same date, while Nextel Argentina lagged behind with 938,000 subscribers.
Chile’s Supreme Court has ruled in favour of establishing spectrum limits for existing operators that want to participate in upcoming auctions for 3G licences, writes BNamericas citing telecoms regulator Subtel. In July antitrust commission FNE, cable TV operator VTR and Subtel appealed a decision by antitrust tribunal TDLC that would not allow for the reservation of spectrum for a new, fourth mobile operator to enter the market. Of the 90MHz available (45MHz for uplink and 45MHz for downlink), Subtel had hoped to reserve some 60MHz for a new operator that would focus mainly on providing value added services, while allowing the three existing wireless operators Entel PCS, Movistar and Claro to compete for 10MHz each. FNE took it a step further, arguing that the existing operators should not be allowed to participate, on the basis that they have sufficient spectrum already.
The latest ruling from the Santiago court says that no operator should hold more than 60MHz. Entel PCS already has this amount of spectrum, while Movistar and Claro have 55MHz each. The court ruled that existing players could participate in the upcoming spectrum auctions but that if they surpass the permitted limit they would be obliged to return some spectrum to the state. Some of the operators have spectrum in other frequencies such as 800MHz and 1900MHz. As regards spectrum, the court also said that Subtel ought to subdivide the spectrum in the 1710MHz-1755MHz and 2110MHz-2155MHz frequency bands into blocks that enable the efficient use of the spectrum at reasonable costs to provide 3G on a national scale.
The Head of Planning of the National Telecommunications Commission (Conatel), Carlos Barahona, says private telecoms operators invested a record USD650 million in their Honduran networks in 2008, up from USD356 million in 2007 and USD133.6 million a year earlier. Speaking to the El Heraldo newspaper, Barahona said that he expects the trend will continue in the medium-term as Tigo, Claro, Digicel and Hondutel’s fledgling mobile arm Honducel fight for new subscribers in a market where cellular penetration reached close to 75% at the end of last year. At that date the incumbents’ combined user base reached 5,823,915 active lines, up from 4.184 million a year earlier.
Digicel earmarked a reported USD450 million in its networks and services, including the payment of USD80.1 million for the licence it won in late 2007. Tigo also invested around USD150 million to expand its network, the paper said. In 2009 Digicel is expected to invest between USD150-USD200 million to further improve its reach and service quality, while Tigo has reportedly set aside USD100-USD150 million and Claro USD50-USD100 million.
Brazilian mobile operator Vivo Participacoes ended 2008 with 44.9 million customers, a market share of 29.8%, up from 27.7% in 2007. According to data published by the telecoms regulator Anatel, Vivo increased its market share partly by dint of its takeover of Telemig Celular in mid-2008. Telecom Americas (Claro) took second spot with a 25.7% market share, ahead of TIM Brasil with 24.2%. The next largest player at the end of last year was the enlarged Oi (Telemar)/Brasil Telecom (BrT) entity with 29.9 million customers, or 19.5% of the total, broken down as 24.3 million for Oi (16.2%) and 5.6 million for BrT (3.7%).
As at 31 December 2008, Anatel said Brazil was home to around 150.6 million mobile connections, up 29.6 million or 24.5% when compared to end-2007. On a less positive note, mobile phone sales fell 23% year-on-year in December 2008 to just 3.6 million units, reflecting the rising impact of the global economic downturn.
BNamericas reports that Ancel, the Uruguayan mobile arm of state-owned telco Antel will soon boast 1.5 million wireless subscribers, up from 1.24 million at the end of September 2008. Ancel plans to expand its GSM and 3G coverage by investing USD81 million in its networks. Ancel is the country’s second largest wireless operator by subscribers, behind Movistar but ahead of third placed Claro.