Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 02/18/2014 -- BMI has extended its forecasts to 2018 in the Q214 update to the Central America report, with our expectations indicating that growth will slow down towards the back end of the period. The Central American region is characterised by a heavy government presence in the telecoms market through stateowned companies. Regulatory authorities may lack independence and this can negatively affect competition in the industry or put it under further state control, such as Nicaragua's planned new internet laws. As growth begins to slow down in the region, governments are interested in boosting competitiveness by adding new players, divesting themselves of their state-owned entities and introducing number portability. Many markets have well over 100% penetration and new methods are needed to grow low average revenue per user (ARPU) levels by deploying higher-value services.
- According to the latest SIT, at the end of June 2013, there were 21.079mn mobile subscribers in Guatemala, of which 95% were prepaid. In total, prepaid services had 20.080mn active lines, while postpaid amounted to 999,000 subscribers. Tigo continues to lead the market with its 9.682mn prepaid customers, equalling a 49% market share. Claro was in second place with 6.127mn (21%) and Movistar had 4.271mn (20.2%) prepaid customers. However, the postpaid segment shows a different mix, however, with Claro ahead totalling 400,673 users for a 40% market share, followed by Tigo with 302,802 (30%) and Movistar with 295,580 lines (29.5%).
- New data from the regulator shows that that the Costa Rican market has grown along at a fast rate, since the introduction of two new operators at end-2011. Operators do not provide a breakdown of subscriber data, but there are indications in local press of the newcomers' performances and ICE's reaction. After reaching 5.4mn subscriptions, growth has continued well in the first nine months of 2013, climbing to 5.852mn.
- Nicaragua had a total of 6.81mn active mobile lines at end-2013, according to the regulator Telcor. About 6.34mn were prepaid subscriptions. The broadband subscriber base rose from 175,634 at end-2012 to 207,275 at end-2013. The number of fixed lines increased from 299,917 to 324,917 during the same period.
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