Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 05/21/2014 -- Executive summary
Increasing international bandwidth encouraging growth in internet use
BuddeComm's report Paraguay - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband, and Forecasts provides a comprehensive overview of the trends and developments in the country's telecommunications market, including the regulator's market data to June 2013, operator data to the end of 2013 and market developments to April 2014.
Paraguay endured political instability and a poor economic performance in 2012, with GDP falling by 1.2%, though 2013 is expected to have recorded growth of between 10% and 12%. The outlook for 2014 remains uncertain, but is generally expected to see continued economic growth, albeit at a slower pace than in 2013.
Almost half of Paraguay's population live below the poverty line, and though GDP per capita is improving it remains among the lowest in the region. Corruption is rife, as are drug smuggling and money laundering. Nevertheless, the country has enormous potential for growth. Foreign investors are welcome in all economic sectors.
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Exclusivity and competition
The state-owned incumbent, Corporacion Paraguaya de Comunicaciones (Copaco), retains a monopoly on all fixed-line voice services, including local telephony, international long distance telephony, and VoIP. In the mobile market, however, there has been competition since 1998. The internet market is also open to competition, and there are over a dozen ISPs offering services. Copaco lost its monopoly over the international backbone for internet connectivity in early 2009.
Fixed line infrastructure
Unlike Uruguay's state monopoly Antel, or Costa Rica's ICE, underinvestment in infrastructure by Copaco has meant that lift Paraguay's teledensity remains very low. In order for Paraguay's telecom market to develop and reach greater potential in terms of access and revenue, the operator needs to be radically restructured.
Another major drawback for Copaco and for Paraguay's telecommunications generally is the country's landlocked position, which makes it dependant on neighbouring nations for interconnection with submarine cable networks. This has driven up the price of telecom services, particularly broadband.
Paraguay's fixed broadband penetration is among the lowest in the region, but the market is growing rapidly, primarily in Asuncion and other major urban centres. Available technologies include ADSL, cable modem, FttP, and WiMAX. Copaco has a near-monopoly in the ADSL market. ADSL is the main fixed broadband technology, but it is unavailable in much of the country due to low teledensity.
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