Latin fire driving regional MVNO market
The Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) market is set to explode in Latin America as the region’s mobile market matures, new regulations come into force and more network operators open their doors to MVNO partners.
According to figures released by Informa Telecoms & Media this week, MVNO subscriptions in Latin America will grow at a CAGR of 28 per cent to 6.6 million by 2013. This is largely due to the fact that mobile growth is slowing in Latin America, with mobile penetration rates already above 100 per cent in Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Venezuela, and at close to 90 per cent in Brazil. So forward looking operators now see MVNOs as a good opportunity to grow subscriptions and revenues in new market segments.
On Wednesday, the MVNO Forum 2010 kicks off in SãoPaulo, Brazil, where the MVNO market is a particularly hot topic. Brazilian regulator ANATEL plans to launch new MVNO regulations this year, which according to Júlio Püschel, senior analyst and head of mobile operator strategy at Informa, represents an important step in Latin America’s largest mobile telecoms market.
“The MVNO market is at an early stage in Latin America, with only around 20 active MVNOs in the region, out of 550 MVNOs or resellers worldwide. The regulation will open the door to MVNOs in Brazil, which will force all operators to review their MVNO strategies and plans. Some operators are reluctant to open to what they consider new competitors, but others are embracing MVNOs as a growth opportunity. Our research on the global MVNO market shows that operators that open to MVNOs will be the winners,” Püschel said.
According to Püschel, Latin America represented a small share of the world’s 104 million MVNO subscriptions in 2009, but will play a bigger role going forward. “The MVNO market is already a reality in Latin America, with MVNOs including Fecosur in Argentina, Cablevision and Maxcable in Mexico, and Telefonica del Sur in Chile. But the number of MVNO operators and subscriptions is set to jump as mobile markets mature and new MVNO regulations come into force.
“Mobile network operators in Latin America need to develop the right wholesale strategies now or risk losing subscriptions and revenues to competitors,” he said.