Spotlight: The battle for Colombia’s fixed internet market

Colombia’s fixed internet market produced total revenues of 1.63tn Colombian pesos (US$347mn) during the second quarter of 2022, up 6.2% year-on-year, according to the latest report from regulator CRC.

The main operators, Claro (América Móvil), Tigo-Une (Millicom), Movistar (Telefónica) and ETB together accounted for 69.1% of those revenues in the period.

This is a growth of 6.2% compared to the same period in 2021.

According to the CRC’s figures, Tigo and Claro have been locked in a battle to lead the market, with Claro still at the head of the pack with revenues of 420bn pesos in 2Q22, giving the América Móvil-owned operator a 25% market share.

Tigo, a subsidiary of Millicom, has achieved steady growth over the last two years and has managed to close the gap on Claro in terms of revenue. It reported revenues of 382bn pesos in April-June, or 23.5% of the market.

The CRC figures show that Tigo does a better job in terms of billing as its average revenue per user is considerably higher than that of Claro. The latter ended June with 3.2mn fixed internet lines while Tigo had 1.7mn, meaning that Claro has 37.9% of the market measured in accesses, followed by Tigo with 20.8%.

Back in third and fourth place, the figures for market share are much more consistent with the companies’ revenues. Movistar has a 14.4% market share in terms of accesses and accounts for 12.1% of total revenues, while ETB has 8.0% of fixed internet connections and 7.7% of revenues.

The average monthly income per access amounted to 63,300 pesos in the second quarter of last year, which was up 3% compared with the same three months of 2021.

SPEEDS AND TECHNOLOGIES

In the second quarter of 2022, 59.4% of all fixed internet accesses were provided via cable technologies, while 24.4% were through fiber and 11% xDSL.

Fiber optic accesses reached a total of 2.1mn by the end of June, rising 27.4% from June 2021.

Total fixed internet accesses (residential and corporate) were 8.56mn million as of June 30, which was a year-on-year increase of 3.2%.

The advance of fiber optic technology has also had an impact on download speeds. The average fixed internet speed was 110Mbps in 2Q22, which was more than double that seen in 2Q21. Upload speeds also rocketed 177% to 44.1Mbps in the period.

According to figures from Ookla, which measures the speed of telecommunications networks, Movistar provides the fastest speeds with average download rates of 141Mbps in 2Q22.

That was followed by ETB with 94.5Mbps, Claro with 89.0Mbps and Tigo with 75.9Mbps.

Both Movistar and ETB are committed to fiber optics, which in Colombia had the best download speeds at an average of 152Mbps, according to CRC. Hybrid Fiber-Coaxial networks, meanwhile, which are used by Claro and Tigo, have mean speeds of 119Mbps.

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