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Chile introduces tax on OTT digital services

Just released, this edition of Paul Budde Communication’s focus report on Chile outlines the major developments and key aspects in the telecoms markets.

Chile’s telecom sector benefits from effective competition, particularly in the broadband and mobile sectors. In recent years there has been an emphasis on developing fibre infrastructure to improve the reach and capacity of fixed-line services. Fixed-line teledensity continues to fall as consumers switch to mobile networks for voice calls. The leading operators are Telefónica Chile, trading as Movistar, VTR Globalcom (VTR), the GTD Group, Entel, and Claro. Telefónica Group in February 2020 selected banks to advise it on its plan to spin-off its Latin American units to allow it to focus on Germany, Spain, the UK and Brazil.

Fixed broadband penetration is relatively high for the region, with services among the fastest and least expensive in Latin America. The mobile penetration rate is among the highest in South America. Movistar and Entel remain the market leaders, with a similar market share, while Claro accounts for about a quarter of the market and WOM has rapidly increased its subscriber base. LTE infrastructure is extensive and while there is a National Plan for 5G, services await spectrum auctions scheduled for mid-2020 though these may be delayed given the current coronavirus pandemic.

This report provides an overview of Chile’s telecom sector and regulatory environment, including a range of statistical data and market analyses. It covers the mobile voice and data segments, profiling operators and the key MVNOs and assessing the development of LTE and 5G infrastructure, and also reviews the fixed-line and fixed-wireless broadband segments, including the status of DSL, cable and fibre broadband.

BuddeComm notes that the outbreak of the Coronavirus in 2020 is having a significant impact on production and supply chains all around the world. During this time, the telecoms sector may experience a downturn in mobile device and ICT equipment production and a decline in consumer spending on telecoms services. Overall progress towards 5G may also be postponed or slowed down in some countries. Please also note: Industry forecasts contained in this report have not taken Coronavirus into consideration as it is yet largely unknown what the long-term impact will be.

In response to the coronavirus crisis the Ministry of Transport and Telecommunication together with Movistar, Claro, Entel, VTR and Grupo GTD launched the ‘Solidarity Plan’ in April 2020, by which low-income fixed broadband subscribers under financial stress are guaranteed a minimum 2Mb/s service for three months, while mobile subscribers are able to access 300 minutes of calls, 50 SMS and basis data. The offer could potentially benefit up to three million households.

In addition, the Ministry of Education since March 2020 has promoted tele-education with free access to educational content for about three million school pupils.

Key developments

  • New telecom tax on OTT players introduced;
  • Telefónica Group making progress on selling its Latin American units;
  • Google completes laying the Curie submarine cable linking Chile with the US west coast;
  • GTD to lay a 3,500km submarine cable from Africa to Puerto Montt;
  • Regulator preps for 5G multi-spectrum auction by mid-2020;
  • Industry lobby group Atelmo proposes $26 billion investment program to 2024 to increase reach of LTE and fibre-based broadband networks;
  • Report update includes the regulator’s market data update to September 2019, telcos’ financial and operating data to Q4 2019, Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses, recent market developments

Yahoo Finance

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