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Colombia: Operators vie for position in future of mobile broadband

 |  October 4, 2016

The rapid growth in the mobile broadband and data market in Colombia has unleashed a new battleground for the telecommunications sector, drawing concerns among regulators and competitors over the possible consolidation of a dominating force. Movistar and TIgoUne have issued a joint claim that Claro, part of the América Móvil telecomm empire, has consolidated its dominance over the mobile and data sector. Meanwhile, Claro officials argue that the current market dynamism proves that there is no such domination from its brand.

Data published by the country’s Communications Regulation Commission (CRC), there are approximately 21 million mobile broadband users in Colombia, of which 8 million use post-pay schemes and 13 million use pre-paid plans. Fabián Hernández, with Telefónica’s Movistar, has said that “the responsibility lies with regulators. Claro has manoeuvered to delay both policy and judicial reforms in order to prevent timely intervention from regulators.”

Claro’s Institutional Relation’s VP, Santiago Pardo, responded to these criticisms by pointing to the state of the market. “Our competitors are shifting the agenda and putting pressure on regulators, hoping to impose measures that have been proven to harm markets and do nothing to benefit consumers.” The company has also pointed to the CRC’s own numbers, claiming that these show “the market for mobile data in Colombia is healthy and highly competitive…”

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