ACHIET-Ovum Observatory: Telecoms industry boosts socio-economic development in Latin America

NUMBER OF JOBS CREATED BY THE TELECOMS INDUSTRY IN LATIN AMERICA HAS GROWN BY 60% SINCE 2008; TELCO CAPITAL INVESTMENT INCREASED BY 28%

These insights are from the new AHCIET-Ovum Observatory of Telecoms Indicators in Latin America which launches today. The Observatory aims to track and analyse trends and developments in the digital ecosystem in Latin America, as well as the socio-economic contribution of the industry to the growth and welfare of the economy.

According to the Observatory, the telecoms sector has had a significant impact on national economies in Latin America between 2008 and 2011, generating growth in fixed (72%) and mobile (41%) Internet connections. At the same time, entry-level tariffs have fallen substantially, enabling new users to join the “information society”.

 

London & Bogota’, 16/4/13 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

AHCIET and Ovum today launches the Observatory of Telecoms Indicators in Latin America. Its objective is to measure and analyse the digital ecosystem as well as identify and quantify the socio-economic contribution of the telecoms industry to the growth and welfare of the Latin American economy. In its first study, the AHCIET-Ovum Observatory concludes that telecoms services have increased their impact in Latin America. Not only have they become increasingly  present in the daily lives of millions of Latin Americans who communicate and work using new access technologies; they are also expanding their influence and contribution to the economic development of the countries in the region.

According to the Observatory, jobs created by the telecommunications industry in Latin America grew significantly. The number of workers employed by telecoms operators has increased by nearly 60 percent, reaching a level close to a quarter of a million workers. The number of workers in the sector has more than doubled in Brazil and Nicaragua, and almost doubled in Guatemala. Meanwhile, capital investment by telecoms companies has increased by more than 28 percent as telcos focus on the deployment of access infrastructure to meet demand for services and digital inclusion.

Although the global recession that emerged in 2008 forced many companies to moderate their levels of spending in 2009, growing demand for fixed and mobile broadband has fuelled continued strong investment. Capital expenditure by telecoms companies in eight countries included in the Observatory grew by an average of 28 percent to more than US$22 trillion in 2011. This increased contribution of telecoms to national economies is helping to bridge the digital divide.

Strong growth in fixed (72%) and mobile (41%) connections between 2008 and 2011, along with the falling prices of entry-level tariffs, has boosted connectivity for millions of new users across the region that are now part of the “information society”.

The Observatory provides analysis of regional and national growth trends, investment and industry financials and covers 15 countries in Latin America over the four year period from 2008 to 2011. It will periodically deliver reliable and relevant indicators for governments, regulators, enterprises, international organisations and academia to identify the variables that may accelerate or delay the full integration of Latin America into the “information society”.

Richard Mahony, Ovum Telecoms Research Director, emphasized the importance of the new partnership. “The Observatory is a valuable resource as it provides the industry with the most detailed picture of the evolving Latin America telecoms market. We look forward to further co-operation with AHCIET as the partnership supports Ovum’s ongoing research on the development of telecoms in the region.”

The Secretary General of AHCIET, Pablo Bello, affirmed that these indicators help to empirically demonstrate what AHCIET knows from its close work with the sector; that is, that the telecoms industry has a growing influence and a strategic role to play in helping to defeat poverty and achieve full regional digital development.

“This study provides powerful validation that the telecoms sector is making a positive contribution to the economic growth of countries, not only boosting employment, investment and infrastructure development, but also promoting education, innovation and digital inclusion,” noted Pablo Bello .

“It is time for countries to seriously consider how much faster we could close the digital divide and remove the regulatory moorings that are still hindering telecoms growth and equitable access to advanced services. Our hard data shows that countries which have made the most progress are those where key players in the digital ecosystem recognize the need for public–private cooperation with convergent public policies, regulations and taxation that encourage investment. There are no magic spells to close the digital divide. The key is to invest intensively in next-generation access networks, and to educate on the sophisticated uses of digital connectivity, a challenge facing all participants, ” said Bello.

Regulators also play a key role in influencing and accelerating development in the sector, according to Matthew Howett, Principal Analyst and Telecoms Regulation Practice Leader at Ovum: “Regulators and policymakers can further contribute to the development of telecoms in Latin America by undertaking key reforms of the regulatory process. While some policymakers are making progress in setting out a stable framework which reflects the industry’s developments, the regulatory process in some countries remains slow and confusing. This inevitably leads to inefficiency in most areas of regulation. Giving as many citizens as possible access to the Internet will only further fuel economic growth in the region and promote new and innovative ways of doing business.”

 

About the Observatory

The AHCIET-Ovum Observatory includes 31 key indicators created from more than 10,000 data points collected directly from telecoms companies in the region. The analysis focuses on the main developments and trends in fixed, mobile and broadband services between 2008 and 2011.

The study differs from others in the market because most of the data was obtained directly from telecoms operators, not from third-party sources, and measures the direct contribution of telecoms to the respective local economies. Future iterations of the study will aim to expand on the industry data and include additional indicators that quantify and track the indirect contributions of the telecoms sector.

For details of the indicators by country or for more information, please visit the Observatory website at www.observatel.net. For more information on telecoms in Latin America, please visit www.ahciet.net and www.ovum.com.

 

About AHCIET

AHCIET is a non-profit, private organization created in 1982, comprising 50 information and communications technologies companies from all over Iberoamerica. The Association’s mission is to serve as a platform that facilitates dialogue between the public and private sector (e.g., international organizations, regulators, and governmental authorities) in order to foster alliances and initiatives resulting in the development of policies, programs and projects that leverage economic and social development of the Iberoamerican countries, thus advancing the development of digital connectivity and telecommunications services.

 

About Ovum

Ovum is a leading global research and advisory organization specialized in ICT. With the most experienced analyst team in the industry, Ovum Telecoms is uniquely positioned to provide the insightful analysis needed to guide service providers, regulators and vendors through the significant transformation impacting the telecoms industry. Advising 9 of the top 10 service providers and 10 of the top 10 telecoms vendors, Ovum Telecoms is the world’s leading source for research and analysis of the telecoms industry. With independent and objective analysis, Ovum Telecoms provides our clients with insight which enables them to thrive on the evolution and convergence of the market.

 

More Information:

Sara Luisa Oñate

Communications and Media

Phone: +57 (1) 7422376

Mobile: +57 320 4794629

Mail: sara.onate @ ahciet.net

www.ahciet.net

 

Claire Booty

PR Manager, Ovum

Phone: +44 (0) 20 7017 7916

Mobile: +44 (0) 7825 560 552 

Mail: claire.booty@ovum.com

www.ovum.com