In recent years, this sector has faced challenges such as: the emergence of virtual operators, high network maintenance costs and the removal of minimum commitment clauses. Some of these circumstances have stimulated the increase of prepaid subscriptions and limited the fixed income of operators. The results in the 2017 GDP showed a decrease of 0.9% compared to 2016.

Telecommunications infrastructure in Colombia is capable of supporting world-class operations with 10 submarine cables that are part of a network of more than 42 thousand kilometers of fiber optics, 24 thousand kilometers of land fiber and almost one hundred stations for Internet connection.

The IT and digital content industry exported more than US$ 169 million in 2017 thanks to the strategies for internalization and strengthening of export capacities made between the ICT Ministry and Procolombia. These efforts have allowed the country to consolidate as one of the preferred destinations in Latin America for multinational providers of digital security services and online infrastructure networks.

The radioelectric spectrum is the fundamental input for the next generation of 5G mobile networks to be able to operate in Colombia, which is why the management of the radioelectric spectrum is a strategic element for the development of the ICT sector, where part of Plan Vive Digital of the MinTIC is to consolidate the efficient allocation of spectrum to allow the continuous development of telecommunications and applications on mobile networks. It is expected that by December 2019, analogue TV channels operating on the 600 Mhz frequency will be suspended and a reorganization is made in order to use 5G in this space.

Internet

The broadband Internet connection penetration index moved from 55.6% in 2015 to 61.4% in 2017. With these results, the MinTIC has managed to exceed the coverage of 27 million Internet connections that was planned for 2018.

For 2018, the fixed broadband Internet service will continue to grow, but at a lower rate than mobile Internet, which will maintain the exponential trend of its penetration index. Additionally, the MinTIC is expected to carry out the auction to grant the 700 Mhz spectrum to increase the deployment of the 4G network, which will eventually end up being a support for 5G networks in the future.

Mobile telephony

The mobile telephony penetration index moved from 120.4% in 2016 to 126.2% in 2017, achieving a total operating income of COP$ 1.04 billion pesos in this last year.

On the other hand, the Switched Basic Public Telephony (TPBC) reached a total of 6.98 million subscribed lines, with a national penetration that moved from 15.1% in 2015 to 14.2% in 2017.

Television

In late 2017, Colombia had a digital terrestrial television coverage of 70.3% in public TV and 88.44% in private TV, reaching the goal established for 2018 of 70.3% coverage. This goal was achieved thanks to the efforts of the MinTIC in updating the legal, regulatory and institutional framework, promoting public television and strengthening the Colombian content industry.

Streaming services will continue to play a role against subscription television and continue generating growth in both fixed and mobile Internet users.

To boost digitalization at national level, the MinTIC has developed a strategy that has five initiatives: mindset and culture, training, business digital transformation centers, e-commerce projects and ICT solutions. The foregoing will lead the companies of the country towards the digital path through the transformation of their businesses, and will have an investment of UD$ 47,000 million.

Highlights

  • In 2017, Broadband connections by subscription to fixed and mobile networks reached 16.4 million and 14.1 million through mobile connections on demand.
  • Of the 23.9 million mobile connections, 8.9 million were 3G connections on demand, 3 million correspond to 3G mobile connections by subscription, 6.8 million were 4G mobile connections by subscription, and 5.2 million were 4G mobile connections on demand.
  • 3.4 million of the access by subscription to fixed Internet is made by cable.
  • 90.93% of fixed Internet access is made in the residential segment, 8.69% is corporate and 0.38% is residential without stratification.
  • The city with the most TPBC lines in Colombia was Bogotá with a total of 2.27 million subscriptions.
  • Colombia ranks as a provider of IT services in Latin America.

Source: The Ministry of Information and Communication Technologies (MINTIC), National Television Authority (ANTV), Communications Regulation Commission (CRCOM), The National Administrative Department of Statistics (DANE), National Association of Financial Institutions (ANIF), Dinero, Eltiempo

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