Latin America: A new telecom growth engine

Sean BuckleyLatin America's telecom market, much like its landscape, is a diverse tapestry of everything from traditional wireline voice services to next generation networks (NGNs) consisting of fiber and DOCSIS-based broadband, VoIP and 3G wireless.

But as Jose Otero, President of Signals Consulting explains, Latin American service providers face a number of regulatory challenges in obtaining their NGN goals.

"The main obstacle to the expansion of NGN in the region is outdated regulatory constraints," he said. "This slows investment from telecom operators throughout the region."

Despite the regulatory challenges, Latin American incumbent and competitive service providers alike are pursuing some form of Next Generation Network (NGN) strategy that includes a mix of Fiber to the Home (FTTH), Fiber to the Node (FTTN) and DOCSIS 3.0-based cable broadband networks.

The FierceTelecom team takes up these issues in our latest eBook: Latin America's Next Generation Networks.

Two Latin American countries take notice of in Latin America's NGN race are Brazil and Mexico.

Host of the 2016 Olympics, Brazil's largest service provider Oi is rolling out FTTH in wealthy neighborhoods in Rio de Janeiro, while French conglomerate Vivendi successfully bought out competitive wireline operator GVT.   

Mexico's NGN movement is no less compelling. Seeing growing competition from aggressive competitors such as Spain's Telefonica and Megacable, telecom magnate Carlos Slim is moving to consolidate his wireless and wireline holdings by consolidating TELMEX and America Movil into one company.

However, Mexico's competitive providers aren't sitting pat. Looking to reduce their dependency on Slim's empire for wholesale network connectivity, a consortium of competitive providers launched a joint bid to purchase dark fiber from the Mexican government for long-distance capacity.  

Interestingly, Latin America's NGN initiatives are prompting competitive wholesale service providers (NTT America and XO Communications) are responding with new wholesale connectivity options to connect into the U.S., Asia-Pacific and Europe.

Along with new wholesale opportunities, the Latin American NGN opportunity has been attracting major telecom equipment vendors (Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, Huawei, and Nokia Siemens Networks) to offer their wares to the Latin American service provider community.

I encourage you to take a look at our new eBook on Latin America.-Sean