Giants in the Playhouse
Three major telecom companies are slugging it out in Central America. With growth starting to plateau, the player with the best technology may prove the winner.
by Adam Williams
The sight of indigenous women carrying cell phones is becoming
increasingly common in parts of Central America. In the last
five years, the number of cell phone users there has risen from
around 12 million to over 39 million, an increase of over 225%,
according to telecommunications market research firm Pyramid
Research. The total regional population of the six
Spanish-speaking nations (excluding Belize) is around 41
million, meaning there are now almost as many cell phones as
people in Central America.
According to José Magaña, a telecommunications
analyst specializing in Central America at Pyramid Research,
the boom in cell phone use in the region has been the result of
market privatization. During the last 15 years, each
Spanish-speaking Central American country has shed state-run
monopolies to allow private telecommunications corporations to
enter national markets.
Three private companies - Mexicos América
Móvil, Luxembourg-based Millicom, and...
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