"Venezuela Telecommunications Report Q4 2013" is now available at Fast Market Research

From: Fast Market Research, Inc.
Published: Tue Oct 08 2013

A heavy government influence helps shape Venezuela's telecoms market, with state-owned firms playing a major role in all aspects of the sector. This not only deters private investment, but also affects private firms already operating in the country, such as Telefonica, as they are unable to repatriate their profits. There have been reports that a deal may be struck in the future enabling some repatriation in exchange for investment commitments. As the state controls a large portion of telecoms the sector, the development of infrastructure is closely linked to the success, or otherwise, of Venezuela's oil sector. If revenues from oil run dry, then the government lacks funds for other projects. Our latest quarterly report shows the mobile sector is consolidating its position above the 100% penetration market, with considerable net addition posted this quarter. This growth comes despite the disruption following former President Hugo Chavez's death in March 2013.

Full Report Details at
- http://www.fastmr.com/prod/673260_venezuela_telecommunications_report_q4_2013.aspx?afid=303

Key Data

* Total mobile subscriptions declined in Q113, breaking the trend of strong growth from 2012. We believe the net loss of 376,000 subscriptions is the result of inactive subscription discounting.
* In the fixed-line market, Venezuela continues to report growth, according to Conatel. The market finished with 7. 697mn subscriptions in Q113, up by 4% year-on-year (y-o-y).
* Conatel reported Venezuela had 12.6mn internet users and 3.62mn broadband subscriptions in Q113.

Key Trends & Developments

In April 2013 Telefonica announced plans to raise its investment in Venezuela by 78% to VEF3.9bn (US $619mn) in 2013. The investment will be above the planned VEF600mn (US$95.3mn) expenditure in mobile broadband spectrum licence fees, partly to hedge against a further fall in the value of cash that the operator cannot repatriate to Spain. Telefonica's Venezuelan unit accumulated dividends valued at US$3bn since 2006. However, the dividends have lost about US$1.4bn in value as a result of the devaluation of the Venezuelan bolivar against the US dollar in February 2013. There is a glimmer of hope for Telefonica, following local press reports the government is looking at options including some repatriation rights in exchange for investment commitments.

In May 2013 Digitel announced it would begin testing its 4G LTE technology in Caracas, becoming the first company to do so in the country, following its purchase of 1800MHz spectrum auctioned by telecoms regulator Conatel in September 2012. The company is slightly behind the schedule it set, with initial coverage including the towns of Altamira, Los Palos Grandes and La Castellana, and extended in the coming months to La Urbina and El Rosal-Las Mercedes. Digitel has received 400,000 mobile devices that are 4G-enabled, according to news reports from Telesemana.

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