New operators in mobile market very unlikely, GSMA says

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Participation of new mobile telephony operators in Latin America in upcoming spectrum auctions is very unlikely, the GSM Association's (GSMA) director for Latin America, Sebastían Cabello, told BNamericas.

"Peru, with the entry of Vietnamese telecoms operator Viettel Group, is an extraordinary case," Cabello said. "We believe that the entry of new operators in markets with mobile penetration close to 100% is very unlikely."

The executive added, "The global trend in mobile telephony is operation consolidation. Operators are looking for scale, and not all of them can face increasing competition.... We believe that the entry of a new operator starting from zero is very difficult."

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But Cabello said companies such as Nextel could enter new Latin American markets due to existing synergies. "Other possible new mobile operators in the region could be cable TV and internet providers, which can become national or niche operators depending on the spectrum."