Telefónica leads Peruvian telecom investments in H1

Bnamericas Published: Thursday, November 18, 2021
Telefónica leads Peruvian telecom investments in H1

Amid a process of capex rationalization in Latin America, Telefónica was the operator that invested most in Peru in the first half of this year.

The company invested some 380mn soles (US$95mn) between January and June, according to data from regulator Osiptel.

Overall, the Peruvian telecommunications market recorded total investments of 1.1bn soles in 1H21, year-on-year growth of 36.3%.

The spending of the Spanish multinational was up 13.5% over the same period of 2020. Telefónica del Perú was followed by Claro, part of Mexican group América Móvil, whose capex was 338mn soles in the period, an increase of 56.2%.

Among the four main players in the Peruvian telecom market, the one that most increased its investments in the period was Bitel, belonging to the Vietnamese group Viettel, which raised its spending by 98.3% to 76mn soles.

Chilean group Entel, in turn, invested 257mn soles through its Peruvian subsidiary, an increase of 47.5% year-on-year.

Telefónica leads the Peruvian mobile market, having ended the first half of the year with a 31.1% market share, followed by Claro (28.2%), Entel (21.4%) and Bitel (18.9%).

In Peru, Telefónica is also one of the leaders of the openRAN Internet para Todos (internet for all) consortium, together with Facebook, CAF and IDB.

The open access wholesale rural mobile infrastructure project launched in 2019 is aimed at taking mobile broadband to remote populations where conventional telecom infrastructure deployment is not economically feasible.

Telefónica said it has connected 13,000 rural areas with internet for all so far this year, reaching 2.2mn people.

Among the companies that cut capex were DirecTV, which was just sold by AT&T to Argentine Grupo Werthein, and Americatel, a B2B and corporate telecoms services subsidiary of Chile's Entel. 

They reduced their investments by 46.6% and 46.2% in 1H21, respectively, to 2.2mn soles and 4.5mn soles.


Revenues of the main operators in Peru recovered “significantly” in the semester, said Osiptel, with a combined growth of 16.8% compared with the previous year.

The highlight was revenue from sales of devices, which soared by 120% and exceeded pre-pandemic levels in the wake of the relaxation of social isolation measures and the reopening of brick-and-mortar channels.

Meanwhile, revenues from mobile services and fixed internet services grew by 8% and 11.5%, respectively, compared with the first half of 2020 and together represented 57.2% of the sector's operating revenues during the period.

Regarding the financial performance in the sector, Claro and Viettel stood out with the highest Ebitda margins, at 30.6% and 36.2%, respectively.

Entel had an Ebitda margin of 17.5%, in a context in which it recorded 15.5% more revenues in mobile services, but lower revenues from towers.

Telefónica, for its part, had the lowest operating performance, with an Ebitda margin of 11.6%, as its 3.2% revenue increase was not enough to offset the increase in its operating expenses.

As a result, the company ended up with net losses in Peru, associated with the higher accounting provision for income tax amid an ongoing dispute with tax authority Sunat, Osiptel said.

More details can be seen here, in Spanish.

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