The Venezuelan telecoms market was deregulated in November 2000 ending the incumbent CANTVs monopoly in the sector. Following liberalisation, two new players, Telefonica Spain and TIM Italy, entered the market. The incumbent CANTV was privatised in 1991 but re-nationalised in May 2007.
Internet penetration in Venezuela is lower than the Latin American average, leaving significant room for growth considering the country’s relatively high GDP per capita. Broadband is in its infancy, but has been growing steadily while the popularity of dial-up has been falling. Telecentres, of which there are more than 3,000, are helping to bridge the digital divide.
There were 2 million fixed broadband subscribers in Venezuela at the end of Q4 2012. The growth rate for the quarter stood at 3.08%, which was above the regional and global average growth rates for the same period. Population penetration for fixed broadband in Venezuela stood at 6.8%.
|Region||Subscribers Q4 2012 (millions)||Quarterly growth|
|Asia & Oceania||279||2.1%|
|Middle East and Africa||20||2.3%|
Figure 1: Broadband subscriber numbers, growth and penetration in Venezuela, Q4 2012
CANTV is Venezuela’s incumbent operator offering fixed-line, broadband and mobile services. In May 2007, the government agreed to pay Verizon for its stake in CANTV and launched tender offers in Venezuela and the USA for the remaining shares. The government ended up holding an 86.2 per cent stake in CANTV. In April 2009, the government held further tender offers in the USA and Venezuela for the acquisition of outstanding Class-D shares and American Depositary Shares (ADSs) in CANTV.
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