Future of Colombian telecoms market is 4G, with five million users predicted

Juan Fernandez Gonzalez | 20-01-2014

LTE networks will lead Colombia's telecoms market during the next two years, reaching nearly five million subscribers by 2016, according to Alcatel-Lucent, which points to 4G as the future for telecoms services.

Colombia's LTE market is relatively new, with only three companies currently offering services, although three more operators are expected to start operating 4G networks this year. UNE EPM has 200,000 subscribers, offering the service in 15 cities. Movistar and Tigo only started operating at the end of 2013, therefore have no official figures as yet.

But Alcatel-Lucent, which recently announced it will power Lazu's LTE network in the country, sees huge potential in high speed mobile communications. "Some research based on growing trends point to 780,000 subscribers by the end of the year, and 4.8 million in 2016," said the company.

According to the newspaper El Tiempo, although Colombians are just starting to use the service, some companies have been focusing on it for several years, conscious of its growing potential. For example the Chinese company Huwai says around 30% of its business in 2013 was related to LTE. "We are sure the 4G impact will be enormous in the coming years, becoming one of the technologies which will grow faster," said Iván Herrera, marketing VP at Huwai Colombia.