Chile has a population of 16.7 million and there are 19.8 million mobile phones in the market.
A Top Export Prospect for Chile
In USD millions 2010 2011
Total Market Size 4,680 3,953 4,330 5,129
Total Local Production 220 190 225 250
Total Exports 200 167 195 225
Total Imports 4,660 3,930 4,300 5,104
Imports from the U.S. 549 471 541 622
Exchange Rate: 1 USD 500 484 486 489
Total Market Size = (Total Local Production + Total Imports) – (Total Exports)
Total Local Production: Local industry source.
Total Exports: Chile Customs Data, Southbridge
Total Imports: Chile Customs Data, Southbridge
Imports from U.S.: Chile Customs Data, Southbridge
Source: Unofficial estimates based on info from industry sector sources
Chile's telecommunications sector is completely privatized and probably the most advanced in
Latin America. The Under Secretariat of Telecommunications (SUBTEL) regulates the sector,
sets standards and issues licenses and concessions. Since privatization began in 1988, huge
infrastructure investments have been made by the private sector. As a result, Chile’s telecom
industry grew an average of 20 percent annually over the last decade. Investments in
modernization of equipment and implementing new technologies will continue. It is
estimated that the telecom sector will continue growing at an estimated rate of 15 percent
The mobile telephony market is the fastest growing subsector in the telecommunications
market. Chile has a population of 16.7 million and there are 19.8 million mobile phones in
the market. Number portability was recently introduced in Chile, generating stronger
competition among mobile communications operators. Due to the high penetration of mobile
services, the fixed line market in Chile is declining. Residential fixed lines accounted for 62%
of the market in 2009 but fell 6.2% in 2010. Commercial landlines account for 35% of the
Chile’s telecom industry showed great deficiencies after the earthquake in February 2010, so
the government had to promote the development of the communications infrastructure.
Chile’s authorities hope to improve connectivity, education, and, most important, the
integration of all of Chile’s regions. Both the private and the public sectors’ efforts to extend
Top US rt 2 Expo Prospects in Chile 2012: Telecommunications
current fixed lines and mobile infrastructure have slowly resulted in increased revenue for
operators. The government has also tried to modify current regulations to allow companies
to focus efforts on expansion.
Telecom imports are critical since the high-tech telecom equipment is not manufactured
locally. Local manufacture is limited to some copper cable and telephone exchange. U.S.
products are highly regarded for their high quality. However, the United States market share
is affected by the strong competition from manufacturers of other countries, especially from
Asia, that offer lower prices for similar of equipment even though it is not of the same
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Sub-Sector Best Prospects
Chile does not manufacture telecommunications equipment. There are interesting
opportunities for U.S. exporters of equipment, products and services for the
telecommunications sector, especially in the fastest growing wireless communications sector.
With the entry into the market of two new operators of mobile communications, Nextel and
VTR, the competition among operators will become stronger in order to maintain and increase
their market share. These companies have had to make huge investments during the last
couple of years to implement their network and operations.
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The introduction of number portability in Chile is generating fierce competition among
operators of mobile communications. This system will allow subscribers of different mobile
companies to switch from one company to another without losing their number. This is
generating fierce competition among operators of mobile communications that must find new
and additional products and services to compete. Providing an excellent service and coverage
is no longer enough. Chile offers a good potential for all value-added services and corporate
communications services, such as hot lines, home security services, automatic collect-calls.
Also, according to recent studies completed in Chile, the trend for young people it to use
their cell phone for playing music and playing games.
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• Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications: www.mtt.gob.cl
• Under Secretariat of Telecommunications: www.subtel.cl
• Association of Mobile Telephony: www.atelmo.cl
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Top US ects mmunicat 3 Export Prosp in Chile 2012: Teleco ions
For More Information
Please contact Isabel Margarita Valenzuela, Commercial Specialist for telecommunications at the U.S.
Commercial Service in Chile at Isabel.Valenzuela@trade.gov or (56) 2-330-3421. You can also visit our website
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in the U.S. nearest you by visiting www.export.gov/eac.
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International copyright, U.S. Department of Commerce, 2012. All rights reserved outside of the United States.