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Who are the Top 10 Operators in Lat-Am and The Caribbean?

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The top 10 network operators in the Caribbean & Latin America region now all have over 10m customers as 10th placed Telecom Personal of Argentina crossed the 10m customer barrier in the quarter. The composition and order of the top 10 has remained unchanged throughout 2007, with Telecel in Mexico leading from Vivo and TIM in Brasil. Telcel has pulled ahead of its rivals, extending its lead over Vivo from 12.0m customers at the end of September 2006 to 16.2m customers a year later, whilst TIM closed the gap between it and its domestic rival from 4.6m to 2.2m customers during the year.

The top five operators - the ranking completed by Claro in Brazil and Comcel in Colombia - all have more than 20m customers and together had a base of 157m customers at the end of Q3 2007, a year on year increase of 16.9% - some way short of the 23.8% regional average.

The operators occupying positions five to ten in the ranking were considerably faster growing, pushing up the annual growth rate to 20.7%, although this still meant that the proportion of the continental total accounted for by the top 10 fell from 62.9% to 61.4% over the course of the year.

The fastest growing of the CALA region's largest operators was Telefonica Moviles Mexico, which registered a 49% increase in customer numbers to over 11m as it fought back against the domination of market leader Telcel. However, with CTI Argentina still 1.4m customers ahead of it in eighth place at the end of Q3 2007, there is no prospect of an immediate move up the rankings for the operator. Three Telefonica Group operators have maintained top 10 places in the operator ranking in 2007, with Vivo in second place, Telefonica Argentina seventh and the Mexican operation in ninth, whilst rival major operator America Movil had four units in the top 10, led by domestic operation Telcel.

Extending the scope of the comparison to the top 20 operators, Telefonica adds another four units in Venezuela (12th), Colombia (13th), Peru (14th) and Chile (16th), whilst America Movil has another two operators in the form of Conecel in Ecuador (15th) and Claro Peru (19th).

In terms of net additions, Telcel Mexico also claimed top-spot with 6.80m in the year to 30th September - almost 1m more than second placed Claro Brazil which recorded 5.81m new connections. TIM Brazil was in third place with an increase of just over 5m, whilst Brazilian market leader Vivo was way down in eighth place with just 2.59m net additions in the 12 month period. America Movil's Colombian subsidiary Comcel was the most notable under-performer, claiming ninth place with 2.50m net additions. All of the members of the top 10 ranking of markets by customer numbers make an appearance in the top 10 ranking by annual net additions, with the exception of Telemar (TNL PCS) in Brazil, which found itself 11th for the year ending September 2007.

Taking its place in the top 10 at number seven was Telefonica Moviles Peru, the region's 14th largest operator by customers. Telefonica's Peruvian business did even better in the net additions ranking for the third quarter, attaining sixth place with 0.86m new customers, and beating its much larger Mexican sister business which registered 0.84m net additions in the process. Giving way this time was CALA's tenth largest operator by customers, Telecom Personal of Argentina, which fell to 15th in the quarterly ranking with 0.28m new connections.

Leading the quarterly ranking was America Movil's Claro Brazil with 1.73m new customers, from rival TIM with 1.68m. Telcel Mexico was third with 1.40m, ahead of a revived Telemar with 1.27m in fourth place and a resurgent Vivo in fifth place with 1.08m. In addition to the Telefonica businesses in Peru and Mexico, CTI Argentina, Telefonica Argentina and Comcel Colombia round off the top 10 in eighth, ninth and tenth places respectively.


Top 10 Operators by Customers


Top 10 Operators by Net Additions Q3


Top 10 Operators by Net Additions Year to Date

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