Trends for 2012: Latin America

The team at Pyramid Research , part of the Light Reading Communications Network, has looked ahead to 2012 to identify the key trends they expect to see in the coming year. Follow the "Trends for 2012" series of articles to build up a picture of what's coming down the pipe in the next 12 months.

Smartphone adoption will maintain its momentum
Smartphone sales as a percentage of total sales will break the 20 percent barrier in 2012. Brazil, Colombia, Peru and Chile will have especially important increases in smartphone adoption. Smartphone adoption in the region will be driven by increased vendor competition, fueled by Chinese manufacturers that offer affordable Android phones and operators trying to increase their smartphone base to increase data revenue.

DTH/satellite subscriptions will grow strongly
DTH/satellite subscriptions will grow 16 percent compared with total pay-TV growth of 11 percent, driven by traditional DTH operator DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV)’s prepaid offering and regulatory limits on IPTV that have pushed operators such as Claro and Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF) into offering DTH services to enable triple play. Competition will put downward pressure on prices, making the service, which has traditionally been the more expensive among the various pay-TV options, more affordable, as has been shown by DISH in Mexico and Via Embratel in Brazil. Via Embratel reached more than 1 million users in only two years of operation, an impressive feat. Consumers in underserved areas, such as rural areas, will be able to join the pay-TV subscriber base.

Opportunity knocks in the IT services market
In some markets, such as Mexico, the IT outsourced services market (including SaaS, IaaS and PaaS) will experience high growth rates as a result of fixed operators’ strategies to offer cloud-based solutions specifically for SMEs. Alestra’s offering of SAP ERP in the cloud is just one example of how fixed operators are willing to climb in the value chain.

Security will be top of mind for enterprises
Security is the top priority of enterprises, where information leakage and hacking, among other types of security attacks, occur every day. Because of this situation, IT providers and operators are interested in offering security devices, security protocols deployment and infrastructure to prevent and eliminate risks.

The Telefónica-MasterCard joint venture will target first-time credit card holders
This service will incorporate some of the elements that we have seen in developed markets, such as targeted marketing, mobile coupons and mobile banking. For Telefónica, this will also be a good opportunity to enhance its still-limited mobile remittance service, and in the future (beyond 2012) combine both services. Banks will also be more active in encouraging users to use mobile banking either through mobile apps or via partnerships with operators.

For more — The Analysts, Pyramid Research

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