Telecoms.com, the leading news and opinion telecoms sector website operated by Informa Telecoms & Media, reports today that Millicom International Cellular plans to have launched 3G services in all of its Latin American markets by the end of this year. The mobile group, headquartered in Luxembourg has already launched 3G in Guatemala, Honduras and Bolivia. Launches in Paraguay (today), El Salvador (tomorrow) and Colombia (by the end of 2008) are all set to follow.
I had the pleasure of visiting two of Millicom's Tigo-branded operations while touring South America in April this year. In both Paraguay and Bolivia, I was struck by the very high visibility of the brand. I also learned a little about the Bolivian operation's WiMAX launch, but was in the country a little too early for the full commercial 3G deployment.
This recent announcement supports my personal belief that tech vendors looking to tap into major big CAPEX in Latin America will soon need to look beyond the strong growth story in mobile. Once 3G networks are rolled out across the whole region, I wonder which technology area will offer the best growth prospects. It was this line of thinking which prompted us to broaden the focus of our long established Latin America region conference and exhibition. What was once 'GSM Americas', is now a more holistic event in terms of welcoming every kind of telecoms service provider - fixed/mobile/integrated; traditional telecoms space/cable MSO/emerging forms of service provider.
This year's event is imminent. My team and I board the plane to Rio de Janeiro this Saturday in time to set up for next week's conference on 9-10 September. We'd love to see you there. If you represent any telecoms operator, we can still admit you free of charge. Register at: