In May 2019, El Salvador’s competition regulator, Superintendencia de Competencia (SC) analysed the application submitted by América Móvil for the takeover of Telefonica’s Movistar, a US$315 million deal signed in January 2019, and stated that the application fell short of all the required information and hence remains “inadmissible”. However, the process remains open and América Móvil will exercise a new application to win approval.

Competition in El Salvador’s mobile services segment could change significantly soon, considering the proposed merger of Claro and Movistar. Currently, Tigo leads the mobile services market, however, if the takeover of Movistar by América Móvil receives regulatory clearance, Claro will likely become the leading mobile service provider in El Salvador.

Claro leads the fixed voice and fixed broadband segments in 2018. While we expect Claro to comfortably maintain its leadership in the fixed voice segment, we forecast that the operator will encounter a tough competition in the fixed broadband segment from Tigo, which plans to invest significantly in the fixed network upgrade and expansion of its HFC network. Tigo is also was the leading pay-TV operator in El Salvador. Both the operators play in a market valued at US$1.1 billion in 2018 and will experience a five-year compound annual growth rate of 2.4%.

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