Paraguay could get a fifth mobile operator, with fixed line telco Copaco hoping to launch a GSM service. BNAmericas, citing local newspaper ABC, reports that Copaco is planning to launch a cellular service to augment its fixed line offerings and move into markets where its wireline networks have not yet reached. The firm says the investment needed for the rollout of GSM infrastructure is included in its USD50 million investment plan for the 2006-2008 period.
Recently released government statistics show there are almost 1.5 million cellular subscribers in Paraguay – a penetration rate of 49% – while the number of fixed line customers is only around one-fifth of that figure, giving a 19% penetration rate. Wireline penetration falls to just 2.5% in rural areas, while cellular ownership remains relatively high at 35%. Paraguay is currently home to four players: Telecel (owned by Millicom), Telecom Personal (Telecom Argentina), CTI Móvil (América Móvil) and Hola (backed by Japanese investors).