Peru had 18.16 million mobile phones registered by the end of June 2008, according to data published by the country’s telecoms watchdog Osiptel, a cellular penetration rate of 63%. At the same date the country’s cellcos – TEM Peru (which offers services under the Movistar banner), America Movil Peru (Claro) and digital trunking provider Nextel del Peru – had extended coverage to a total of 1,412 districts, including 83 new districts in the second quarter alone. Osiptel says that as a result of their efforts, approximately 77% of the country’s 1,833 districts now have access to mobile telephony services. Mobile penetration is thought to be as high as 80% in the capital Lima. The agency’s President Supervisor of Private Investment in Telecommunications, William Thornberry, said: ‘The growth in the cellular telephony market is undoubtedly [the result of the] country’s economic growth … people now have greater purchasing power and, moreover, [now] have reduced telephone charges.’ The regulator is forecasting an additional one million people will sign up for mobile services by the end of the year.
Osiptel also said that fixed telephony penetration reached 10% at the end of the second quarter of this year, thanks to modest growth. As of 30 June 2008 there were 2.74 million fixed lines in the country, up from 2.67 million at the start of the year, a fixed line teledensity of around 20 lines per 100 population.