Uruguay’s telecoms regulator, Unidad Reguladora de Servicios de Comunicaciones (URSEC), has reported that the country ended December 2012 with 4.995 million mobile subscribers, an increase of 5% from 4.757 million twelve months earlier. Pre-paid subscribers accounted for the majority (3.427 million, 68.6%) of users at end-2012, while the number of post-paid customers climbed from 1.419 million at the end of 2011 to 1.568 million twelve months later. The proportion of contract users continued its upward trend during 2011, reaching 31.4% at the end of the year, compared to 29.8% twelve months earlier and 23% at the end of 2008. According to URSEC, Uruguay ended 2012 with 1.01 million fixed lines in service, an increase of over 31,000 from the 979,923 recorded a year earlier. Residential lines accounted for the lion’s share (81%) of fixed telephony lines at 31 December 2012. The number of fixed broadband subscribers continued to climb in 2012, reaching 580,669 at year-end, up 23% from the 472,876 reported twelve months earlier, with DSL accounting for 97% (563,108) of all fixed broadband accesses. Mobile broadband customers totalled 1.084 million at the end of 2012, compared to 873,400 a year earlier. Meanwhile, pay-TV customers increased from 536,812 at 31 December 2011 to 592,699 twelve months later.
In other news, local newspaper El Observador reports that URSEC has ordered America Movil-owned Claro and Movistar, a unit of Spanish telecoms group Telefonica, to stop offering a telephony service which the regulator says violates the monopoly on fixed line services held by state-owned incumbent Antel. The pair have been given 90 days to stop providing the ‘Telulares’ service.