The key challenge for Telecom operators is to go beyond connectivity and provide business solutions to enterprise customers, as well as connected home and digital lifestyle services to consumers. A solid ecosystem strategy and effective execution by operators are key requisites to address this challenge. 

This study analyzes how the IoT ecosystem of operators in Latin American is configured, in addition to providing details about strategy, business models, verticals of focus, case studies, and other relevant information about the market and its participants.

Until 2017, the market was very concentrated with traditional M2M connections (mostly 2G). However, technologies such as Sigfox (by WND Group) and LoRA (by American Tower and others) have gained traction and scale in the market for a variety of applications. 

With commercial launches of LTE-M, NB-IoT, and private LTE networks, in addition to pilots and tests being underway for 5G, traditional mobile operators started launching more affordable and attractive connectivity offerings. 

Stretching beyond their role as connectivity providers, telecom operators are acquiring end-to-end IoT capabilities with new business and operational models that promote greater agility and flexibility. 

This study covers the Latin American Internet of Things (IoT) market, which is already quite significant. The region had an estimated 397.1 million IoT devices in 2019, including all applications from B2C and B2B, except for personal devices such as smartphones, PCs, and tablets. That number is expected to reach 839.8 million in 2024, expanding at a CAGR of 16.2%. Brazil, Mexico and Colombia, in that order, are the main countries in terms of IoT adoption.

Increasing availability of different types of connectivity (e.g., narrow-band IoT, low-power and wide-area), with national coverage, presents a wealth of possibilities for IoT systems and applications. This includes the agribusiness, mining and oil & gas sectors, very relevant for Latin American economies, which didn’t have mobile coverage with the necessary reliability and affordability before. 

A total of 10 companies—Vivo, TIM, Oi, América Móvil, Entel, WND, American Tower do Brasil, Arqia, Millicom (Tigo), and AT&T Mexico—were selected and profiled for the purpose of this research to identify trends in the industry across Latin America and track how the ecosystem is evolving around them. This study outlines each company’s ecosystem approach, its growth strategy, business model focus, and infrastructure support. Future growth areas and customer case studies are also included to provide an overall view of each company’s strategy and direction.