Now dubbed 'Americas Com
', Informa Telecoms & Media ran the conference successfully as 'GSM Americas' for 12 years, working to gather delegates from all over South and Central America for two days of networking and the opportunity to benchmark strategies and technology choices with colleagues from comparable markets. These delegates were drawn from mainly mobile operators, as well as their suppliers and partners.
While much of the value of the region's telecoms sector continues to be in mobile, cellular markets in Latin America are maturing fast towards the point of saturation. Mobile operators may soon find it tougher to grow their businesses by acquiring wholly new customers, even in some of the region's less affluent countries. It remains to be seen whether there will be a good level of solvent demand for ARPU-boosting value-added services.
Given the scale of recent investments in 3G networks and HSPA in markers such as Argentina, Brazil and Chile, operators will be hoping that lower levels of fixed-line teledensity and PC penetration will enable them to position 3G devices as the most pervasive means of accessing the Internet and participating fully in the information society. However, in this context of mobile market maturity and relatively under-developed PSTN and fixed-broadband sectors across the region, it has become desirable to look to the wireline segment as a source of interesting future developments, conference topics and operator CAPEX.
Happily, a logical and topical conference agenda is possible under these circumstance. All over the world, via participation at our wider suite of emerging markets telecoms sector events, we see the blurring of the once very sharp distinction between the mobile and fixed line worlds. We see telecoms operators with both fixed and mobile networks/business units seeing opportunities not only to make cost savings but also to achieve effective differentiation by blending their wired and wireless offerings. We see 'mobile only' players looking for partners in the wired world in order to compete in this new FMC space. We see 'fixed only' service providers wondering if they can survive long-term with no mobility proposition. All of this is made possible by the development of convergence-friendly IP core networks and the coming together of wireless access technology standards.
It has therefore been quite straightforward to gather speaker panels and groups of delegates which reflect these convergence trends at our Com World Series events. Americas Com 2008
is no exception. We will be welcoming the usual great speaker line-up from major mobile operators such as TIM Brasil, Ancel, Movistar Chile, Iusacell and Claro Brasil. What's new for 2008 is the presence of a really diverse spread of other kinds of telco: state or cooperative-owned telcos from Andean markets such as Bolivia's COTEL and COTECO, cablers such as Mexico's Cablecom, competitive broadband/voice carriers such as Mexican AlestraRio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires have been among the better locations for this annual conference, but one effect of hosting the event either in Brazil or a Conosur location has been making it challenging to draw participants from Andean countries and Central America. So it has been really gratifying to confirm the participation of companies from both these important regions.
So with about 4 weeks to go before Americas Com 2008
, we are excited by the diversity of the audience we have assembled - and to see that numbers are tracking ahead of the delegate booking pattern for 2007.