Digital Agenda Targets ICT Inclusion
The Chilean President Sebastián Piñera has presented the Digital Agenda Imagine program me for 2013 -202 0 , in order to boost ICT technological development in the country. The project establishes five strategic areas: Connectivity and Digital Inclusion, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Education and Training, Services and Applications, and Environment for Digital Development, with 14 lines of action and 30 different initiatives. BMI believes this is a good sign for ICT development in Chile, with many companies likely to benefit.
|ICT Sales Could Receive Boost|
The Digital Agenda will act as a replacement for Chile's Digital Strategy 2007-2012, which looked to provide ICT infrastructure expansion in the underserved territories at high speeds and reasonable prices. The new Digital Agenda has similar ambitions, seeking to double internet penetration from 40.7% in 2013 to 80% in 2020, while lowering the average price of ICT services. Other important goals include providing free public Wi-Fi to 100% of communities, increasing high speed connections, lowering piracy, increasing ICT sales as a proportion of GDP, integrating ICT technology in all areas of education and encouraging the digitisation of public services as well as e-commerce in SMEs. No budget for the project has been indicated, however.
This move bodes well for a number of companies with a presence in the Chilean market. Sonda, the biggest IT provider in Latin America, saw strong growth in smaller markets throughout the region during 2012 but less so in its core market of Chile ( see our online service, February 4 2013, 'Sonda Benefits From Regional Spread As ICT Market Slows'). The Digital Agenda aims to increase in sales and grow the penetration of ICT services, and Sonda would stand to benefit most from the project. Other beneficiaries might include IBM, which launched a new US$22mn data centre in Santiago in April 2013, Boingo, a wireless hotspot provider with a presence in Chile, as well as wireline and broadband companies such as Telefónica and VTR.
Chile is a technologically savvy country, with strong demand for the latest developments and has positioned itself as a regional leader in this field. However, in our Q313 IT Risk/Reward ratings, Chile fell one spot from 3 rd to 4 th behind Brazil because of a below average industry rewards score. The success of the Digital Agenda could push this score up, as well as upgrading our forecasts, seeing Chile re-capture its position. We currently forecast that Chile's IT market will reach a value of CLP1,865bn in 2013, rising to CLP2,611bn by the end of 2017.