3.4 Guatemala Telecommunications


Guatemala has one of the lowest fixed-line teledensities in the region; in many rural regions of the country there is no fixed-line access available, and so mobile services are adopted by necessity; private investment has been supported by government and regulatory efforts, resulting in a steady growth in the number of fixed lines which has supported growth in the fixed broadband segment. 

The total number of inhabitants of Guatemala is 18.42 million, of which 52.7% reside in urbanized areas. Likewise, there are 20.26 million cellular mobile connections, which in comparison with the population represents 110%. 

On the other hand, Internet users are 11.97 million, which represents 65% of the total population of the country, this means that just over half of the population has Internet access. 

There are 9.55 million active users on social networks, thus being 51.9% of the population who are active on these platforms. 

Two new submarine cables are due for completion by 2022; improved international connectivity should drive further uptake of both fixed and mobile broadband services; intense competition among the networks has helped to improve services and lower prices for end-users; given the commercial impetus of networks, insufficient government financial investment has resulted in many regional areas remaining with poor or non-existent services; the country benefits from one of the most open regulatory frameworks, with all telecom sectors having been open to competition since 1996.  

The two leading operators in the mobile telephony market in Guatemala have total hegemony in the sector, being the only ones to have their own infrastructure network to offer coverage throughout the national territory. Regarding the most used operator in Guatemala, Tigo is the leading company in the sector and the one with the largest number of users in the country. Despite this, the difference in market dominance with respect to Claro is not so marked, where in fact, each year the margin of difference becomes smaller. 

Telecomunicaciones de Guatemala (TELGUA), belongs to the international operator América Móvil based in Mexico; currently being the largest fixed telecommunications operator in the country with 78.66% corresponding to more than 1,500,000 customers.1 

Communications Cellular, better known under its brand of mobile services TIGO, is the second operator in fixed telephony users, exceeding 325,000 active clients corresponding to 16.80%.1 

Claro Guatemala, is a national operator that also belongs to América Móvil and that covers 2.35% of the market with 45,644 clients in 2022. It previously belonged to the international operator Telefónica based in Spain; and managed to be the second largest fixed telecommunications operator in the country with just over 200,000 customers. 

Cablenet is the fourth largest fixed telephony operator in the country, exceeding 42,000 active clients, equivalent to 2.18% of the market. 

For more information on telecoms contacts, please see the following link: 4.11 Additional Services Contact List.

Telephone Services

Is there an existing landline telephone network?


Does it allow international calls?


Number and Length of Downtime Periods (on average)

 Not significant

Mobile Phone Providers

Approximate Percentage of National Coverage

In Guatemala there are more than 64,000 public telephones in operation. 

Guatemala has fixed telephony services in most of its land area. In this sense, after the opening of the telecommunications market in the country, different private companies arrived in the country and acquired tenders to operate within the country. 

There are currently at least 4 large fixed line operators in Guatemala, with TELGUA (Guatemala Telecommunications, owned by América Móvil) being the leading company in this market. The most important landline telephone companies in the country are: TELGUA, Comunicaciones Celulares (TIGO),  Cablenet,  Unitel Guatemala

Telecommunications Regulations

he Superintendence of Telecommunications is an eminently technical body of the Ministry of Communications, Infrastructure and Housing, whose main functions are the following: Manage and supervise the exploitation of the radio spectrum. 

General Telecommunications Law 

The Ley General de Telecomunicaciones establishes a new regulatory framework, creates the Telecommunications Superintendence as an eminently technical entity, and creates a fund destined to subsidize, through market mechanisms, telephone services in low-income rural and urban areas. 


General overview of Guatemalan regulations 

For distributor, seller  

Distributors and sellers of mobile terminal equipment must keep a control or file of the people to whom they sell or supply a mobile, which they must keep for a period of 3 years. In the case of mobile importers, they must keep a detailed database of each mobile that they will keep for a period of 5 years from importation. 

They must release the mobile to be used in the network of any national telephone operator, at the user's choice. Only Operators that offer contract plans among their services that benefit the user are excepted, which may not be longer than 24 months. At the end of this period, the mobile must be released by the Operator at no additional cost to the user. 

For buyer, user 

SIM card vendors must ask the buyer for the respective identification document stating that they are of legal age, which can be DPI or passport if they are foreigners. They must verify that the document corresponds to the person presenting it, and they will receive a physical or electronic copy of it, where they will write down the telephone number that the user is acquiring. They may also fill out a form, which may be electronic, with the aforementioned data, and in any case they must keep the documents and information for three years 

Theft, Loss of Cellular devices 

Complaints about theft of cellular devices (must be managed by those affected, reporting the theft of your cell phone to the company that provides the service for blocking it.  At the same time, make the complaint in the Public Minister Prosecutor Offices. 

General Considerations 

They (distributors, seller, buyers and users) may not market, store, transfer, distribute, supply, sell, sell, export, repair, exhibit or carry out any other activity carried out with one or more mobile terminal equipment or any of its components that are included in the Negative Database -BDN- , or that present evidence of having been reprogrammed, altered, replaced or duplicated with the IMEI of the device. Mobile phones with generic or duplicate IMEI cannot be imported or sold. 

They cannot market mobile terminal equipment whose IMEI is altered or included in the Negative Database -BDN-, or they will automatically lose their registration certificate. 

Note: HF radio systems will be no longer in use. 

Regulations on Usage and Import

Regulations in Place?

Regulating Authority


Yes  (check subtitle Funciones 

HF Radio 

Yes for usage frequencies, No for import equipment 

Telecommunications Superintendency 

UHF/VHF/HF Radio: Handheld, Base and Mobile 

Yes for usage frequencies, No for import equipment 

UHF/VHF Repeaters 

Yes for usage frequencies, No for import equipment 





Yes for usage frequencies, No for import equipment 

Individual Network Operator Licenses Required

Yes, all holders of usufructs of frequencies, radio amateurs and users of state reserve bands 

Frequency Licenses Required

Yes, for all holders of usufructs of frequencies, radio amateurs and users of state reserve bands. 

Existing Humanitarian Telecoms Systems

United Nations System 

The UN system in Guatemala for communications, according to its Emergency Communications Systems established that standard means of communication, under normal condition and emergency situation is: 

1) Personal cellular phone, (as part of the personal tool kit) 

2) VHF radio  

3) Satellite means of communication. 

Note: HF radio equipment is being progressively withdrawn from service 

Satellite phones, sat modem (Iridium, Began)  

Regulations and norms apply for users. Please refer to: 

Due to Guatemala country coordinates and geophysical characteristics Iridium and Began systems operate correctly. 

Radio communications Law 

The domain of the State over usable frequencies and channels in the country's radio communications is inalienable and imprescriptible, and it may exploit them by itself or assign the use to individuals in accordance with the prescriptions of this law... 


Law Regulating the Use and Collection of Satellite Signals and their Distribution by Cable 

The purpose of this law is to regulate the use and operation of earth stations that are capable of capturing signals that come from satellites and their distribution through cable, or any other known means, and their use or operation by individuals or legal entities. Wire Law. 


Internet Service Providers (ISPs) 

The total number of internet users in Guatemala is 11.97 million. The total percentage of Internet users in relation to the total population of the country is 65%. The year-over-year change in the number of internet users has increased by 1.8% compared to previous figures. Thus gaining 217 thousand new users. The total percentage of users of social networks who access them through mobile devices is 99.2%. In the same way, 95.7% of the population have access to electricity, and 94% have access to potable water suitable for drinking, in this way the most of the country has basic water and electricity services. However, only 67.9% of the population enjoys access to basic health services, thus a little more than half of the country has this basic service. Finally, only 24.4% of the population earn less than US$3.20 per day. 

Internet sites in Guatemala are cataloged by domains:,,,,, and  The country code top level domain (ccTLD) for Guatemala is .gt. 

Internet Service Providers

Are there ISPs available? 



If yes, are they privately or government owned? 


Dial-up only? 


Approximate Rates (local currency and USD - $) 

Dial-up n/a




Max Leasable ‘Dedicated’ Bandwidth 


Fixed Bandwidth 

Broadband internet speed is considerably slower than the rest of the region, generating few incentives to hire it, as well as being more expensive than in many Latin American countries. This generates an access problem in which the offer is insufficient and the demand does not have the incentives to contract the broadband service. This endogenous problem could be exacerbated by the difficulty of installing antennas in the interior of the country. Speed is also one of the lowest in Latin America. Putting together the low speed of internet, as well as the high price for broadband, a problem of low supply and therefore high prices can be observed. 

There are 14,640 base stations installed throughout the Guatemalan territory. According to a 2021 Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo, BID report, only 64% of the Guatemalan population has mobile broadband coverage. 

Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) 

Since 2020, some aspects of the telecom sector have experienced a downturn, particularly in mobile device production; progress toward 5G implementation has resumed, as well as upgrades to infrastructure; consumer spending on telecom services has increased due to the surge in demand for capacity and bandwidth; the crucial nature of telecom services as a tool for work and school from home is still evident (Covid-19 pandemic), and the spike in this area has seen growth in development of new tools and increased services.  

Although the level of service is higher and more convenient rates in Claro, Tigo is positioned as the most popular phone company in Guatemala. This is thanks to its significantly higher number of loyal customers, growth rate, engagement rate and interaction per post. 

The two leading operators in the mobile telephony market in Guatemala have total hegemony in the sector, being the only ones to have their own infrastructure network to offer coverage throughout the national territory. Regarding the most used operator in Guatemala, Tigo is the leading company in the sector and the one with the largest number of users in the country. Despite this, the difference in market dominance with respect to Claro is not so marked, where in fact, each year the margin of difference becomes smaller. 

Cellphone national coverage network 

Note: Select the cell phone operator to visualize country coverage. 

National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction CONRED 

Radio base network 

Jump to top