They're going to be needing some more bandwidth down in Latin America later this way. Internet traffic has already been growing at a very rapid clip throughout the region, but that was without the Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX, news, filings) phenomenon. The streaming video specialist today announed plans to expand into Mexico, Central and South America, and the Carribean in the second half of this year.
Netflix went 'international' last year with an expansion to Canada, but this time they're taking on a market with twice the total population of the USA spread across 43 countries with most of the content in Spanish or Portuguese. That will be a very different undertaking, and it should be interesting to watch.
Netflix is riding on the back of a booming bandwidth industry in Latin America, which has seen substantial investment lately. One of the company's streaming partners, Level 3 Communications (NYSE:LVLT, news, filings) announced an expansion of its CDN via Columbia's INTERNEXA back in March, and of course their pending purchase of Global Crossing will give them serious fiber on the ground when it closes. I'm not aware of Limelight's infrastructure in the region, anyone know?
Other big bandwidth operators in the region such as GlobeNet, Spanish giant Telefonica, and whichever of Carlos Slim's companies now runs bandwidth will also likely see some sort of Netflix effect, assuming the offering makes some headway. Whether it does or not will probably determine Netflix's ability to maintain current growth rates in 2012 and beyond.
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