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As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 12, 2024
UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
FORM 20-F
(Mark One)
    REGISTRATION STATEMENT PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(b) OR (g) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
OR
    ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2023
OR
    TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from                           to                          .
OR
    SHELL COMPANY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
Date of event requiring this shell company report                                  
Commission file number: 001-38763
MILLICOM INTERNATIONAL CELLULAR S.A.
(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter)
Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
(Jurisdiction of incorporation)
2, Rue du Fort Bourbon,
L-1249 Luxembourg
Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
(Address of principal executive offices)
Mauricio Ramos
Chief Executive Officer
Millicom International Cellular S.A.
2, Rue du Fort Bourbon,
L-1249 Luxembourg
Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
Phone: +352 691 750960 / +1 908 463 8588
Email: investors@millicom.com
(Name, Telephone, E-mail and/or Facsimile number and Address of Company Contact Person)
Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each class
Trading Symbol
Name of each exchange on which registered
Common Shares, par value $1.50 per share
TIGO
The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC








1



Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:
None
(Title of Class)
Securities for which there is a reporting obligation pursuant to Section 15(d) of the Act:
None
(Title of Class)
Indicate the number of outstanding shares of each of the issuer’s classes of capital or common stock as of the close of the period covered by the annual report.
172,096,305 common shares as of December 31, 2023
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.
Yes x No
If this report is an annual or transition report, indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
Yes No x
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.
Yes x No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).
Yes x No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or an emerging growth company. See definition of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large Accelerated Filer x    Accelerated Filer ☐    Non-accelerated Filer ☐    Emerging growth company
If an emerging growth company that prepares its financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards† provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ☐
† The term “new or revised financial accounting standard” refers to any update issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board to its Accounting Standards Codification after April 5, 2012.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.
Yes No
If securities are registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act, indicate by check mark whether the financial statements of the registrant included in the filing reflect the correction of an error to previously issued financial statements.
Yes No
Indicate by check mark whether any of those error corrections are restatements that required a recovery analysis of incentive-based compensation received by any of the registrant's executive officers during the relevant recovery period pursuant to §240.10D-1(b).
Yes No

Indicate by check mark which basis of accounting the registrant has used to prepare the financial statements included in this filing:
☐    U.S. GAAP
2


x    International Financial Reporting Standards as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board
☐    Other
If “Other” has been checked in response to the previous question, indicate by check mark which financial statement item the registrant has elected to follow.
☐ Item 17    ☐ Item 18
If this is an annual report, indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).
Yes No x

3




Annual Report on Form 20-F
2023
4


TABLE OF CONTENTS
PAGE
Risk Management (including Cybersecurity)
Directors and Senior Management (including Share Ownership)
Taxation
Shareholders and Representation of Shareholders (Including Major Shareholders and Nomination Committee)
5




6


FORM 20-F CROSS REFERENCE GUIDE
Item in Form 20F
Cross-Reference to Consolidated Management Report
Pages
ITEM 1. IDENTITY OF DIRECTORS, SENIOR MANAGEMENT AND ADVISERSNone - Not Applicable
ITEM 2. OFFER STATISTICS AND EXPECTED TIMETABLENone - Not Applicable
Key Information
A. Reserved
B. Capitalization and IndebtednessNone - Not Applicable
C. Reasons for the Offer and Use of ProceedsNone - Not Applicable
Key Information - Risk Factors
Information on the Company
Information on the Company - History and Development of the Company
Information on the Company - Business Overview
Information on the Company - Organizational Structure and Subsidiaries
Information on the Company - Business Overview
Information on the Company - Unresolved Staff Comments
Operating and Financial Review and Prospects
Operating and Financial Review and Prospects - Operating Results
Operating and Financial Review and Prospects - Liquidity and Capital Resources
Information on the Company - Business Overview
Operating and Financial Review and Prospects - Trend Information
E. Critical Accounting Estimates
Not Applicable
Directors, Senior Management and Employees
Corporate Governance - Board Governance - Board Profile: Skills and Experience; Corporate Governance - Millicom CEO and Executive Team
117
Directors, Senior Management and Employees - Compensation
Corporate Governance - Board Governance
Directors, Senior Management and Employees - Employees
7


Corporate Governance - Board Profile: Skills and Experience; Corporate Governance - Millicom CEO and Executive Team
F. Disclosure of a Registrant's Action to Recover Erroneously Awarded CompensationNone - Not Applicable
ITEM 7. MAJOR SHAREHOLDERS AND RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONSSee 2 following lines
Corporate Governance - Shareholders and Representation of Shareholders
Additional Information - Related Party Transactions
C. Interests of Experts and CounselNone - Not Applicable
Financial Information
Financial Information - Consolidated Statements and Other Financial Information
Financial Information - Significant Changes
The Offer and Listing
The Offer and Listing - Offer and Listing Details
B. Plan of DistributionNone - Not Applicable
The Offer and Listing
D. Selling ShareholdersNone - Not Applicable
E. DilutionNone - Not Applicable
F. Expenses of the IssueNone - Not Applicable
Additional Information
A. Share CapitalNone - Not Applicable
B. Memorandum and Articles of Association
Corporate Governance - Corporate Governance Statement and Framework
Additional Information - Material Contracts
Additional Information - Exchange Controls
Additional Information - Taxation
F. Dividends and Paying AgentsNone - Not Applicable
G. Statement by ExpertsNone - Not Applicable
Additional Information - Documents on Display
I. Subsidiary InformationNone - Not Applicable
J. Annual Report to Security Holders
None - Not Applicable
Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Risk
ITEM 12. DESCRIPTION OF SECURITIES OTHER THAN EQUITY SECURITIESNone - Not Applicable
A. Debt SecuritiesNone - Not Applicable
B. Warrants and RightsNone - Not Applicable
C. Other SecuritiesNone - Not Applicable
8


D. American Depositary SharesNone - Not Applicable
PART II
ITEM 13. DEFAULTS, DIVIDEND ARREARAGES AND DELINQUENCIESNone - Not Applicable
ITEM 14. MATERIAL MODIFICATIONS TO THE RIGHTS OF SECURITY HOLDERS AND USE OF PROCEEDSNone - Not Applicable
Controls and Procedures
Controls and Procedures
Controls and Procedures
Controls and Procedures
Controls and Procedures
ITEM 16. RESERVED
Audit and Compliance Committee Financial Expert
Code of Ethics
Principal Accountant Fees and Services
Item 16D. Exemptions from the Listing Standards for Audit CommitteesNone - Not Applicable
Item 16E. Purchases of Equity Securities by the Issuer and Affiliated Purchasers
Purchases of Equity Securities
Item 16F. Change in Registrant's Certifying AccountantNone - Not Applicable
Corporate Governance - Corporate Governance Statement
Item 16H. Mine Safety DisclosureNone - Not Applicable
Item 16I. Disclosure Regarding Foreign Jurisdictions that Prevent InspectionsNone - Not Applicable
Item 16J. Insider Trading Policies
Corporate Governance - Board Governance
Item 16K. Cybersecurity
Risk Management
Financial Statements
ITEM 19. EXHIBITS
Exhibits
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CEO MESSAGE
When I joined Millicom as CEO in March 2015, the company was at a crossroads.

We were #1 or #2 in mobile in most of our Latin American markets, but the company had yet to deploy the 4G networks that would be needed to protect its market leadership. Moreover, cash flow generation from Latin America was being re-invested in Africa, where Millicom had sub-scale operations in six countries scattered across the continent.

One of my first decisions was to exit all of our African investments, and to re-deploy this capital to protect and extend our market leadership in Latin America. Exiting Africa was easier said than done, but over the course of several years, we successfully divested six telecom operations and investments in two non-core assets, completing our exit from the region.

Meanwhile, in our core Latin American markets, we stepped up our investments. We quickly deployed 4G networks to protect and extend our mobile market leadership. We built extensive fiber networks and world-class Tier 3 data centers to provide additional services to both residential and B2B customers. In Colombia, the 2014 merger with UNE had left the company with a legacy copper network that we replaced with fiber-cable. In 2020, we acquired low-frequency spectrum that had historically handicapped Tigo’s competitiveness in that mobile market. Similarly, we acquired AWS spectrum in El Salvador, paving the way for renewed growth and increased scale and profitability from both of these markets.

Along the way and with a clear sense of purpose, we assembled a more diverse and inclusive workforce and became an employer of choice, we strengthened our brand and improved customer experience with robust networks and digital tools, and we made external commitments to do our part to help mitigate climate change.

We also made a few key strategic decisions. In 2018, we entered the Panamanian market, and we are now the clear market leader in what is arguably the fastest-growing economy and most stable country in the region. During the pandemic, we remained steadfast in executing our investment plans, emerging with higher market shares in several markets. In 2021, we increased to 100% our ownership in our Guatemala business, our most-profitable operation, by far.

During 2022 however, it became increasingly clear that our work wasn’t quite done, especially as global inflation and interest rates spiked, putting additional pressure on both our cash flow and our leverage.

We responded to these unforeseen external challenges, with three key initiatives implemented during 2023. First, we developed Project Everest, a broad-based efficiency program aimed at simplifying internal processes to lift productivity and reduce cost. Second, we took additional steps to improve cash flow in Colombia, reaching an agreement with Telefonica to combine our mobile networks and spectrum in that country. Finally, in Guatemala, we re-balanced the industry’s spectrum holdings following two successful auctions, paving the way to a more stable market structure in the future.

Successful execution of these three initiatives in 2023, combined with the significant investments and strategic decisions made over the last several years, position Millicom to deliver robust and sustainable equity free cash flow going forward.

In closing, and on behalf of the entire management team, I would like to thank my fellow Board members for contributing their business expertise and industry knowledge. I want to extend the entire Board’s gratitude to Odilon Almeida, Lars-Johan Jarnheimer, Mercedes Johnson, James Thompson, and José Antonio Rios García for their invaluable contributions over the past several years. And finally, the entire Tigo team express our heartfelt sorrow following the untimely passing of Nicolas Jaeger, our esteemed Board member, colleague, and friend.

Mauricio Ramos
Executive Director, CEO and Interim Chair of the Board of Directors



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PRESENTATION OF FINANCIAL AND OTHER INFORMATION
Financial statement information
We have included in this Annual Report the Millicom Group’s (as defined below) audited consolidated financial statements as of December 31, 2023 and 2022 and for the years ended December 31, 2023, 2022 and 2021. The Millicom Group’s audited consolidated financial statements included herein and the accompanying notes thereto have been prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (“IFRS”) as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (“IASB”). We end our fiscal year on December 31. References to fiscal 2023, fiscal 2022 and fiscal 2021 refer to the years ended December 31, 2023, 2022 and 2021, respectively.
Our management determines operating and reportable segments based on the reports that are used by the chief operating decision maker (the "CODM") to make strategic and operational decisions from both a business and geographic perspective. Our risks and rates of return for our operations were predominantly affected by operating in different geographical regions. Until the divestiture of our Tanzania business in April 2022, we had businesses in two main regions, Latin America and Africa, which constituted our two reportable segments. As a result of the sale of the Tanzania business and its reclassification as discontinued operations, we no longer report an Africa segment in our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report. Further, during the latter half of 2023, we implemented significant organizational changes to focus on driving profitable growth with a leaner corporate structure. We also adopted a decentralized approach to streamline decision-making processes and enhance agility to improve profitability and shareholder value. Due to these organizational changes, and considering the information now being reviewed by the CODM to assess performance and allocate resources, our operating segments were redefined to align with our countries of operation. Our reportable segments now consist of Guatemala, Colombia, Panama, Bolivia, Honduras, Paraguay and Other, which includes Nicaragua, Costa Rica and El Salvador. See “Operating and Financial Review and Prospects—Operating Results —Our segments.”
Presentation of data
We present operational and financial data in this Annual Report. Operational data, such as the number of customers, unless otherwise indicated, are presented for the Millicom Group, including our subsidiaries, and excluding our operations in Guatemala, before November 12, 2021 as explained below, and our Honduras joint venture.
Financial data is presented either at a consolidated level or at a segmental level, as derived from our consolidated financial statements, including the notes thereto. At a consolidated level, we account for our operations in Honduras and our operations in Guatemala up until November 12, 2021 as joint ventures using the equity method of accounting. At a segmental level, we account for our operations in Honduras and our operations in Guatemala up until November 12, 2021 as if they were fully consolidated, as this reflects the way management views and uses internally reported information to make decisions.
We have made rounding adjustments to reach some of the figures included in this Annual Report. Accordingly, figures shown as totals in some tables may not be an exact arithmetic aggregation of the figures that preceded them and percentage calculations using these adjusted figures may not result in the same percentage values as are shown in this Annual Report.





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Certain references
Unless the context otherwise requires, references to the “Company” or “MIC S.A.” refer only to Millicom International Cellular S.A., a public limited liability company (société anonyme) organized and established under the laws of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, and the terms “Millicom,” “Millicom Group,” “our Group,” “we,” “us” and “our” refer to Millicom International Cellular S.A. and its consolidated subsidiaries and, where applicable, our joint ventures in Guatemala (that is, prior to the acquisition of the remaining interest) and Honduras.
Unless otherwise indicated, all references to “U.S. dollars,” “dollars” or “$” are to the lawful currency of the United States of America; all references to “Euro” or “€” are to the lawful currency of the participating Member States in the Third Stage of European Economic and Monetary Union of the Treaty Establishing the European Community, as amended from time to time; and all references to “Swedish Krona” or “SEK” are to the lawful currency of the Kingdom of Sweden. For a list of the functional currency names and abbreviations in the markets in which we operate, see the introduction to the notes to our audited consolidated financial statements.

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
This Annual Report contains statements that constitute “forward-looking” statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. This Annual Report contains certain forward-looking statements concerning our intentions, beliefs or current expectations regarding our future financial results, plans, liquidity, prospects, growth, strategy and profitability, as well as the general economic conditions of the industries and countries in which we operate. Forward-looking statements include statements concerning our plans, objectives, goals, strategies, future events, future sales or performance, capital expenditures, financing needs, plans or intentions relating to acquisitions, our competitive strengths and weaknesses, our business strategy and the trends we anticipate in the industries and the economic, political and legal environments in which we operate and other information that is not historical information.
Many of the forward-looking statements contained in this Annual Report can be identified by the use of forward-looking words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “could,” “expect,” “should,” “plan,” “intend,” “estimate” and “potential,” among others. These statements appear in a number of places in this Annual Report and include, but are not limited to, statements regarding our intent, belief or current expectations with respect to:
global economic conditions, foreign exchange rate fluctuations and high inflation, as well as local economic conditions in the markets we serve, which can be impacted by geopolitical developments outside of our principal geographic markets;
potential disruption due to diseases, pandemics (including the COVID-19 virus), political events, armed conflict and acts by terrorists;
telecommunications usage levels, including traffic, customer growth and the accelerated transition from traditional to digital services;
competitive forces, including pricing pressures, piracy, the ability to connect to other operators’ networks and our ability to retain market share in the face of competition from existing and new market entrants as well as industry consolidation;
the achievement of our operational goals, financial targets and strategic plans, including the anticipated efficiencies and savings of our cost-reduction project, the acceleration of cash flow growth and the expansion of our fixed broadband network;
legal or regulatory developments and changes, or changes in governmental policy, including with respect to the availability and terms and conditions of spectrum and licenses, the level of tariffs, laws and regulations which require the provision of services to customers without charging, tax matters, controls or limits on the purchase of U.S. dollars, the terms of interconnection, customer access and international settlement arrangements;
the achievement of environmental, social and governance targets, including through the use of solar panels and other methods that aim to lower the energy consumption of our networks, such as the increased implementation of Fiber-to-the-Home ("FTTH"), and various diversity, equity and inclusion targets;
our ability to grow our mobile financial services business in our Latin American markets;
adverse legal or regulatory disputes or proceedings;
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the success of our business, operating and financing initiatives and strategies, including partnerships and capital expenditure plans;
our expectations regarding the growth in fixed broadband penetration rates and the return that our investment in broadband networks will yield;
the level and timing of the growth and profitability of new initiatives, start-up costs associated with entering new markets, the successful deployment of new systems and applications to support new initiatives;
our ability to create a new organizational structure for the Tigo Money business and manage it independently to enhance its value;
our ability to optimize the utilization and capital structure of our tower assets, and increase our network coverage, capacity and quality of service by focusing capital on other fixed assets;
relationships with key suppliers and costs of handsets and other equipment;
disruptions in our supply chain due to economic and political instability, the outbreak of war or other hostilities, public health emergencies, natural disasters and general business conditions;
our ability to successfully pursue acquisitions, investments or merger opportunities, integrate any acquired businesses in a timely and cost-effective manner, divest or restructure assets and businesses, and achieve the expected benefits of such transactions;
the availability, terms and use of capital, the impact of regulatory and competitive developments on capital outlays, the ability to achieve cost savings and realize productivity improvements;
technological development and evolving industry standards, including challenges in meeting customer demand for new technology and the cost of upgrading existing infrastructure;
the capacity to upstream cash generated in operations through dividends, royalties, management fees and repayment of shareholder loans;
other factors or trends affecting our financial condition or results of operations; and
various other factors, including without limitation those described under “Key Information—Risk Factors.”
This list of important factors is not exhaustive. You should carefully consider the foregoing factors and other uncertainties and events, especially in light of the political, economic, social and legal environments in which we operate. Forward-looking statements are only our current expectations and are based on our management’s beliefs and assumptions and on information currently available to our management. Such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, and actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including, but not limited to, those identified under the section of this Annual Report entitled “Key Information—Risk Factors.”
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CONSOLIDATED MANAGEMENT REPORT
KEY INFORMATION

Risk Factors
In addition to the other information contained in this Annual Report, you should carefully consider the following risk factors before investing in our common shares. If any of the possible events described below were to occur, the business, financial condition and results of operations of the Millicom Group could be materially and adversely affected. If that happens, the market price of our common shares could decline, and you could lose all or part of your investment.
Summary of Risk Factors
The following is a summary of the risk factors our business faces. The list below is not exhaustive, and investors should read this "Risk Factors" section in full. Some of the risks we face include:
our ability to adapt to rapid technological change and continually evolving industry standards;
our ability to generate expected returns on substantial investments;
our ability to expand our customer base and retain market share by developing and operating our mobile, cable and broadband networks, Mobile Financial Services ("MFS") and distribution systems;
our ability to achieve the anticipated benefits following the acquisition of the remaining 45% equity interest in our Guatemala business;
the potential adverse effects of long-term content and service commitments;
the impact of rising content and programming costs;
our dependence on the availability of an attractive selection of programming from content providers;
the impact of competition from a variety of content and programming platforms on the demand for our pay-TV services;
our ability to acquire and renew licenses for spectrum and comply with the terms and conditions of the licenses;
the potential adverse impact of legal proceedings, litigation, and government investigations;
the failure of our MFS product to gain sufficient market acceptance;
the impact of equipment and network systems failures, including as a result of a natural disaster, sabotage or terrorist attack;
risks associated with the collection and processing of customer personal data;
the failure to prevent or rapidly detect and respond to cyber-attacks, and the disruption such failure could cause to our networks and systems;
the impact of pandemics and other public health crises on our operations, business and financial condition;
our ability to compete with larger providers of telecommunications, cable and broadband services;
our dependency on key suppliers to provide us with products, devices, networks and systems;
the effect of international actions on our supply chain, including trade sanctions;
our reliance on third parties to operate and maintain parts of the networks we use;
our access to interconnection and capacity agreements that are required to transmit voice and data to and from our networks;
the impact of the political, legal and economic risks associated with the emerging markets in which we operate;
our ability to successfully implement our strategic priorities, including through acquisitions or mergers, and efficiently allocate capital;
our ability to access debt and capital markets for our financing, refinancing, investing and operating needs;
our dependence on short-term mobile revenue that is generated from prepaid customers;
the effect that changes in economic, political and regulatory conditions in the United States could have on the economies in which we operate;
the impact of fluctuations or devaluations in local currencies in the markets in which we operate;
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our ability to convert local currencies into U.S. dollars to make payments, including on our indebtedness;
the failure of our risk management and internal controls to prevent or detect fraud, violations of law or other inappropriate conduct;
the impact of U.S. or other international sanctions laws, including restrictions on our ability to interact with business partners or government officials;
our ability to obtain, maintain, enforce or defend the intellectual property rights required to conduct our business;
the effect of work stoppages that result from renegotiations of our labor contracts;
our ability to generate cash in order to service our debt;
our dependency on cash flow from our operations in Guatemala; and
our ability to effectively monitor and respond to expectations regarding environmental, social and governance matters.

Additionally, the risk factors described in this section have been separated into four separate but interrelated areas:
1.Risks related to the telecommunications, cable and MFS industries
2.Risks related to Millicom’s business in the markets in which it operates
3.Risks related to Millicom’s size, structure and leadership
4.Risks related to share ownership, governance practices, and registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC")

1.Risks related to the telecommunications, cable and MFS industries
a.Evolution of the telecommunications, cable and MFS industries
The telecommunications industry is characterized by rapid technological change and continually evolving industry standards.
The telecommunications industry is characterized by rapidly changing technology and evolving industry standards. The technology we use is increasingly complex, which leads to higher risks of implementation failure or service disruption. Success in the industry is increasingly dependent on the ability of operators to adapt to the changing technological landscape. The technologies utilized today may become obsolete or subject to competition from new technologies in the future. For example, our hybrid fiber-coaxial ("HFC") services may become obsolete once faster and more affordable fiber-to-the-home ("FTTH") services are available for consumers.
Growth in internet connectivity has led to the proliferation of entrants offering Voice over Internet Protocol (“VoIP”) services, video content services, and messaging services delivered over the internet. Such operators could displace the services we provide by using our customers’ internet access (which may or may not be provided by us) to enable the provision of communication, entertainment and information services directly to our customers. Failure to transform to data-driven products could have a negative impact on our legacy services and impact our results from operations.
Our ability to attract and retain customers is, in part, dependent on our ability to meet customer demand for new technology at the same, or at a quicker rate, than our competitors are able to do.
Failure to adapt and evolve could harm our competitive position, render our products obsolete and cause us to incur substantial costs to replace our products or implement new technologies.
Implementing new technologies requires substantial investments which may not generate expected returns.
The introduction of new technologies may require significant capital expenditure on infrastructure, and there can be no guarantee that those investments will generate expected returns. For example, penetration rates for fixed broadband services in our markets are low relative to penetration rates in other markets globally. As the use of these services has the potential to increase substantially over time, we have expended significant resources to deploy both HFC and FTTH networks in several of our markets. However, an increasing number of local and regional providers of fiber connections are offering internet services with the
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same or higher data speeds at competitive prices, and competition for dedicated fiber optic services is intense. While we continue to expand these networks with the intention of capturing the anticipated demand, future offerings by our competitors that are aggressively priced or that offer additional services may prevent us from achieving the expected returns on this investment. If we are required to implement new technologies that are unable to generate sufficient returns, our profitability and ability to generate cash flow would be negatively affected, and we may be required to scale back our investments or delay the implementation of new technologies, which may have a negative impact on our growth and ability to attract and retain customers.
In addition, if competitive or other factors compel the need to invest in new technologies earlier than anticipated, previous equipment or technology may need to be impaired or written-down if replaced earlier than originally anticipated.
If we cannot successfully develop and operate our mobile, cable and broadband networks, MFS and distribution systems, we will be unable to expand our customer base and may lose market share and revenue.
Our ability to increase or maintain our market share and revenue is partly dependent on the success of our efforts to expand our business, the quality of our services and the management of our networks and distribution systems. As new technologies are developed or upgraded, such as advanced 5G systems and fiber optic cable networks, our equipment may need to be replaced or upgraded or we may need to rebuild our mobile, cable or broadband network, in whole or in part. In some cases, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the transition from traditional to digital services, including MFS, and the heightened customer expectations in these areas may require us to invest greater resources in technological improvements.
The initial build-out of our networks and distribution systems, together with sustaining sufficient network performance and reliability, is a capital-intensive process that is subject to risks and uncertainties which may delay the introduction of services and increase the cost of network construction or upgrade. With regard to our strategic efforts in broadband services, we seek to increase our market share in both the residential and commercial broadband markets by investing significant resources in HFC and FTTH networks, in addition to fixed broadband services through wireless communication networks, known as fixed wireless access ("FWA"). The provision of broadband services is highly capital intensive, and the long-term nature of the return on investment increases the risks to our operations. Potential difficulties include constraints on our ability to fund additional capital expenditures, as well as external forces, such as obtaining necessary permits from regulatory and other local authorities.
Unforeseeable technological developments may also render our services or distribution channels unpopular with customers or obsolete. To the extent we fail to expand, upgrade and modernize our networks and distribution systems on a timely basis relative to our competitors, we may not be able to expand our customer base and we may lose customers to competitors. If any of these risks materialize, we may be at a competitive disadvantage, which could result in the loss of customers or the inability to attract new customers and maintain or grow our market share. In turn, this would impact our revenue and profitability and our ability to generate cash to grow or sustain our businesses.
b.Content and content rights
Content and programming costs are rising (especially those with exclusivity rights), and we may not be able to pass the increased costs on to our customers.
In recent years, the cable TV and direct-to-home satellite TV industries (together “pay-TV”) have experienced a rapid escalation in the cost of content rights and programming. We expect these costs may continue to increase, particularly those related to exclusive and live broadcasts of sporting and other events. As of December 31, 2023, we had exclusivity rights over certain local soccer content in several of our markets, including Bolivia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama and Paraguay, and we expect that the costs of these rights may continue to increase significantly. If we are unable to moderate the growth in these costs or fully pass them on to our customers in the form of price increases, we may lose our rights to this content. Any failure to maintain such rights may reduce the desirability of our networks and negatively affect our profitability.
In addition, content is often priced in U.S. dollars, which may result in fluctuations in costs in the countries in which we sell content due to foreign exchange fluctuations.
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We make long-term content and service commitments in advance even though we cannot predict the popularity of the services or ratings the programming will generate, and our mobile applications and cable content may not be accepted or widely used by our customers.
We acquire rights to distribute certain content or services for use by our mobile, pay-TV and broadband customers, and we have strategic partnerships with major digital players, such as Amazon. We make long–term commitments in advance even though we cannot predict the popularity of the services or ratings the programming will generate. In some instances, our commitments include minimum guarantees, which means that we are required to pay a certain agreed upon amount regardless of the amount collected from the provision of such services. The commercial success of applications or content also depends on the quality and acceptance of other competing applications or content released into the marketplace at or near the same time.
The success of our pay-TV services depends on our ability to access an attractive selection of television programming from content providers.
The ability to provide movie, sports and other popular programming is a major factor that attracts customers to pay-TV services. We may not be able to obtain sufficient high-quality programming from third-party producers or exclusive sports content for our cable TV services on satisfactory terms or at all in order to offer compelling cable TV services, which could result in reduced demand for, and lower revenue and profitability from, our cable services.
Consumers are increasingly able to choose from a variety of platforms from which to receive content and programming.
A number of content providers have begun to sell their services through alternative distribution channels including IP-based platforms, smart-TVs and other app-compatible devices. Consumers may choose to purchase on-demand content through these alternative transmission methods, which may lead to reduced demand for our pay-TV services. If our customers choose to source their content through transmission methods that we do not offer, our customer base and revenue generation from content-related services such as pay-TV may decline, which would negatively impact our cash flow generation and return on investment in content-related services.
We may be subject to legal liability associated with providing online services or media content.
We host and provide a wide variety of services and products that enable our customers to conduct business, and engage in various online activities. The law relating to the liability of providers of these online services and products for the activities of their customers is still unsettled in some jurisdictions. Claims may be threatened or brought against us for defamation, negligence, breaches of contract, copyright or trademark infringement, unfair competition, tort, including personal injury, fraud, or other theories based on the nature and content of information that we use and store. In addition, we may be subject to domestic or international actions alleging that certain content we have generated or third-party content that we have made available within our services violates applicable law or third-party rights.
We also offer third-party products, services and content. We may be subject to claims concerning these products, services or content by virtue of our involvement in marketing, branding, broadcasting, or providing access to them, even if we do not ourselves host, operate, provide, or provide access to these products, services or content. Defense of any such actions could be costly and involve significant time and attention of our management and other resources, may result in monetary liabilities or penalties, and may require us to change our business in an adverse manner. For example, in Colombia we have faced litigation for the provision of services to customers that used our mobile services to attempt to extort money from third parties.
c.Licenses and spectrum
Available spectrum is limited, closely regulated and increasingly expensive.
The availability of spectrum is limited, closely regulated and can be expensive, and we may not be able to obtain it from the regulator or third parties at all or at a price that we deem to be commercially acceptable given competitive conditions. If we acquire spectrum through acquisition, regulators may require us to surrender spectrum to secure regulatory approval. We may need to incur significant capital expenditures in
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order to acquire or renew licenses or access infrastructure needed to continue to offer services to our customers or improve our current services.
Additional or supplemental licenses may be required to implement 5G technology in order to remain competitive, and we may be unable to acquire such licenses on reasonable terms or at all.
We may not be able to acquire or retain sufficient quantities of spectrum in our preferred band(s) which could impact the quality and efficiency of our networks and services and may negatively impact our profitability.
Our licenses may be suspended or revoked and we may be fined or penalized for alleged violations of law or regulations.
If we fail to comply with the conditions of our licenses or with the requirements established by the legislation or if we do not obtain permits for the operation of our networks and equipment, use of frequencies or additional licenses for broadcasting directly or through agreements with broadcasting companies, we may not have sufficient opportunity to cure any non-compliance. In the event that we do not cure any non-compliance, the applicable regulator may: levy fines; suspend or terminate our licenses, frequency permissions, or other governmental permissions; or refuse to renew licenses that are up for renewal.
Most of our licenses are granted for finite periods.
Most of our licenses are granted for specified terms, and we have no assurance that any license will be renewed upon expiration. Licenses due to expire in the near term include our licenses for pay-TV and fixed telephone services in Honduras (2024), certain spectrum licenses for mobile services in Colombia (2024), pay-TV services in Panama (2024) and the general license covering all services in Costa Rica (2024).

Licenses may contain additional obligations.
Licenses may contain additional obligations, including payment obligations and requirements to cover reduced service areas or permit a more limited scope of service (for example, around prisons in El Salvador and Honduras). The cost of extending coverage to reduced service areas may exceed the revenue generated from providing such services. Licenses may also contain coverage obligations, like in Colombia where 700 MHz frequency acquisitions were paid partly with cash and partly by committing to provide coverage to 1,636 districts over the course of five years. In addition, increased regulations may impose additional obligations on operators and these obligations may affect the retention and renewal of licenses or spectrum. For more information, see “Information on the Company—Business Overview—Regulation.”
d.Quality and resilience of networks and service
Equipment and network systems failures, including as a result of climate change, a natural disaster, sabotage or terrorist attack, could negatively impact our business.
Our business is dependent on certain sophisticated critical systems, including exchanges, switches, fiber, cable headends, data centers and other key network elements, physical infrastructure and billing and customer service systems. Our technological infrastructure is vulnerable to damage and disruptions from numerous factors, including climate change, fire, flood, windstorms and other natural disasters and extreme weather events, power outages, terrorist acts, equipment and system failures, human errors and intentional wrongdoings, including breaches of our network and information technology security. For example, in 2020, our mobile network was partially affected due to storm damage in Honduras, which resulted in the deterioration of service in certain parts of the country. Ongoing risks to our network include state-sponsored censorship, sabotage, theft and poor equipment maintenance.
Inability to manage a crisis could harm our brand and lead to increased government obligations in the future.
Telecommunications networks provide essential support to first responders and government authorities in the event of natural disasters, terrorist attacks, pandemics and other similar crises. If we fail to develop and implement detailed business continuity and crisis management plans, we may be unable to provide service at the level that is required or perceived to be required by the government, the regulator, our customers and
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by the public at large, and this could lead to reputational harm and to new and burdensome regulatory obligations in the future.
e.Regulation
The telecommunications and broadcasting market is heavily regulated.
The licensing, construction, ownership and operation of mobile telephone, broadband and cable TV networks, and the grant, maintenance and renewal of the required licenses or permits, as well as radio frequency allocations and interconnection arrangements, are regulated by national, state, regional or local governmental authorities in the markets in which we operate, which can lead to disputes with government regulators. For example, in 2013, the Colombian regulator challenged Colombia Móvil’s license fee, stating that it should be a significantly higher amount than we had recorded, although Colombia Móvil prevailed.
Certain other aspects of mobile telephone operations, including rates charged to customers, resale of mobile telephone services, and user registrations may be subject to public utility regulation in each market. Also, because of our market share, regulators could impose asymmetric interconnection or termination rates, which could undermine our competitive position in the markets in which we operate.
Changes in regulations may disrupt our business activities and reduce our revenue and profit margins for mobile services.
Regulatory changes may reduce or prohibit the provision of our services on a temporary or long-term basis. For example, since 2014, mobile operators in El Salvador and Honduras have been required to shut down services or reduce signal capacity in and around prisons. Similar laws have been enacted in Guatemala, although these were later nullified.
Moreover, regulations which make it commercially unviable to subsidize our mobile customers’ handsets; set an expiry date on when our customers must use their prepaid minutes, data or short message service ("SMS") bundles; or prohibit certain automatic deductions to customer accounts, could reduce revenue and profit margins for mobile services. For example, in 2015, the regulator in Colombia determined that handsets and telecommunication services could not be bundled and had to be invoiced separately. This had a direct impact on handset affordability and caused a sharp decline in our handset sales. In 2016, the regulator in Paraguay extended the unused prepaid data allowance from 30 to 90 days, which impacted the frequency at which a portion of our prepaid customers purchase additional data allowances from us. In 2019, the Legislative Assembly in El Salvador made a reform to the Consumer Protection Law, which required a change in the telecommunication companies' commercial activities. The reform called for the maintenance of unused data allowances for up to 90 days and prohibited automatic renewals, changing our financial results. Additionally, the reform banned broadcasts and collection activities outside business hours, impacting our clients' churn trends and payment behavior. In 2022, the Bolivian regulator prohibited operators from automatically making deductions to prepaid customer accounts for data usage services on an on-demand basis unless the customer has expressly opted-in to receive on-demand data. As a result, when a prepaid customer uses up their data allowance, the operator cannot automatically begin charging such user on an on-demand basis and must, instead, cancel data access until such customer either purchases a new data package or accepts on-demand data.
Our MFS product may be subject to new legislation and regulation.
We provide a broad range of MFS such as payments, money transfers, international remittances, real-time loans and micro-insurance. In most markets in which we have launched MFS, the laws and regulations governing our MFS are new and evolving, and, as they develop, regulations could become more onerous, requiring licensing by or registration with local regulators, imposing additional reporting or controls or limiting our flexibility to design new products, which may limit our ability to provide our services efficiently or at all.
The lack of established laws and regulations may make it difficult to identify which licenses and approvals (if any) are necessary and the processes for obtaining them, as well as the implications of holding such licenses or receiving such approvals. For the same reason, we cannot be certain that we will be able to maintain licenses and approvals that we previously obtained, or renew them upon their expiration. While we currently believe that some of our MFS activities fall outside the scope of licensing requirements and do not require certain approvals, there can be no assurance that our interpretations of the rules and their exemptions are or will remain consistent with those of local regulators.
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We have, in most of our markets, seen that fintech legislation is evolving, particularly as it relates to anti-money laundering and suspicious activity reporting. Any such changes may require us to make additional investments in tools and resources to meet such requirements. If we are unable to modify our service provision in time to comply with any new regulatory requirements, or new regulations are applied retroactively, we may be subject to penalties and the discontinuation or restriction of our operations, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
For more information on the regulatory environment in the markets in which we operate, see “Information on the Company—Business Overview—Regulation.”
f.Cybersecurity and data protection
Cyber-attacks may cause equipment failures that render our networks or systems inoperable and could cause disruptions to our customers’ operations.
Cyber-attacks, including through the use of malware, viruses, denial of services attacks, credential harvesting, social engineering and other means for obtaining unauthorized access to or disrupting the operation of our networks and systems and those of our suppliers, vendors and other service providers, could have an adverse effect on our business. Cyber-attacks may cause equipment failures as well as disruptions to our customers' operations. Cyber-attacks against companies, including Millicom, have increased in frequency, scope and potential harm in recent years.
The inability to operate or use our networks and systems or those of our suppliers, vendors and other service providers as a result of cyber-attacks, even for a limited period of time, may result in significant expenses to Millicom and/or a loss of market share to other communications providers. Although we have taken and continue to take measures designed to prevent, detect and mitigate such incidents, there can be no assurance that we will be able to adequately anticipate or prevent them, as the techniques used are constantly evolving. The costs associated with a major cyber-attack on Millicom could include expensive incentives offered to existing customers and business partners to retain their business, increased expenditures on cybersecurity measures and the use of alternate resources and lost revenue from business interruption and litigation.
Cyber-attacks could result in data loss or other security breaches.
Our business involves the receipt, storage, and transmission of confidential information, including sensitive personal information and payment card information, confidential information about our employees and suppliers, and other sensitive information about Millicom, such as our business plans, transactions and intellectual property. Unauthorized access to confidential information may be difficult to anticipate, detect, or prevent. We have been subject in the past, and may be subject again, to unauthorized access or distribution of confidential information by third parties or employees, errors or breaches by third-party suppliers, or other breaches of security that compromise the integrity of confidential information.
As many companies do, Millicom has experienced occurrences of breaches, phishing, ransomware attacks, blackmail and internal and external malicious actors targeting our systems, networks and data. Ransomware attacks are a type of cyber-attack in which a business becomes unable to access its own information and is presented with a demand to pay ransom in order to recover access to its information. In recent years, we have been subject to web portal attacks, ransomware attacks or threats relating to our operations in several Latin American countries, including El Salvador, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Panama, Paraguay and Colombia. While the effect that these attacks and threats have had on our services was minimal and resulted in limited data loss or release of customer data to date, there can be no assurance that we will be able to prevent future cyber-attacks that result in a material loss of data or other security breaches.
Our control environment and controls may not be sufficient to prevent or rapidly detect and respond to cyber-attacks, or identify the perpetrators of such attacks.
The perpetrators of cyber-attacks are not restricted to particular groups or persons. These attacks may be committed by company employees or external actors operating in any geography, including jurisdictions where law enforcement measures to address such attacks are unavailable or ineffective, and may even be launched by or at the behest of nation states. Cyber-attacks may occur alone or in conjunction with physical attacks, especially where disruption of service is an objective of the attacker. While we have established security controls that are designed to detect and prevent cyber-attacks, and continue investing in improving
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our security controls, such attacks are becoming increasingly complex and sophisticated, and our control environment may not be sufficient to address future threats.
We collect and process customer personal data.
We increasingly collect, use and store customer personal data that is protected by privacy and data protection laws. Data privacy laws and regulations apply broadly to the collection, use, storage, disclosure and security of personal information that identifies or may be used to identify an individual, such as names and contact information. Many countries have additional laws that regulate the processing, retention and use of communications data (both content and metadata), and in some countries, authorities can intercept communications, sometimes directly or without our knowledge. These laws and regulations are subject to frequent revisions and differing interpretations, and have generally become more stringent over time.
Requests from local law enforcement for customer data may also come into conflict with applicable privacy and data protection laws and customer expectations, creating risks to our local businesses arising from our responses to these requests.
Since we may offer certain services accessed by, or provided to customers within, the European Union and the United States, we may be subject to the European Union and U.S. privacy and data protection regulations, which impose significant penalties for non-compliance.
In addition, most of the countries in which we operate are considering or have passed legislation imposing data privacy requirements that could increase the cost and complexity of providing our services. Although we take precautions to protect data, we cannot guarantee that our safeguards will prevent any leakage of certain data or any unauthorized use. If changes are made to data privacy laws and regulations, we may need to incur additional costs to ensure that we are in compliance with such changes, which could include investments in data processes, data collection tools or data warehouses to further protect customer and employee data.
g.Competition
Our industry is experiencing consolidation that may intensify competition among operators.
The telecommunications and cable industry has been characterized by increasing consolidation and a proliferation of strategic transactions. As a result, we are increasingly competing with larger competitors that may have substantially greater resources than we do. We expect this trend of consolidation and strategic partnering to continue. Acquisitions or strategic relationships could harm us in a number of ways. For example:
competitors could acquire or enter into relationships with companies with which we have strategic relationships and discontinue our relationship, resulting in the loss of distribution opportunities for our services or the loss of certain enhancements or value-added features to our services; for example, if a competitor entered into partnerships or negotiated exclusive rights to premium content, this could result in consumers choosing to move away from our service offerings to those of our competitors;
a competitor could be acquired by a party with significant resources and experience that could increase the ability of the competitor to compete with our services, as was the case when América Móvil acquired the mobile business of Telefónica in Guatemala and when a subsidiary of Liberty Latin America Ltd. acquired América Móvil's operations in Panama; and
other companies with related interests could combine to form new, formidable competition, which could preclude us from obtaining access to certain markets or content, or which could dramatically change the market and demand for our services, as was the case with the bankruptcy of Digicel Group One Limited. If global companies that offer services such as information, social media or on-demand content services obtained or entered into distribution agreements with infrastructure partners in our markets, we could lose customers to those providers.
Consumers in our industry can change service providers relatively easily at little to no cost, which renders the competition for subscribers between operators intense.
If new competitors enter into our markets or existing competitors offer more competitively priced products or services, such as eliminating installation fees, subsidizing handsets, modems, wireless routers or
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set-top boxes, or offering content, channels or applications that we do not offer, our customers may move to another operator. Most of our mobile customers are prepaid, which allows them to switch operators at any time without monetary penalty, and some of our cable operator competitors incentivize customers to accept longer contracts, making it difficult to subsequently switch operators.
Some of our customers use devices with dual SIM card capability, allowing them to also utilize our competitors' services, which may negatively affect our mobile revenue. If we are unable to develop strategies to encourage customers to retain us as their primary or sole provider, we could lose a larger percentage of our revenue to our competitors. Mobile number portability in our markets removes a disincentive to changing providers and increases competition and churn. As devices with eSIMs are introduced in our markets, allowing customers to change providers without changing their SIM cards, churn and pricing competition among providers may also increase.
If we are unable to compete effectively and match or mitigate our competitors' strategies or aggressive competitive behavior, in pricing our services or acquiring new and preferred customers, or if we are unable to develop strategies to encourage customers to retain us as their primary or sole provider, we could suffer adverse revenue impacts or higher costs for customer retention, which could, individually or together, have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Consumers in the telecommunications industry now have many alternative means of communicating.
The proliferation of VoIP and video streaming offerings and other services delivered over the internet (referred to as “Over-the-Top” or “OTT” services) for voice, instant messaging, and video content has significantly increased competitive risk and has driven down revenue from legacy voice, SMS and linear TV services. While these alternative communication methods require usage of data, there are no guarantees that consumers will use our networks to obtain data services.
h.Environment and sustainability
Failure to comply with environmental requirements could result in monetary fines, reputation damage or other obligations.
Certain of our business operations are subject to environmental laws and regulations since they involve fuel consumption, carbon dioxide emission, and disposal of network equipment and old electronics. Environmental requirements have become more stringent over time, and pending or proposed new regulations could impact our operations or costs.
Increasing scrutiny and evolving expectations from customers, regulators, investors and other stakeholders with respect to our environmental, social and governance practices may impose additional costs on us or expose us to new or additional risks.
Companies are facing increasing scrutiny from customers, regulators, investors and other stakeholders with respect to their environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) practices. Views about ESG are diverse and rapidly changing, particularly as they relate to the environment, health and safety, diversity, labor conditions and human rights. New regulations or guidance relating to ESG standards, as well as the perspectives of customers, investors and other stakeholders regarding these standards, may affect our business activities and increase disclosure requirements, which may increase costs. If investors and other stakeholders determine that we have not made sufficient progress on or adequately addressed ESG matters, we could be subject to negative publicity in traditional or social media, and our reputation, ability to retain customers and employees, and financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected.
i.Supplier management
We are dependent on key suppliers to provide us with products and devices.
We rely on handset distributors, manufacturers and application developers to provide us with the handsets, hardware and services demanded by our customers. The key suppliers of our handsets and set-top boxes, in terms of both volume of sales and importance to our operations, are Apple, B-Mobile, Blu, Honor, Motorola, Samsung, Sky, Tecno, Xiaomi and ZTE. We import directly from original equipment manufacturers ("OEMs"), or we source our handsets through their authorized distributors in each of our markets.

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We are dependent on key suppliers to provide us with networks and systems.
We seek to standardize our network equipment to ensure compatibility, ease equipment replacement and reduce downtime of our network and contract with a limited number of international suppliers to achieve economies of scale, which means that we rely on a limited number of manufacturers to provide network and telecommunications equipment and technical support. The key suppliers of equipment and software for our existing networks are Huawei, Ericsson, Nokia, Commscope, Harmonic, Kaon, Vantiva, Juniper, Intraway and VMWare.
We have limited influence over these key suppliers, and even less over their suppliers and the continuity of their supply chains, which could be disrupted in many ways. Therefore, we cannot assure you that we will be able to obtain required products or services on favorable terms or at all. Any failure of key suppliers to provide software and equipment could interfere with our operations. For example, in recent years, we experienced significant disruptions in the supply of microchips due to a global shortage that affected our suppliers, which we addressed by accumulating strategic inventories and substituting alternative products to sustain our operations. While we did not experience such disruptions in 2023, there can be no assurance that we will not be subject to future shortages or other similar disruptions, which could have a significant adverse effect on our business.
International actions including trade sanctions could disrupt or otherwise negatively impact our supply chain.
In May 2019, the U.S. government announced executive action aimed at addressing U.S. national security risks arising from the use of non-U.S. technology. In furtherance of this order, the U.S. Department of Commerce issued an interim final rule in January 2021 that allows the U.S. government to prohibit certain information and communications technology and services (“ICTS”) transactions to address U.S. national security threats. In June 2023, the U.S. Department of Commerce issued a final rule that amended the ICTS interim final rule, which clarified the scope and criteria relevant to evaluating whether certain ICTS transactions present U.S. national security threats. Although the extent and potential consequences of the U.S. government's review of ICTS transactions remain uncertain, they may have a material adverse effect on our ability to maintain and expand our networks and business. There are a number of alternative suppliers available to us; however, if we are unable to obtain adequate alternative supplies of equipment or technical support in a timely manner, on acceptable commercial and pricing terms, our ability to maintain and expand our networks and business may be materially and adversely affected.
We rely on interconnection and capacity agreements, the terms of which could be made less favorable due to market participants or regulatory changes.
Interconnection and capacity agreements are required to transmit voice and data to and from our networks. Our ability to provide services would be hampered if our access to local interconnection and international capacity was limited, or if the commercial terms or costs of interconnection and capacity agreements with other local, domestic and international carriers of data and communications were significantly altered, or if an operator is not able to provide interconnection due to operation and maintenance issues or natural disasters.
We depend upon certain third parties to operate and maintain parts of the networks we use, including certain towers and network infrastructure, and related services.
In 2023, after determining that ownership of mobile communications towers no longer confers a competitive advantage, we began the process of moving towers at more than 9,000 sites into a separate company, as further discussed under "Information on the Company—Business Overview—Property, Plant and Equipment—Tower infrastructure." Although the transfer has not yet been fully completed, we anticipate that the carved-out tower company may be ultimately owned and controlled by a third party. Further, we have sold and leased back a significant number of our towers, and we may engage in similar transactions in the future.
We also have entered into managed services agreements in certain of our markets to outsource the maintenance and replacement of our network equipment. Although the contracts impose performance obligations on the operators and tower management companies, we cannot guarantee that they will meet these obligations or implement remedial action in a timely manner, which may result in these towers or networks not being properly operated. If our managed services agreements terminate, we may be unable to find a cost-effective, suitable alternative provider, and we may no longer have the necessary expertise in-
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house to perform comparable services. For example, if our tower network service provider is unable to properly maintain our towers, we may suffer a degradation in the quality or coverage of our mobile services.
We and our customers are dependent on third-party suppliers of electricity to power transmission and customer premise equipment.
Significant failure or disruption in the supply of power to the businesses and households that subscribe to our services, or to the data centers that we operate, could have a negative impact on the experience of our customers, which could result in claims against us for failure to provide services and reduce our revenue.
2.Risks related to Millicom’s business in the markets in which it operates
The outbreak of pandemics or other public health crises has had, and may again have, a significant negative effect on our operations, business and financial condition.
The outbreak of a pandemic or similar public health crises (including COVID-19) could significantly disrupt our business operations for an extended period. The measures taken to combat a pandemic or public health crisis and ameliorate its effects, such as the closing of retail stores or other distribution channels, as well as other government mandates to provide services to non-paying clients, have had, and may again have, a significant negative effect on our operations.
The full impact of a pandemic or public health crisis cannot be predicted and depends on several factors, including the geographic spread and duration of the illness, the resurgence or emergence of variant strains of the illness, the availability and effectiveness of vaccines, vaccine hesitancy, the response by governments, private sector participants and the public to contain the illness or address its impacts, and the associated disruption to business and commerce generally, all of which are highly uncertain and could have a significant adverse effect on our business.
a.Emerging Market Risks
Most of our operations are in emerging markets that may be subject to greater risks than more developed markets, including in some cases significant political, legal and economic risks.
Emerging market governments and judiciaries often exercise broad, unchecked discretion, and are susceptible to abuse and corruption and rapid reversal of political and economic policies on which we depend. Political and economic relations among the countries in which we operate are often complex and have resulted, and may in the future result, in conflicts, which could materially harm our business.
The economies of emerging markets are vulnerable to market downturns and economic slowdowns elsewhere in the world. Emerging markets are also subject to adverse global political events and geopolitical tensions, such as the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Such events may result in sanctions, disruptions in global supply chains, military actions and macroeconomic instability, each of which may adversely affect the economies of emerging markets. As has happened in the past, financial problems or an increase in the perceived risks associated with investing in emerging economies could dampen foreign investment in these markets and materially adversely affect their economies, which may cause our business and results of operations to suffer.
Turnover of political leaders or parties in emerging markets as a result of a scheduled election upon the end of a term of service or in other circumstances may also affect the legal and regulatory regime in those markets to a greater extent than turnover in established countries. Some of the emerging markets in which we operate are susceptible to social unrest, which may lead to military conflict in some cases.
b.Strategy and strategic direction
We may not be able to successfully implement our strategic priorities.
Our strategic priorities include, among others, expansion of our high-speed data networks (4G, HFC and FTTH), facilitation of growth in our mobile data and fixed broadband segments, implementation of 5G technology transformation projects to improve our operating performance and efficiency, implementation of cost efficiency programs and the creation of, and potential sale of interests in, legal entities to separate our Tigo Money and Towers businesses from our telecommunications service operations. We also regularly evaluate potential opportunities to consolidate or form strategic partnerships or alliances with other large
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competitors. There can be no assurance that our strategy will be successfully implemented and will not cause changes in our operational efficiencies or structure, or that it will achieve the desired financial or operational objectives. In addition, the implementation of our strategic priorities could result in increased costs, conflicts with employees, local shareholders and other stakeholders, business interruptions, and difficulty in recruiting and retaining key personnel. Further, we could enter into partnerships or strategic alliances that require significant investment or other undertakings from us (including non-compete agreements) or that limit our financial flexibility or pose limitations on our ability to control or exercise significant influence over companies or businesses in which we have an ownership stake or over which we exercise control, which could, in turn, result in our having to deconsolidate assets, liabilities and results of operations associated with those businesses.
Lack of sufficient information or poor quality of available information regarding our industry, operations or markets may lead to missed opportunities or inefficient capital allocation.
As the factors we consider in formulating our strategy change (including information, such as customer data insights or new markets into which we may consider entering), we face the risk of not having access to sufficient industry, operational or market data inputs to properly inform our decision-making or needing to rely on poor-quality information. There is also a risk that the data to which we have access will be analyzed improperly, if the relevant personnel lack appropriate experience, oversight, or relevant skill sets in data analysis, including through insufficient consideration of interrelationships of key variables such as market dynamics, trends, availability of cash and resources, agility, opportunities and risk factors affecting our business. If we are forced to make assumptions regarding key variables and are unable to consider alternatives to, and consequences of, strategic decisions on a fully informed basis, it may lead to missed opportunities or inefficient capital allocation that could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.
We may not achieve the anticipated benefits following the acquisition of the remaining 45% equity interest in our Guatemala business.
On November 12, 2021, we signed and closed an agreement to acquire the remaining 45% equity interest in our Guatemala joint venture business from our local partner for $2.2 billion in cash. In November 2021, we obtained bridge financing to fund the acquisition, which we refinanced in part with the issuance of equity and long-term debt. We also consolidated the indebtedness from our Guatemala joint venture business in connection with the acquisition. Our leverage and debt service requirements may make it more difficult for us to capitalize on changes in market conditions or other strategic opportunities. While we have taken, and will continue to take, steps to facilitate the growth of our operations in Guatemala and improve our operating performance and efficiency, our strategy may ultimately prove to be unsuccessful. If we are unable to generate sufficient cash flow from our operations in Guatemala and future borrowings are not available, we may not be able to pay our indebtedness or fund our other liquidity needs, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
c.Industry structure, market position and competition
We face intense competition from other larger telecommunications and cable and broadband providers.
The markets in which we operate are highly competitive. Our main mobile and fixed competitors include major international and regional telecommunication providers such as América Móvil, Telefónica and Liberty Latin America. Many of our main competitors have substantially greater resources than we do in terms of access to capital. Some of our competitors are state-owned entities, which may prioritize social objectives over profitability. In some of our markets, our competitors may have access to more spectrum and provide greater or better area coverage, and they may face fewer regulatory burdens than we do.
We have a weaker market position in mobile services and face a challenging competitive environment in Colombia, our largest market.
Relative to our other markets, the mobile services sector in Colombia is characterized by having more competitors, including América Móvil and Telefónica, which are larger than us, and by having more stringent regulatory conditions. Relative to our other markets for mobile services, our competitive position is also weaker in Colombia, where we are the third largest mobile operator. Additionally, new competitors have been and may continue to be awarded mobile spectrum, including WOM, which entered the Colombian market in April 2021.
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Given the importance of Colombia to our results, if we are unable to sustain or improve our position in the mobile services sector, this could have a material impact on our consolidated financial results.
Competition is driven by a number of factors, most notably price and increasingly customer experience.
Within our markets, operators compete for customers principally on the basis of price, promotions, services offered, advertising and brand image, quality and reliability of service, mobile coverage and overall customer experience. Telecom services are largely commoditized services, and the ability to differentiate these services among operators is limited. Competition may result in pricing pressure, reduced margins and profitability, an increase in customer churn and reduced revenue and market share.
The effects of competition have been exacerbated by recent inflationary pressures, and the need to increase prices for our products and services has become increasingly more common. Competitive pressures could prevent us from implementing or sustaining such price increases, or implementing price increases that are commensurate with inflation, which may have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
There may be more mobile operators than the market is able to sustain.
Additional licenses may be awarded in already competitive markets, and regulators may incentivize competition by offering favorable conditions to new entrants, such as holding spectrum auctions in which certain blocks of spectrum are reserved for new entrants, or by capping the amount of spectrum that existing players can acquire, as in Colombia's 2019 auction of licenses to use a total of 40 MHz in the 700 MHz band.
Entry by new competitors may have a significant disruptive effect on our markets.
New competitors may enter our markets with pricing or other product or service strategies, primarily designed to gain market share, that are significantly more competitive than our offers, leading to, for example, significant price competition and lower margins or increased churn.
In certain of our mobile markets, such as Colombia, our competitors may have a dominant market position.
Having a dominant market position may provide our competitors with various competitive advantages including from economies of scale, access to spectrum, the ability to significantly influence market dynamics and market regulation.
Our competitors may be able to provide better pay-TV services than we are able to provide.
Our pay-TV services compete with other pay-TV services that may offer a greater range of channels to a larger audience, reaching a wider area distribution (especially in rural areas) for a lower price than we charge for our pay-TV services. We also compete with satellite distribution of free-to-air television programming, which viewers can receive by purchasing a satellite dish and a set-top box without any physical cabling. Furthermore, our cable networks are subject to the risk of overbuild and our pay-TV content is subject to the possibility of wireless substitution.
Many of the mobile telecommunications markets in which we operate have high mobile penetration levels, inhibiting growth opportunities.
The markets in which we operate have mobile phone service penetration levels that typically exceed 100% of the population. Although there are some opportunities for further growth, our efforts to develop additional sources of revenue may not be successful. Therefore, high mobile penetration rates could constrain future growth and produce an intensification of pricing pressures on all of our mobile services, which could adversely affect our future profitability and return on investments.
We may not be able to achieve market acceptance of our mobile financial services.
Although the use of mobile financial services and digital payments has increased throughout the world, there can be no assurance that this increase will result in the acceptance of our MFS across the markets in which we operate. For example, our Tigo Money business is currently deployed in several of our markets, and, as of December 31, 2023, we had a total of 4.0 million active users. However, we may be unable to achieve
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the required level of market acceptance in order for us to recover the investment costs involved in developing and launching such services, and any failure to achieve such acceptance may cause us to reduce our product offerings or exit certain of our markets.
The future market acceptance of our MFS depends on a variety of factors, including community trust in digital financial services and companies that are not traditional financial institutions, entrenched preferences in traditional payment methods, and the availability of alternative MFS that are more popular or widely accepted by the population.
d.Customer base and customer experience
A significant proportion of our mobile revenue is generated from prepaid customers and is short-term in nature.
Prepaid customers do not sign service contracts and may be more likely than postpaid customers to switch mobile operators and take advantage of promotional offers by other operators. Many of our prepaid mobile customers subscribe to short-term packages that are valid for only one day. As a result, we cannot be certain that prepaid customers or short-term data package customers will continue to use our services in the future. Prepaid customers represented 82% of our mobile customers as of December 31, 2023 and generated approximately 61% of our mobile service revenue and 35% of our total service revenue during 2023.
The transition to more subscription-based businesses creates new challenges.
Our transition toward an increasingly subscription-based revenue model has implications for our personnel, systems, and business procedures, as we must dedicate increasing levels of management attention and resources toward managing and mitigating risks related to accounts receivables and collections, as well as billing and customer care. If we are unable to implement and manage the information systems and to properly train our employees, we could experience elevated levels of customer churn and bad debt, which would negatively impact our financial results.
e.Political
Many of the countries in which we operate have a history of political and social instability.
Some of the countries in which we operate may be subject to greater political and economic risk than developed countries. Some of the countries in which we operate suffer from political instability, civil unrest, or war-like actions by anti-government insurgent groups. These problems may continue or worsen, potentially resulting in significant social unrest or civil war. For example, Bolivia, Panama and Guatemala , and, to a lesser extent, Colombia, have recently experienced civil, social and political unrest.
Any political or social instability or hostilities in the markets in which we operate can hinder economic growth and reduce discretionary consumer spending on our services, and may result in damage to our networks or prevent us from selling our products and services.
We face a number of risks as a result of political and social instability in the countries in which we operate, ranging from the risk of network disruption, sometimes resulting from government requests to shut down our networks as well as forced and illegal abuse of our network by political forces, to the need to evacuate some or all of our key staff from certain countries, in which case there is no guarantee that we would be able to continue to operate our business as previously conducted in such countries. Any of these events would adversely affect our results of operations.
f.Legal and regulatory
The nature of legislation and rule of law in emerging markets may affect our ability to enforce our rights under licenses or contracts or defend ourselves against claims by third parties.
The nature of much of the legislation in emerging markets, the lack of consensus about the scope, content and pace of economic and political reform and the rapid evolution of the legal systems in emerging markets, place the enforceability and, possibly, the constitutionality of, laws and regulations in doubt and result in ambiguities, inconsistencies and anomalies. These factors could affect our ability to enforce our rights under our licenses or our contracts, or to defend our company against claims by other parties. For example, if we enter litigation proceedings with a third party in a country in which we operate, and within a
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legal system which may be less transparent and less robust in its judgment and rulings, we may face penalties or decrees that compel us to cease or partially cease the provision of certain of our services or the operation of our networks, or invalidate or suspend our licenses or rights therein.
New or proposed changes to laws or new interpretations of existing laws in the markets in which we operate may harm our business.
We are subject to a variety of national and local laws and regulations in the countries in which we do business. These laws and regulations apply to many aspects of our business. Violations of applicable laws or regulations could damage our reputation or result in regulatory or private actions with substantial penalties or damages. In addition, any significant changes in such laws or regulations or their interpretation, or the introduction of higher standards or more stringent laws or regulations, could have an adverse impact on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects. For example, in Colombia in 2017, the regulator introduced caps to wholesale rates on mobile services, which forced us to lower our prices for both voice and data services, and it also cut interconnection rates.
Developing legal systems in the countries in which we operate create a number of uncertainties for our businesses.
The legal systems in many of the countries in which we operate are less developed than those in more established markets. This creates uncertainties with respect to many of the legal and business decisions that we make, including, among others, potential for negative changes in laws, gaps and inconsistencies between the laws and regulatory structure, difficulties in enforcement, broad regulatory authority held by telecommunications regulators, inconsistency and lack of transparency in the judicial interpretation of legislation and corruption in judicial or administrative processes or systems. We may not always have access to efficient avenues for appeal and may have to accept the decisions imposed upon us. For more information concerning the legal proceedings to which we are subject, see “Financial Information—Consolidated Statements and Other Financial Information—Legal Proceedings.”
g.Macro-economic and currency

The economies of emerging markets, including those in which we operate, are vulnerable to market downturns and economic slowdowns elsewhere in the world.
Telecommunications in emerging markets in general and in our markets in particular, account for a significant part of gross domestic product (“GDP”) and disposable income. As such, any change in economic activity level may impact our business. Furthermore, as consumers in emerging markets have relatively lower levels of disposable income, the demand for our products and services is significantly exposed to the risk of economic slowdown.
As has happened in the past, financial problems or an increase in the perceived risks associated with investing in emerging economies could dampen foreign investments in these markets and materially adversely affect their economies. An economic downturn, a substantial slowdown in economic growth or a deterioration in consumer spending could have an adverse effect on the level of demand for our products and services and our growth. We are particularly susceptible to any deterioration in the economic environment of the countries in which we have our largest operations, namely Colombia, Guatemala, Paraguay, Honduras, Panama and Bolivia.
Changes in economic, political and regulatory conditions in the United States or in U.S. laws and policies governing foreign trade and foreign relations could have an impact on the economies in which we operate.
Any decision taken by the U.S. government that has an impact on the Latin American economy, such as reducing commercial activity between the countries in which we operate and the United States, limiting immigration, increasing interest rates or slowing direct foreign investments, could adversely affect the disposable income of consumers. In addition, a slowdown in the U.S. economy may have an adverse impact on the level of U.S. dollar remittances that form a large part of the GDP of many of the countries in which we operate.
Fluctuations or devaluations in local currencies in the markets in which we operate against our U.S. dollar reporting as well as our ability to convert these local currencies into U.S. dollars to make payments,
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including on our indebtedness, could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
A significant amount of our costs, expenditures and liabilities are denominated in U.S. dollars, including capital expenditures and borrowings. We mainly collect revenue from our customers in local currencies, and there may be limits to our ability to convert these local currencies into U.S. dollars. Local currency exchange rate fluctuations in relation to the U.S. dollar may have an adverse effect on our earnings, assets and cash flows. To the extent that our operations retain earnings or distribute dividends in local currencies, the amount of U.S. dollars ultimately received by MIC S.A. is also affected by currency fluctuations.
A significant amount of our debt and long-term financial commitments are denominated in U.S. dollars.
Where possible and where financially viable, we borrow in local currency to mitigate the risk of exposure to foreign currency exchange. Our ability to reduce our foreign currency exchange exposure may be limited by a lack of long-term financing in local currencies or derivative instruments in the currencies in which we operate. As such, there is a risk that we may not be able to finance local capital expenditure needs or reduce our foreign exchange exposure by borrowing in local currency. For more information, see “Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Risk—Foreign currency risk.”
Due to the lack of available financial instruments in many of the countries or currencies in which we operate, we may not be able to hedge against foreign currency exposures.
We had net foreign exchange gains of $31 million in fiscal 2023 compared to net foreign exchange losses of $84 million in fiscal 2022 and net foreign exchange losses of $42 million in fiscal 2021. At the operational level we seek to match the currencies of our cash inflows and outflows, but while this practice reduces, it does not eliminate, our significant foreign exchange exposure to the U.S. dollar.
The governments of the countries in which our operations are located may impose foreign exchange controls that could restrict our ability to receive funds from the operations.
Substantially all our revenue is generated by our local operations, and MIC S.A. is reliant on its subsidiaries’ and joint ventures’ ability to transfer funds to it. None of the foreign exchange controls that exist in the countries in which our companies operate significantly restricts the ability of our operating companies to pay interest, dividends, technical service fees, and royalty fees or repay loans by exporting cash, instruments of credit or securities in foreign currencies. However, foreign exchange controls may be strengthened, or introduced, which could restrict MIC S.A.’s ability to receive funds.
In addition, in some countries it may be difficult to convert local currency into foreign currency due to limited liquidity in foreign exchange markets. These restrictions may constrain the frequency for possible upstreaming of cash from our subsidiaries to MIC S.A. in the future. These and any similar controls enacted in the future may cause delays in accumulating significant amounts of foreign currency, and increase foreign exchange risk, which could have an adverse effect on our results of operations.
We are exposed to the potential impact of any alteration to, or abolition of, foreign exchange which is “pegged” at a fixed rate against the U.S. dollar.
Any “unpegging,” particularly if the currency weakens against the U.S. dollar, could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations. Currently, Bolivia operates a fixed peg to the U.S. dollar. However, in light of the recent shortage of U.S. dollars, the increased use of alternative currencies such as the Chinese Yuan, and the increasing threat of an economic downturn, there can be no assurance that such peg will be maintained in the future.
h.Taxation
Unpredictable tax systems give rise to significant uncertainties and risks that could complicate our tax strategy and business decisions.
The tax laws and regulations in the markets in which we operate are complex and subject to varying interpretations. The tax authorities in the markets in which we operate are often arbitrary in their interpretation of tax laws, as well as in their enforcement and tax collection activities. Our interpretations and application of the tax and regulations could differ from that of the relevant governmental taxing authority. Tax declarations are subject to review and investigation by a number of authorities, which are empowered to
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impose fines and penalties on taxpayers, and in some cases criminal penalties on company personnel. Tax audits may result in additional costs to our group if the relevant tax authorities conclude that entities of the group did not satisfy their tax obligations in any given year. Such audits may also impose additional burdens on our group by diverting the attention of management resources. The outcome of these audits could harm our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows or prospects. For example, on March 28, 2022, the supreme court in one of the jurisdictions in which we operate issued a $16.2 million ruling against our business, primarily for taxes related to incoming international calls and the deductibility of interest expenses in 2010. We are also addressing tax disputes with local tax authorities in several jurisdictions, further described under “Financial Information—Consolidated Statements and Other Financial Information—Legal Proceedings—Tax disputes.”
Adverse decisions of tax authorities or changes in tax treaties, laws, rules or interpretations could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial conditions or cash flows.
The organizational structure and business arrangements between the various legal entities in the group may give rise to taxation-related risks, including risks related to the pricing of services which might be challenged if not made on an arm’s-length basis and the taxation of shell entities.
Tax authorities could argue that some of the services provided among the various legal entities in the group are on terms more favorable than those that could be obtained from independent third parties and assess higher taxes or fines in respect of the services MIC S.A. provides. Additionally, the Council of the European Union (the "Council") published a proposal on December 22, 2021, further amended during 2022 and 2023, which targets shell entities to prevent their misuse for tax purposes. We are currently reviewing whether such proposal could be deemed applicable to us if adopted and what adverse impacts it may have, if any, on our business.
i.Litigation and claims
Some of the litigation or claims that we face can be complex, costly, and highly disruptive to our business operations.
From time to time, in the ordinary course of our business, we are involved in legal proceedings. Some of these legal proceedings can be complex, costly, and highly disruptive to our business operations. Certain of these proceedings may be spurious in nature and may demand significant energy and attention from management and other key personnel. For example, in Tanzania in June 2016, we were served with a complaint by a third party seeking to exert rights as a shareholder of MIC Tanzania Public Limited Company. While this claim was eventually dismissed, it absorbed a significant amount of management time and resulted in additional costs. The assessment of the outcome of legal proceedings, including our potential liability, if any, is a highly subjective process that requires judgments about future events that are not within our control. The amounts ultimately received or paid upon settlement or pursuant to final judgment, order or decree may differ materially from amounts accrued in our financial statements. In addition, litigation or similar proceedings could impose restraints on our current or future manner of doing business. For example, if we enter litigation proceedings with a regulator in a country in which we operate, we may face penalties or decrees that compel us to cease or partially cease the provision of certain of our services or the operation of our networks.
j.Business conduct
We may not be able to fully mitigate the risk of inappropriate conduct by our employees, business partners and counterparties.
Millicom’s employees interact with customers, contractors, suppliers and counterparties, and with each other, every day. All employees are expected to respect and abide by the Group's values and Code of Conduct, commonly referred to as the “Sangre Tigo” culture. While Millicom takes numerous steps to prevent and detect inappropriate conduct by employees, contractors and suppliers that could potentially harm the Group's reputation, customers, or investors, such behavior may not always be detected, deterred or prevented. The consequences of any failure by employees to act consistently with the “Sangre Tigo” expectations could include litigation, regulatory or other governmental investigations or enforcement actions.

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We are subject to anti-corruption and anti-bribery laws.
We are subject to a number of anti-corruption laws in the countries in which we operate and are located, in addition to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) in the United States and the Bribery Act in the United Kingdom. Our failure to comply with anti-corruption laws applicable to us could result in penalties, which could harm our reputation and harm our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows or prospects. The FCPA generally prohibits covered companies, their officers, directors and employees and their intermediaries from making improper payments to foreign officials for the purpose of obtaining or keeping business and/or other benefits. We operate in countries which pose elevated risks of corruption violations, and in certain of our markets, we have been and may continue to be subject to governmental investigations that include the telecommunications sector. If we are not in compliance with anti-corruption laws and other laws governing the conduct of business with government entities and/or officials (including local laws), we may be subject to criminal and civil penalties and other remedial measures. Moreover, investigations of any actual or alleged violations of such laws or policies related to us could be time consuming, distracting to management and expensive, with the potential to harm our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows or prospects. For example, in late 2015 we reported to the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”), as well as to law enforcement authorities in Sweden, potential improper payments made on behalf of our joint venture in Guatemala. In 2016 we received notification from the Swedish Public Prosecutor that its preliminary investigation had been discontinued. In 2018, the DOJ informed us that it was closing its investigation without action. More recently, in April 2022, we received a subpoena from the DOJ requesting information concerning our business in Guatemala (“Tigo Guatemala”), including information related to the purchase in 2021 of our former joint venture partner’s interest in Tigo Guatemala and information related to any contacts with certain Guatemalan government officials. The subpoena also requested information concerning our operations in other countries in Latin America. In May 2023, we received a second subpoena from the DOJ requesting additional information regarding Tigo Guatemala. We are cooperating with the DOJ. At this time, we cannot predict the ultimate scope, timing or outcome of this matter.
Our anti-corruption policies, procedures and internal controls may not be effective in complying with anti-corruption laws.
We regularly review and update our policies, procedures and internal controls designed to provide reasonable assurance that we, our employees, joint ventures, distributors and other intermediaries comply with the anti-corruption laws to which we are subject. For example, our business in Guatemala retained external legal counsel to review its policies and procedures related to anti-corruption issues, including examining certain allegations of improper payments made several years ago. However, anti-corruption policies, procedures and internal controls are not always effective against this risk. We cannot assure you that such policies or procedures or internal controls work effectively at all times or protect us against liability under these or other laws for actions taken by our employees, joint ventures, distributors and other intermediaries with respect to our business or any businesses that we may acquire.
Our MFS service is complex and increases our exposure to fraud and money laundering.
Our MFS product has been developed through different distribution channels, and despite measures that we have taken or will take to adequately secure our payment systems, we remain susceptible to potentially illegal or improper uses of our payment services. Risks may include the use of our payment services in connection with fraudulent sales of goods or services, sales of prohibited or restricted products and money laundering.
Our policies and procedures may not be fully effective in identifying, monitoring and managing these risks. For example, we are not able to monitor the sources and uses of funds that flow through our MFS application, Tigo Money, in every case. As a result, we may be held liable for fraudulent transactions or transactions that violate trade sanctions or other legal or regulatory requirements, and an increase in negative publicity regarding our payment systems could harm our reputation and reduce consumer confidence in our services. In addition, we may face legal actions or regulatory sanctions as a result of any such activity.
Our services also involve cash handling, which exposes us to the risk of fraud and money laundering. In certain of our markets, we must keep our customers’ MFS cash in local currency demand deposits in local banks and ensure customers’ access to MFS cash, exposing us to local banking risk.
Anti-money laundering laws are often complex. We endeavor to conform to the highest standards but cannot be certain that we will be able to fully meet all applicable legal and regulatory requirements at all
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times. Violations of anti-money laundering laws or other regulations applicable to our MFS offerings could expose us to monetary fines or other legal actions or regulatory sanctions, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We may incur significant costs from fraud, which could adversely affect us.
Our high profile and the nature of the products and services that we offer make us a target for fraud. Many of the markets in which we operate lack fully developed legal and regulatory frameworks and have low conviction rates for fraudulent activities, decreasing deterrence for such schemes. We have been in the past and may in the future be susceptible to fraudulent activity by our employees or third-party contractors despite having robust internal control systems in place across our operations, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations.
We also incur costs and revenue losses associated with the unauthorized or unintended use of our networks, including administrative and capital costs associated with the unpaid use of our networks as well as with detecting, monitoring and reducing incidences of fraud. Fraud also impacts interconnection costs, capacity costs, administrative costs and payments to other carriers for unbillable fraudulent roaming charges. In 2023, our most significant impact from fraudulent activity was in the Home business, where irregular activations and reconnections led to fraud and to certain subscribers obtaining services that should not have been activated. Any continued or new fraudulent schemes could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our risk management and internal controls may not prevent or detect fraud, violations of law or other inappropriate conduct.
If any of our customers, suppliers, or other business partners receive or grant inappropriate benefits or use corrupt, fraudulent or other unfair business practices, we could be subject to legal sanctions, penalties and harm to our reputation. Given our international operations, group structure, and size, our internal controls, policies and our risk management practices may not be adequate in preventing, detecting or responding to any such incidents which could have a material negative impact on our reputation, business activities, financial position and results of operations.
We may be directly or indirectly affected by U.S. or other international sanctions laws, which may place restrictions on our ability to interact with business partners or government officials.
We operate in certain countries in which international sanctions may be imposed by the U.S., the U.K. or the European Union, and we may be required to comply with such sanctions. Such sanctions may restrict our ability to implement our strategy or conduct our business in the manner in which we expect. For example, in response to the November 2021 presidential election in Nicaragua, the U.S., the EU and the U.K. announced sanctions against the Nicaraguan Public Ministry and various Nicaraguan institutions and government officials, including the deputy director general and director general of TELCOR, the nation's principal telecommunications regulator. In October 2022, these sanctions were subsequently expanded by the United States, and the U.S. government also imposed visa restrictions on over 500 Nicaraguan individuals with ties to the Nicaraguan government. Concurrently, the European Union broadened its existing sanctions to TELCOR and seven Nicaraguan individuals, including the director of TELCOR. Finally, several Nicaraguan government officials and other key actors are currently included on the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons list of the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control, as well as the U.K. and EU sanctions lists. While it remains uncertain what impact current and future sanctions may have on our operations in Nicaragua and other markets, they may have a material adverse effect on our ability to maintain and expand our networks and business.
k.People, health and safety
Threats to the safety of our employees or contractors could affect our ability to provide our services.
Heightened states of danger may exist in certain of the countries in which we operate, including as a result of civil unrest, criminal activity, and the threat of natural or man-made disasters. Such events can pose significant risks to the health and safety of our employees and contractors and may impede or delay our ability to provide services to our customers or potential customers. In those locations, we may incur additional costs to maintain the safety of our personnel, customers, suppliers, and contractors. Despite the precautions, the safety of our personnel, customers, suppliers, and contractors in these locations may continue to be at risk.
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Enforcement of standards of safety and the promotion of a culture of safety may not prevent the frequency or severity of health and safety incidents.
Although we implement and provide training on health and safety matters, particularly related to the risks of working on telecommunications towers or on TV poles, there is no guarantee that our employees or our contractors will comply with applicable safety standards. For example, in 2023, we did not suffer any employee fatalities or major losses to the Company, but there were unfortunately six fatalities in our contracted services. If we fail to implement these procedures or if the procedures we implement are ineffective, we may suffer the loss of, or injury to, our employees or contractors, as well as expose ourselves to possible litigation and reputational harm.
l.Brand and reputation
Failing to maintain our intellectual property rights and the reputation of our brands would adversely affect our business.
Our intellectual property rights, including our key trademarks and domain names, including our Tigo brand name, which is well known in the markets in which we operate, are extremely important assets and contribute to our success in our markets. If we are unable to maintain the reputation of and value associated with them, we may not be able to successfully retain and attract customers. Furthermore, our reputation may be harmed if any of the risks described in this “Risk Factors” section materialize. Any damage to our reputation or to the value associated with our Tigo brand could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Impairment of our intellectual property rights would adversely affect our business.
We rely upon a combination of trademark and copyright laws, database protections and contractual arrangements, where appropriate, to establish and protect our intellectual property rights. However, intellectual property rights are especially difficult to protect in many of the markets in which we operate. In these markets, the regulatory agencies charged to protect intellectual property rights are inadequately funded, legislation is underdeveloped, piracy is commonplace, and enforcement of court decisions is difficult. The diversion of our management's time and resources along with potentially significant expenses that could be involved in protecting our intellectual property rights in our markets, or losing any intellectual property rights, could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Failing to manage unauthorized access to our services and networks could adversely affect our business.
Our ability to increase or maintain our market share and revenue is partly dependent on the controlled access to our services and networks. Sophisticated piracy techniques are continuously evolving, and preventing unauthorized use of our services and networks is inherently difficult. Although we have taken and continue to take measures designed to prevent unauthorized access to our services and networks, any unauthorized use could harm our relationships with our content providers or result in a loss of revenue, which may adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
m.Workforce
A significant portion of our workforce is represented by labor unions, and we could incur additional costs or experience work stoppages as a result of the renegotiations of our labor contracts.
As of December 31, 2023, approximately 14% of our employees (approximately 35% of our direct workforce in Colombia and approximately 72% of our direct workforce in Panama) participated in collective employment agreements. While we have collective bargaining agreements in place, we could incur significant additional labor costs and/or experience work stoppages as a result of subsequent negotiations or new minimum wage legislation, which could adversely affect our business operations. In addition, we cannot predict what level of success labor unions or other groups representing employees may have in further organizing our workforce or the potentially negative impact they would have on our operations. Furthermore, our strategic objectives may include divestitures of certain business lines, internal restructuring and other activities that impact employees. We cannot assure you that we will be able to maintain a good relationship with our labor unions and works council. Any deterioration in our relationship with our unions and works council could result in work stoppages, strikes or threats to take such an action, which could disrupt our business and operations materially and adversely affect the quality of our services and harm our reputation.
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3.Risks related to Millicom’s size and structure and leadership
a.Size - capacity and limitations
The amount, structure and obligations connected with our debt could impair our liquidity and our ability to expand or finance our future operations.
As of December 31, 2023, our consolidated indebtedness excluding lease liabilities was $6,697 million, of which MIC S.A. incurred $2,388 million directly, and MIC S.A. guaranteed $505 million of indebtedness incurred by its subsidiaries. Including lease liabilities, our consolidated indebtedness was $7,739 million as of December 31, 2023. In addition, at December 31, 2023 our joint venture in Honduras, which is non-recourse to MIC S.A., had $360 million of debt and lease liabilities of $61 million.
We may incur additional debt in the future. Although certain of our outstanding debt instruments contain restrictions on the incurrence of additional indebtedness, these restrictions are subject to a number of significant qualifications and exceptions and, under certain circumstances, the amount of indebtedness that could be incurred in compliance with these restrictions could be substantial. The acquisition of additional debt could, among other things, require us to dedicate a substantial portion of our cash flow to payments on our debt, place us at a competitive disadvantage compared to competitors who might have less debt, restrict us from pursuing strategic acquisitions or reduce our ability to pay dividends or implement share buybacks and prevent us from complying with our dividend policy.
We have incurred and assumed, and expect to incur and assume, additional indebtedness in connection with recent acquisitions.
We funded our acquisitions in Panama and Nicaragua mainly by incurring additional indebtedness, including through the issuance of a $750 million 6.25% bond on March 25, 2019, and the issuance by our subsidiary Telecomunicaciones Digitales, S.A. (formerly known as Cable Onda S.A.) of a $600 million 4.5% bond in November 2019. Additionally, during 2022, we refinanced the $2,150 million bridge loan that we obtained to fund the acquisition of the remaining 45% equity interest in our joint venture business in Guatemala with the issuance of new long-term debt by our local subsidiary and new equity.
Our increased indebtedness following consummation of these or other acquisitions could have the effect, among other things, of reducing our flexibility to respond to changing business and economic conditions as well as reducing funds available for capital expenditures or acquisitions, and creating competitive disadvantages for us relative to other companies with lower indebtedness levels.
b.Portfolio of operations
Most of our operations are in emerging markets and may be subject to greater risks than similar businesses in more developed markets.
Investors in emerging markets should be aware that these markets are subject to greater risks than more developed markets, including in some cases significant political, legal and economic risks. Investors should fully consider the significance of the risks involved in investing in a company with significant operations in emerging markets and are urged to consult with their own legal, financial and tax advisors.
We may pursue acquisitions, investments or merger opportunities which may subject us to significant risks, and there is no assurance that we will be successful or that we will derive the expected benefits from these transactions.
We may pursue acquisitions of, investments in strategic partnerships or mergers with businesses (including other providers that we compete with),, technologies, services and/or products that complement or expand our business. Some of these potential transactions could be significant relative to the size of our business and operations. Any such transaction would involve a number of risks and could present financial, managerial, governance and operational challenges, including: diverting management attention from running our existing business or from other viable acquisition or investment opportunities; incurring significant transaction expenses; increased costs to integrate financial and operational reporting systems, technology, personnel, customer base and business practices of the businesses involved in any such transaction with our business; not being able to integrate our businesses in a timely fashion or at all; loss of control or significant influence, potential exposure to material liabilities not discovered in the due diligence process or as a result of any litigation arising in connection with any such transaction; and failure to retain key
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management and other critical employees. As an example, our joint venture in Ghana did not create the expected synergies and benefits that we anticipated.
Moreover, we may not be able to successfully complete acquisitions, mergers and strategic partnerships, in light of challenges such as strong competition from our competitors and other prospective acquirers who may have substantially greater resources than we do in terms of access to capital and may be able to pay more than we can with respect to merger or acquisition opportunities, and regulatory approvals required.
Divestitures or restructuring of assets and businesses subject us to significant risks and may not realize expected benefits.
We may seek to divest or restructure existing operations and investments in ways that enhance the optionality for certain assets and facilitate the attraction of growth capital, such as our plans to create new organizational structures for our Towers and Tigo Money businesses. Any such divestiture or restructuring could involve a number of risks and could present financial, managerial and operational challenges including: diverting management attention from running our existing business or from pursuing other strategic opportunities; incurring significant transaction expenses; maintaining certain liabilities or obligations to indemnify the buyer of the divested business as part of the sale conditions; and the possibility of failing to properly manage the newly created entity or time the exit to achieve an optimal return.
Furthermore, the timing of divestitures and restructurings of assets and businesses may not result in optimal returns, and the amount and timing of proceeds or expected returns may be lower than our initial investment or the corresponding carrying value on our balance sheet. For example, we were unable to obtain any proceeds from the divestiture of our joint venture in Ghana.
Our ability to make significant decisions in certain of our operations may depend in part upon the consent of independent shareholders.
We have local shareholders in certain markets that exercise significant control, including a non-controlling partner in Colombia and a joint venture partner in Honduras. In these operations, our ability to make significant strategic decisions or to receive dividends or other distributions may depend in part upon the consent of current or future independent shareholders, and our operations may be negatively affected in the event of disagreements with or breaches by our partners.
Further, our ability to successfully operate our business in Colombia may be hindered due to the governance arrangements for that business, which require the approval of our local partner to make certain decisions. For example, our operations in Colombia were constrained by the near-term maturity of a significant amount of debt, which led us to make a joint capital contribution with our local partner in October 2023 and thereby avoid the bankruptcy of our operations in Colombia. Although we ultimately reached an agreement with our local partner on the capital contribution, there can be no assurance that our business in Colombia will satisfy its debt obligations in the future or that we could come to an agreement with our local partner to satisfy such obligations or modify our agreements with our local partners as part of our strategy for Colombia.
Millicom's central functions provide essential support and services to our operating subsidiaries and joint ventures.
These services include, financing, procurement, technical and management services, business support services (including a shared services center in El Salvador and a multinational corporation headquarters (SEM) in Panama, among others), digital transformation, customer experience, procurement, human resources, legal, information technology, marketing services and advisory services related to the construction, installation, operation, management and maintenance of its networks. If Millicom's central functions are unable to provide these services to our operating subsidiaries and joint ventures on a timely basis and at a level that meets our needs, our operating subsidiaries and joint ventures may be disrupted.
The majority of Millicom's operating subsidiaries and joint ventures operate under the Tigo trademark.
We take efforts to protect the Tigo trademark, but we may not always succeed in preventing others from using the trademark in countries in which we do not operate or from using similar trademarks, which could dilute the value of our trademark and result in brand confusion to consumers. The Tigo trademark could also be the subject of intellectual property infringement. Trademark protection is important because our
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trademark is what helps our customers differentiate our products and services from those of our competition, helps build brand loyalty, and represents our goodwill and reputation.
c.Talent acquisition and retention
We may be unable to obtain or retain adequate managerial and operational resources.
Our operating results depend, in significant part, upon the continued contributions and capacity of key senior management and technical personnel. Certain key employees possess substantial knowledge of our business and operations. We cannot assure you that we will be successful in retaining their services or that we would be successful in hiring and training suitable replacements without undue costs or delays. If we are unable to retain senior leadership to operate and grow our business, we may not be able to develop our business at the pace or with the required level of sophistication that enables us to meet our strategic and financial objectives.
Competition for personnel in our markets and certain central functions is intense due to scarcity of qualified individuals.
Millicom has been working with its local teams to build and implement talent development plans and to identify high-performance individuals for future advancement or hiring, as the markets in which we operate have limited availability of talent with advanced skill sets in key areas such as the digital and technology fields. We cannot assure you, however, that we will be successful in these efforts.
d.Financing and cash flow generation
MIC S.A. is a holding company and is dependent on cash flow from its operating subsidiaries and joint ventures.
MIC S.A.’s primary assets consist of shares in its subsidiaries and joint ventures and cash in its bank accounts. MIC S.A. has no significant revenue generating operations of its own, and therefore its cash flow and ability to service its indebtedness and pay dividends to its shareholders will depend primarily on the operating performance and financial condition of its subsidiaries and joint ventures and its receipt of funds in the form of dividends or otherwise.
There are legal limits on dividends that some of MIC S.A.’s subsidiaries and joint ventures are permitted to pay. Further, some of our indebtedness imposes restrictions on dividends and other restricted payments, which are described under “Operating and Financial Review and Prospects—Liquidity and Capital Re