Mobile penetration rate in Latin America – additional information
The number of mobile phone users in Latin America is expected to pass the 400 million mark in 2016. By that time more than 60 percent of the population in Latin America is projected to own and use a mobile phone. By 2018, the mobile user penetration rate is expected to reach more than two thirds of the population in several Latin American countries. The number of smartphone users in Latin America is also forecast to grow strongly over the next few years, from around 156 million in 2015 to more than 240 million in 2019. According to the GfK, more than 100 million smartphones were sold in 2014 and 2015 and a similar amount is expected to be sold in 2016 as well.
Though Mexico’s mobile phone uptake in general remained average compared with many of its neighbors in Latin America, the total number of mobile subscriptions in Mexico has been above 100 million since 2012, according to ITU. In 2015, there were more than 85 mobile subscriptions per 100 inhabitants, which put Mexico in fourth place among markets in Latin America. The share of mobile phone user population in each Latin American country is forecast to remain more or less unchanged through to 2019, with most of mobile users coming from Chile, Argentina and Columbia.
Smartphone penetration rate in Latin America is set to follow a similar trend to be among those to see the most rapid growth in the coming years. By 2019, half of the mobile phone users are projected to be smartphone users in Latin America, up from one third in 2014. Latin America’s internet usage on smartphones is also growing during the same period, in part due to mobile broadband advancement and smartphone device adoption. Mobile phone internet user penetration rate in Latin America is expected to increase from about 60 percent in 2016 to over 70 percent in 2020.