The Plurinational State of Bolivia makes justice to the official name it adopted in 2009. This country in the very heart of South America is a land of diversity, with a myriad of ethnicities and distinct natural regions. Similarly, internet usage in Bolivia is also made of severe contrasts. On one hand, less than half of the population had access to the web in 2019. On the other, the share of Bolivians online increased by over 30 percentage points in a decade. Bolivia accounted for barely 0.5 percent of the e-commerce market in Latin America and the Caribbean, yet its online sales revenue was projected to nearly double between 2019 and 2021.
As previously mentioned, most Bolivians remain offline. However, according to forecasts, cell phones are just about to change that. The mobile internet penetration rate in Bolivia is expected to surpass 50 percent by 2023. Variables such as affordability and convenience may play a role in that shift. Android, for instance, is usually present in devices with a vast price range. In Bolivia, it is the most popular mobile operating system, running in approximately 95 percent of gadgets. But the widespread usage of mobile connections can also be related to their speed, higher than fixed broadband’s. If the growing use of the internet is a one-way road for Bolivians, smartphones are paving the way.
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Research expert covering internet & gaming in Latin America and Spain