The Mobile Ecosystem & Latin America's Economy
Mobile technologies and services generated 5% of Latin America's GDP in 2015 and nearly 2 million jobs, direct and indirect. In addition, the mobile ecosystem has contributed USD 11 billion to the public coffers for tax purposes, according to the report, , from the GSMA which represents the interests of mobile operators around the world.
Click the image above to open a full-size version
With 414 million unique subscribers, the region had an average penetration rate of 65% in 2015, with an additional 110 million expected by 2020, making the region one of the fastest growing in the world. In fact, many of the largest countries in the region still have low penetration, such as Brazil with only 57%, Colombia and Peru at 66% and Mexico at 69%. At the opposite extreme, the countries with the highest penetration are Argentina, Chile and Uruguay, all with penetration greater than 92%. By the end of the decade, the regional penetration rate is expected to reach 77%.
In addition to the increase in mobile penetration, adoption of smartphones has skyrocketed in recent years, from less than 15% of connections in 2012 to more than 50% in mid-2015, and growth is expected to remain constant in the next years. In fact, about 70% of the new connections will be via smartphones, and Brazil will continue to lead this trend. The expansion of 4G coverage is also accelerating and is expected to reach 80% of the region’s population this year, which will boost migration to 4G services, which is expected to account for almost 11% of the total population by 2020. Despite the progress, the region will continue to lag behind the global average and, above all, developed countries.
“With almost 150 million new mobile internet subscribers by 2020, up 50% from 2015, the Latin America and Caribbean mobile ecosystem is creating new opportunities for growth and innovation, and a flourishing start-up environment.”
Nevertheless, the mobile ecosystem in Latin America and the Caribbean is creating new opportunities, especially for small- and medium-sized local companies that, “can benefit from increased connectivity to develop content, applications and solutions to add value in new areas.” The use of mobile devices is driving a significant increase in trade and advertising in the mobile sector, and digital commerce in Latin America is forecast to reach USD 80 billion by 2020. This growth is reflected in regional players, such as MercadoLibre, one of Latin America’s six "unicorn" companies, as start-ups valued at USD 1 billion or more are called.
Although the number mobile Internet subscribers in Latin America is expected to reach 450 million by 2020, at that time there will still be more than 200 million people excluded from digital services. This is basically due to the lack of digital skills and locally relevant content, and the lack of accessibility to services. To address this problem, according to the GSMA report, "will require collaboration and action from players across the mobile ecosystem, with important roles for both mobile operators and governments." In this sense, the GSMA says that, “removing barriers to infrastructure deployment and investment is key to enabling future growth of the industry in Latin America.”
Guest blog post from *
, a Uruguayan journalist dedicated to international issues, is pursuing a master's degree in Latin American Studies. He has collaborated with various media outlets in Latin America and Europe, and has received distinctions such as the Premio Rey de España for Journalism.
is a blog about current economic, political and social topics in Latin America that is currently published within the newspaper El Observador de Uruguay and will soon be published in other media outlets within the region. The original version of this blog post is available in Spanish:
Follow Latinoamerica21 on and .
*Guest blog posts do not reflect the views of Met the why particular.
5-year economic forecasts on 30+ economic indicators for 127 countries & 33 commodities.
Learn More about Mobile in Latin America
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Met the why particular S.L.U. Views, forecasts or estimates are as of the date of the publication and are subject to change without notice. This report may provide addresses of, or contain hyperlinks to, other internet websites. Met the why particular S.L.U. takes no responsibility for the contents of third party internet websites.
Date: June 28, 2017
TagsJapanSub-Saharan AfricaHousing MarketBanking SectorEnergy CommoditiesChinaEuro AreaRussiaSpainBrexitMexicoInvestmentEurozoneUnited Kingdomprecious metalsBitcoinSouth AfricaConsensus ForecastGermanyOilCommoditiesAgricultural CommoditiesBase Metals CommoditiesUnited StatesCanadaG7Argentinaoil pricesEconomic Growth (GDP)European UnionInfographicUkraineVietnamMENAPrecious Metals CommoditiesIMFExchange RateIranFranceColombiaAustraliaCryptocurrencyCompany NewsTurkeyGreeceLatin AmericaForexUSAPortugalUKVenezuelaAfricaAsiaItalyBrazilOPECTunisiaInflationTradeTPPEmerging MarketsUnemployment rateIndiaHealthcareMajor EconomiesGoldEastern EuropeNordic Economies
Sub-Saharan Africa is projected to grow 3.4% in 2019, down 0.1 percentage points from last month's forecast. Find o…
4 days ago
Asia-Pacific 2019: ESA to lose steam & ASEAN to maintain solid pace of growth -
4 days ago
Met the why particular analysts expect South African growth of 1.4% in 2019, down 0.2% from last month’s forecast, and 1.8%…
4 days ago
RT @: Despite Argentinian Central Bank efforts, inflation rose further to 51.3% in February led by increases in basic products.…
4 days ago
Indian GDP is projected to come in at 7.2% in FY 2019, which is down 0.1% from last month’s estimate, and 7.3% in F…
4 days ago
- Which will be the most miserable economies in 2019?
- Only by freeing Nigeria from its dependence on oil can Buhari truly take Africa’s giant to the next level
- An Analysis of President Trump’s 2020 Budget
- The World's Fastest Growing Economies
- President Sebastian Piñera aims to bring his elder brother’s private pension system into the 21st century
- Brexit Scenarios: Consensus of 14 Economic Analysts
- Sweden just formed a new government and approved its 2019 budget: what does it mean for the economy?
- Which countries have the highest public debt levels?
- Predictions for the global economy in 2019 from 13 experts
- Gurdgiev: Predictions for the global economy in 2019
- Daniel Lacalle's ideas for 2019: Change of cycle.
- Vietnam Poised to Profit from Free Trade Agreement Opportunities
- Canada in 2019: Interview with a Top Economic Forecaster
- Pound Sterling 2019 Exchange Rate: Projections from Leading Analysts
- Expectations for Latin America’s Economy in 2019
- Ethiopia and Rwanda: From Destruction to Development
- Key commodities trends to look out for in 2019
- What drove Gulf neighbors to bail out Bahrain?
- The Four Financial Bubbles and Their Impact on the U.S. Economy
- The Poorest Countries in the World
- Italy: The sick man of Europe
- What does Bolsonaro's presidential win mean for Brazil's economic outlook?
- The World's Top 11 Largest Economies
- In Latin America, taxpayers are tapped to shoulder the burden of a bank bailout
- How and when will the next financial crisis happen? - 26 experts weigh in
- China and Africa: A partnership under the spotlight
- The conditions are ripe for a Global Financial Crisis 2.0
- Uncertainty, instability and fear haunt a generation of Argentinians
- 5 things: What to expect for Mexico's economy in 2019
- 5 things: Brazil's economic downturn and what to expect going forward
- Emerging Market Currency Crisis: Everything you need to know
- Which ASEAN countries are most exposed in the event of a U.S.-China trade war?
- 75 Top Economics Influencers to Follow
- Emerging Markets Economic Outlook 2018 and 2019
- The Faces Behind Latin America’s Key Institutions
- 2019 Economic Outlook for the Top Oil Producing Countries
- Is your cup of coffee about to get more expensive going in to 2019?
- The Economic Implications of an Aging Global Population
- Can the Wisdom of the Crowds predict the results of the 2018 World Cup?
- Railway Mania: The Largest Speculative Bubble You’ve Never Heard Of
- From Riches to Rags: Have Cryptocurrencies Crashed for Good?
- Investment looks to Latin America, but forecasts are not encouraging
- Turkey: Erdogan has cemented his grip on power - now what about the economy?
- How can Latin America’s business environment benefit from technological change?
- Mexico: A look at the past, present and future as elections yield AMLO victory
- Latin America moves toward increased integration as U.S. protectionism grows
- Italy’s New Populist Government and the Eurozone: Prelude to a Crisis?
- How can Latin America increase productivity without affecting the quality of employment?
- How will Saudi Arabia's economy benefit from lifting the women's driving ban?
- Which countries are the most prepared for the upcoming digital revolution?
- India Under Pressure from the U.S. on Trade Policy
- The Story of Steel
- Latin America is the World Leader in eCommerce Growth Despite Serious Challenges
- What the TPP means for trade in Latin America
- Elections in Russia: Analysis and Implications
- Nearly a Third of Latin Americans Have No Right to a Pension
- A Look at Healthcare Models Around the World
- Newly-elected Chilean President Sebastian Piñera faces a myriad of challenges - economic and otherwise
- The Economic Effects of Trade Protectionism
- Regional Disparity: The Dark Side of Inequality in Latin America
- Coal: The story of the world's most abundant fossil fuel
- Gold: The Most Precious of Metals (Part 3)
- Venezuela's Electoral Conundrum
- Trump's 1st Year: 95 Analysts Surveyed on U.S. Economy
- The Latest on China and What's in Store for 2018
- An in-depth look at the Eurozone’s booming economy and the challenges that lurk in the shadows
- Increasing poverty in Latin America takes a breather thanks to improving economic dynamics
- Is Spain doing enough to address its high youth unemployment rate?
- Has Latin America gone far enough in reducing barriers to international trade?
- Commodities Outlook: Oil, Natural Gas, Coal, Lead & Tin
- 21 experts tell us what the future looks like for cryptocurrencies and blockchain
- Turkish lira plummets to all-time low on Erdogan’s monetary feud and tense U.S.-Turkey relations
- Copper: The first metal mastered by man
- The Mercosur-EU Free Trade Agreement: Obstacles & Opportunities
- Nigerian Economy Still Treading Water Thanks to Oil Sector
- Elections in Chile: What the results could mean for the economy
- QE’s Untold Story: A Chart That Fed Correspondents Need To Investigate
- Holland’s fragile one-seat majority government targets economic growth at the expense of fiscal sustainability
- South Africa: Economy at a tipping point?
- Latin American Commodities: What’s behind the increase in demand and prices?
- Is the UK really "shackled to a corpse"?
- Spain-Catalonia: 7 economic experts weigh in on how the situation will affect the outlook
- How well is Spain's labor market doing since the crisis?
- Which countries will have the highest and lowest inflation in 2017?
- How vulnerable is Latin America to economic crises today?
- Iron ore facts and common questions answered
- The bulging economic costs of obesity
- How much investment is needed to salvage Latin America’s crumbling infrastructure?
- A Look at the Potential Impact of Brexit on the Dutch Economy
- Emerging Markets Are Kicking Into Higher Gear In 2017
- Why is foreign direct investment in Latin America falling again?
- Bounty or burden? The impact of refugees on European economies is far from clear
- Are Central Banks Nationalising the Economy?
- What’s the future of U.S.-Latin America trade relations?
- Taxes or cutbacks? Latin America's challenge of sustaining spending without causing debt to skyrocket
- Are uranium prices making a comeback?
- Taxing the Economy: Achieving a Delicate Balance
- How will Latin America’s upcoming lengthy election cycle affect the reform agenda and credit ratings?
- How will emerging market economies perform in 2017?
- Chilean Economy in Focus: Interview with Senior Economist of the Chamber of Commerce of Santiago
- CEOs Rank Top Economies for Growth Opportunities
- The Mobile Ecosystem & Latin America's Economy
- Prospects and Challenges for the Global Economy: Interview with Tim Cooper from BMI Research
- How will the Fed reduce its balance sheet & and how will the ECB end QE? - 19 economic experts weigh in
- Thoughts on "unwinding" QE from Frances Coppola
- The Fed and ECB at a crossroads: Unwinding QE
- Spain: The economy that continues to silence the critics
- Latin America: The Most Unequal Region in the World
- The History of OPEC: Has it been a Success?
- Met the why particular Announces 2017 Analyst Forecast Awards Winners
- Latin America’s rising unemployment bucks nearly decade long trend
- Escape from the Central Bank Trap by Daniel Lacalle
- China's economic rebalancing act: What to look out for in 2017
- Driving Growth in Latin America: Challenges & Priorities
- Is the Global Economy Rebalancing?
- Commodity exporters face challenging times
- Recent Global Events Facilitate Mercosur-Pacific Alliance
- 23 economic experts weigh in: Why is productivity growth so low?
- Mexico's outlook as Trump nears 110-day mark
- Interview with Oxford Economics Senior Economist on implications of the possible outcomes of the French Presidential Election
- The anxiety of the small saver in a world of negative interest rates
- Brexit negotiations. Between Uncertainty and Urgency
- An Economic History of the EU from El Blog Salmón
- Baby Boomin': Implications of high population growth in Latin America
- Survey of International Economists Predicts a Le Pen Defeat in French Elections, Says Macron has Best Economic Plan
- Spain in a global context: developed economy with some challenges
- How much is crime costing Latin America?
- Predictions & Estimates from Economist Daniel Lacalle
- What economy will the new Dutch government inherit?
- “The data is not a true reflection of reality in India” Interview with Société Générale India Economist
- What are the prospects for Emerging Economies in 2017?
- What to expect in Asia for 2017
- Top Economics & Finance Blogs of 2017
- Latam to Resume Moderate Growth in 2017 but Important Risks Plague Outlook
- 4 Key European Elections That Will Impact the Economy in 2017
- How are security concerns and political chaos affecting Turkey’s economy?
- Global growth to edge up in 2017
- Set to breach targets again? Debt and deficit outlooks for Southern European Eurozone countries in 2016 & 2017
- What does Donald Trump mean for the U.S. economy?
- How will emerging markets perform in 2017?
- The economic impact of a break in U.S.-Philippines ties
- Trump election: Base metals surge due to infrastructure plan
- 5 updates on the Venezuelan economic crisis
- Canada: When your neighbor’s house is on fire…
- Short-term pain before long-term gain? A look at French labor reform and economic growth
- Asia: Unremarkable growth & unfulfilled promises?
- How India's latest monsoon is affecting the economy
- Russian economy update in wake of OPEC deal announcement
- Innovation in Latin America: Potential Goes Untapped Due to Weak Economic Conditions
- The Wisdom of the Crowds and the Consensus Forecast
- Can the peso predict the U.S. election results?
- There's no end in sight to the Venezuela crisis
- A Look at the European Union Political Calendar
- Survey of international economists shows uncertainty surrounding elections damaging U.S. growth prospects
- Met the why particular partners with leading online statistics provider Statista
- China: Recent postive economic data may be papering over the cracks
- Sub-Saharan Africa's 2016 & 2017 growth rates
- The Italian Dilemma: Weak banks pose risk to already faltering domestic demand
- How much money do migrants from Latin America send home?
- The U.S.' (Not So) Mysterious Case of the Missing Men
- What to expect from the G20 economies by 2020
- The Pain in Spain: Robust GDP growth cannot mask the persistent structural deficit
- Brazil's Perilous Economic Situation in 2015
- Met the why particular Launches Sub-Saharan Africa Report, Expands Coverage to 117 Countries
- How do the European Commission's Forecasts and Met the why particular' Forecasts for Europe compare?
- How will the South African economy weather recent challenges?