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Mobile Internet Uptake Picks Up in Chile

Mobile phone internet connections reach 56.5% of Chile's population

Earlier this year, eMarketer noted that the overall mobile market in Chile had reached its peak, with mobile connection penetration hovering at 130%. The most recent data released by Subsecretaría de Telecomunicaciones (SUBTEL) is in line with this assumption and suggests the market is now experiencing a modernization process—that is, current mobile phone users switching to advanced mobile devices such as smartphones.

According to March 2014 SUBTEL records, overall mobile connection penetration in Chile remained essentially unchanged at 134.4% of the population. A year-over-year decrease of 0.6% brought the number of mobile connections down to 23.8 million.

At the same time, mobile phone internet connection uptake—including those 128Kbps and faster—picked up speed to expand 10.6% year over year and near 10 million, or 56.5% of Chile’s population, in March 2014. That figure was up from 9.1% in December 2013 when 9.8 million consumers were mobile internet users.

By comparison, eMarketer estimates mobile phone internet penetration rates in Brazil, Mexico and the US will reach 34.5%, 29.8% and 52.8%, respectively, in 2014.

While SUBTEL records showed that about 85,000 new connections were added to Chile’s mobile market during Q1 2014, the number of new mobile phone internet users stood at around 187,000 during the same period. Moreover, roughly 482,000 new mobile broadband connections were accounted for—including 4G for the first time—during the first three months of this year.

Indeed, the latest SUBTEL data supports the notion that Chile is the most advanced mobile market in the region—and one that may set a precedent for other markets there.

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