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Mobile Broadband on the Rise in Chile

4G connections more than doubled between 2014 and mid-2015

January 13, 2016

Mobile connections have plateaued in Chile, but users are still making moves to switch to faster-paced mobile broadband connections.

Mobile Connections in Chile, 2009-June 2015 (millions, % change and % of population)

June 2015 data from Subsecretaría de Telecomunicaciones - Chile (SUBTEL) included a small drop in mobile connections since 2014, to 23.3 million total in the country.

That includes all mobile users who performed at least one outcoming or incoming phone call during the reporting period. With Chile’s mobile connection penetration well above 100%, the drop in connections in 2015 does not mean individual users are no longer mobile, but that users of multiple phones are likely cutting back.

3G* Mobile Connections in Chile, 2009-June 2015 (millions, % change and % of population)

The number of 3G connections also dipped in June 2015, but has grown dramatically over the past several years. Nearly half of the population of Chile now has a 3G mobile connection. But the dip in 3G mobile hookups came as 4G made inroads. In 2014, there were just half a million 4G subscriptions in the country. By June, that figure had more than doubled to 1.1 million—and the total number of mobile broadband connections in Chile rose from 9.0 million to 9.4 million over the same period, negating the drop in 3G connections.

SUBTEL also reported more mobile subscriptions than ever (32.0% of the total) were postpaid as of June, up from 27.5% in 2009.

eMarketer estimates that there will be 13.0 million mobile phone users in Chile by the end of 2016, up from 12.8 million in 2015. Just under 8 million users will have a smartphone this year.

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