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As mobile phone usage has grown in Mexico, a June 2016 report from GSMA notes that mobile internet subscriptions quickly began to overtake voice-only connections.
Back in 2000, the vast majority of people in Mexico had no mobile phone subscription at all. In 2005, still, two-thirds were not subscribers. By 2010, though, a majority of the population had picked up on mobile—and the largest share of subscribers had voice-only connections.
Fast-forward to last year, however, and the reverse was true. Just 22% of the population had a voice-only subscription in 2015, about half the share from 2010. Meanwhile, 47% had mobile internet subscriptions—including a third of the population with a 3G or 4G mobile internet connection.
By 2020, GSMA predicts, nearly two-thirds will be connected via 3G or 4G, with just 13% relegated to voice-only subscriptions.
eMarketer estimates that the same year, 2020, nearly 72% of the total population in Mexico will use mobile phones, and among that group, 84.5% will use the internet via mobile phone at least monthly.
The April 2016 estimate from eMarketer projects a total of over 84 million mobile phone users in 2016, currently 69% of the total population. But growth itself will be steady and slow—what will change more quickly is the type of technology mobile phone users will employ.
Smartphone usage in particular is on the uptick: eMarketer estimates that 52.4% of mobile phone users in Mexico use smartphones, up from 39% in 2014. By just next year, nearly 60% of mobile phone users will be smartphone users, and by 2020, nearly 70%.
For marketers looking to reach consumers in the country, mobile is critical. Even those without data plans sometimes use the mobile internet: 32% of those who told Instituto Federal de Telecomunicaciones (IFT), Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (INEGI) and Secretaría de Comuniaciones y Transportes (SCT) they access the internet via their mobile phone do so via Wi-Fi only.
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