Latin America's mobile broadband services market achieved a high growth rate during 2009, reaching a total of 15 million connections. This total represented nearly 3% of population penetration in the region last year. Due to its fast adoption and to the limited DSL and Cable Modem coverage in several countries, it is likely that mobile broadband penetration will overcome the fixed broadband penetration in the following years, in some markets such as Brazil and Colombia.
Frost & Sullivan expects that by 2015, mobile broadband penetration will reach up to nearly 40% of the total population.Although mobile broadband network coverage has expanded in the last 2 years, the region still faces difficulties related to spectrum availability and allocation. Regarding 3G services, almost all mobile operators already offer them in the top 6 economies in the region. Although some operators have speed plans up to 1 Mbps, the average speed is still slow in Latin America, ranging between 128 Kbps and 256 Kbps.
Brazil reached the highest penetration of mobile broadband users in Latin America; however, the service price in the country is considered the highest amongst other countries analyzed, mostly due to its high tax burden. On the other hand, Chile has appeared as the most developed market with the broadest offer of plans and lowest prices for prepaid users."Investments in mobile broadband network coverage expansion, the increasing need for mobile connectivity, growth penetration of 3G enabled mobile devices, such as smartphones, tablets, ereaders, etc, and the lack of fixed broadband network coverage are the main drivers for the market in the next few years," explains Frost & Sullivan Industry Manager Jose Roberto Mavignier.
However, the strong base of prepaid users in Latin America, the elevated tax burden and the delay of regulators for important issues that interfere in the market development are among the main challenges for the continued growth of the market.
Source: Cellular News