Latin America’s mobile telephone market is performing strongly, with mobile subscriptions penetration totalled 88.2% of the population. Additionally, there are 4.2 mobile subscriptions with access to data communications at broadband speeds per 100 inhabitants.

And there is room for expansion mainly due to Latin America’s growing population. Also, the launch of 3G and mobile broadband services has increased demand for mobile subscriptions. Mobile broadband is particularly desirable in areas with no or limited access to cable internet services.

The top mobile countries in Latin America

Country Population in 2009
(in millions)
GDP per capita
in 2008(US $)
Mobile
subscriptions in 2009
Mobile subscriptions
per 100 population
Ratio of mobile to
fixed telephone lines
Broadband subscriptions
per 100 population
Brazil 194 8,208 173,959 90% 4.2 : 1 8%
Mexico 110 10,023 83,528 76% 4.3 : 1 9%
Colombia 46 5,415 42,160 92% 5.6 : 1 5%
Argentina 40 8,280 51,891 129% 5.3 : 1 9%
Peru 29 4,424 24,700 85% 8.3 : 1 3%
Venezuela 29 11,386 28,124 98% 4.1 : 1 7%
Chile 17 10,091 16,450 97% 4.6 : 1 10%
USA 315 45,769 298,404 95% 1.9 : 1 27%
UK 61.57 43,321 80,376 130% 2.4 : 1 30%

Source: IYU ICT Statistics Database

Looking ahead, the predictions also seem very positive:

Social network  and auction sites (i.e. Ebay) usage via mobile rises everyday with more people buying smarphones. Currently, in Brazil, 10 percent of mobile phones owned are smarthphones, which is quite high according to Nielsen data report.

Latin Americans love to text – about 200 billion mobile messages were sent in 2009. 

By 2020, the largest mobile markets in Latin America will be Brazil, with 259.0 million subscriptions, Mexico with 135.4 million and Colombia with 61.1 million

Despite the strong growth potential, reflecting reviving economic growth, improving income levels and deals targeted to attract low-income consumers, campaigns using this media channel are very low.