Internet service subscriptions in Venezuela grew 25.3% year-over-year reaching a total of 2.74mn at the end of the first quarter of 2011, according to preliminary figures from Venezuelan telecoms regulator Conatel.
Broadband hit 2.48mn subscribers at end-1Q11, up 24.2% from one year before. This growth was driven largely by the increase in mobile broadband subscribers, representing 34.9% of the total broadband base. The number of dial-up subscribers expanded 36.9% during the period to 253,555 subscribers.
According to statistics, there were a total of 10.4mn internet users in Venezuela at the end of 1Q11, representing a penetration rate of 36 for every 100 inhabitants.
There were 7.17mn local fixed telephony users at end-1Q11, growing 3.9% compared to end- 1Q10. Penetration for this service was estimated at 25%.
Of the fixed lines, 86.3% were residential. Local traffic saw 3.7mn voice minutes used during the time period.
Mobile telephony service ended the quarter with 27.2mn subscribers, down 3.1% as explained by the purging of customers which is done by operators at the beginning of each year. For the quarter penetration rates were estimated at 94 subscribers per 100 people.
During the quarter, mobile users sent 21,059 text messages and used 8.18mn minutes in voice calls. Prepaid customers represented 92.7% of customers in 1Q11.
The overall telecoms sector grew 33.8% year-over-year in 1Q11, moving a total of 8.8bn bolívares (US$1.27bn) in revenues during the period. Additionally, 1.01bn bolívares in investments were carried out in 1Q11, growing 16% compared to 1Q10.