Mexico's mobile broadband internet subscriber base grows in Q1

Bnamericas Published: Monday, June 30, 2014

Mobile broadband internet connectivity in Mexico grew 44% by the end of the first quarter compared to the same time last year, with 17.4mn devices connected.

This segment is an attractive business for operators as the trend is moving from traditional services, such as voice calling and SMS, to mobile broadband use, strengthened by the ubiquity of smartphones and tablets, telecoms consultancy The Competitive Intelligence Unit (CIU) said in a study.

During 1Q14, mobile data income totaled 19.8bn pesos (US$1.53bn) for Mexico's four operators, or a third of their total income, representing an annual growth of 7%.

Telcel earned 15bn pesos from mobile broadband services, or 77% of the total market share, while Nextel - the smallest operator by subscribers - earned 2bn pesos, or 10% of the market share.

Nextel " has announced a strategy focused on stimulating investments with the objective of improving its network quality, combined with aggressive rate offers and a more diverse smartphone portfolio," the CIU said.

Movistar and Iusacell, the third and fourth largest carriers by subscribers, accounted for 8% and 5% of mobile broadband income, respectively.

The CIU said Movistar users tend to use less data than other carriers' subscribers, but the Spanish firm has simplified its rate plans and expanded network speed, capacity and coverage.

For its part, Iusacell has increased its subscriber base and made major capital investments in infrastructure, the CIU said.

As a whole, voice calls still made up a majority of all operators' mobile services income as of 1Q14, at 52%, while data accounted for 32.6% of their income and smartphone earnings made up 15.3% of the share.

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