Press Release

Mobile broadband network coverage reaches 96% of Latin America's population

Bnamericas Published: Tuesday, November 29, 2022

GSMA press release

This is a machine translation of the original release issued in Spanish

November 29, 2022, Mexico City: Thanks to a coverage footprint that reaches 96% of the regional population, mobile internet users in Latin America passed 380 million by the end of 2021, a penetration of 60%. This is revealed by "The Mobile Economy in Latin America 2022", the annual report of the GSMA presented today at the opening of Mobile 360 Latin America in Mexico City. The study highlights that while operators continue to invest to extend 4G and deploy 5G, the great challenge for industry and governments is how to connect the 230 million people (36% of the population) who face barriers unrelated to coverage. of networks.

"Solving the usage gap is crucial to achieving true digital inclusion. Today the majority of Latin Americans who cannot enjoy the opportunities and benefits of mobile internet face obstacles that can only be resolved through close collaboration between the public and private sectors”, says Lucas Gallitto, Director for Latin America, GSMA . Those obstacles include affordability, lack of digital skills, and safety and security concerns. This last barrier is particularly relevant in Latin America: in Mexico and Guatemala, for example, more than 70% of mobile device owners who do not use the Internet raised concerns of this type.

Present and digital future of Latin America

The GSMA report reveals that, in 2021, mobile technologies and services generated 7.4% of Latin America's GDP, a contribution that amounted to more than USD 345 billion of economic value added. The mobile ecosystem also generated more than 1.6 million jobs directly and indirectly. By 2025, the economic contribution of the mobile ecosystem is expected to increase by around USD 20 billion, driven by the peak of 4G adoption and the nascent takeoff of 5G.

4G technology reached almost 60% adoption by the end of 2021 and will scale to 70% by 2025. 5G has already started to make its way and is expected to reach 11% adoption by 2025. In this first phase, wireless access fixed (FWA 5G) was the main use case in markets such as Brazil, Colombia and Peru. Thinking about the evolution of 5G, operators and equipment providers are betting on the co-creation of solutions by investing in specialized laboratories. Private networks for verticals represent one of the most promising applications, with tests already deployed in factories (Brazil), mines (Chile) and ports (Mexico). Collaborations between various players in the ecosystem have also appeared in the emerging field of the metaverse. 

Closing the gaps and capitalizing on the transformative potential of 5G requires public policies tailored to the digital future. The report points out the importance of the region advancing in regulatory modernization processes and promoting coordinated dialogue among all stakeholders in the digital ecosystem, public and private. It also highlights the importance of promoting spectrum policies that prioritize inclusion and innovation over the revenue vision.

The report "The Mobile Economy in Latin America 2022" was presented today in the return to the face-to-face format of Mobile 360 Latin America . The GSMA event takes place at the Hilton Reforma, Mexico City, in partnership with the Latin American Congress of Digital Transformation (CLTD) . Throughout today and tomorrow, there will be sessions on 5G, Open Ran, Cloud, Fintech, spectrum, the digital divide, and more. Registration is still open and free at:

The report “The Mobile Economy in Latin America 2022” is available to download in Spanish and English here.


About the GSMA

The GSMA is a global organization that unites the mobile ecosystem to discover, develop and deliver innovation essential for positive business environments and social change. Our vision is to unleash the full power of connectivity so that people, industry and society thrive. As the representative of mobile operators and organizations from across the mobile ecosystem and adjacent industries, the GSMA contributes to its members under three main pillars: Connectivity for Good, Industry Services & Solutions, and Outreach & Outreach. This activity includes advancing public policy, tackling today's biggest societal challenges, underpinning the technology and interoperability that makes mobile connectivity work, and providing the world's largest platform that brings together the mobile ecosystem at the MWC event series and M360.

We invite you to learn more at

GSMA Latin America is the arm of the GSMA in the region. For more information in English, Spanish and Portuguese, visit . Follow GSMA Latin America on Twitter @GSMALatam and Linkedin GSMA Latin America .

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