Latam overtakes Europe in mobile connections

Latam overtakes Europe in mobile connections

The Latin American telecoms market has overtaken Europe as the second largest mobile market globally after 15 million subscribers were added to the continent’s subscriber base in Q2 2010.

Data published by research company Wireless Intelligence shows mobile connections in Latin America reached a total of 530 million during this period, while connections in Europe declined from 520 million to 515 million.

“In recent quarters, Latin American mobile operators have increased their marketing and technological investments, which have had a positive impact on connections growth,” said Joss Gillet, senior analyst at Wireless Intelligence.

A decline in handset prices, the growth of real per capita incomes in the region and the recognised economic and social benefits of owning a mobile phone has driven the growth in Latin America.

“Emerging markets like Latin America, Africa, Middle East and parts of Asia will continue to grow rapidly in spending and that will sustain the trend for telecoms to grow faster than GDP,” said Wally Swain, SVP, emerging markets at Yankee Group. “There are theoretical limits to this trend, but we won’t see them for a while.”

Wireless Intelligence anticipates Brazil will be the first country in Latin America to reach 100% penetration by Q4 2010 and predicts that the continent as a whole will exceed 100% penetration by 2012.

“Well-funded operators like America Movil, Telefonica and significant local and regional operators like Millicom, Entel Chile and Oi have fuelled such trends and growth through vigorous competition,” added Swain.

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