Nearshore Americas

Mexico’s Broadband Penetration Rate Lags Behind Other OECD Countries

Mexico is behind most of the OECD countries in terms of broadband infrastructure, with the North American country having just 11 Internet connections for every 100 inhabitants, according to the latest assessment by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The only country in the OECD with a worse broadband penetration rate is Turkey. In Latin America, Chile has better user penetration than Mexico, although Mexico’s telecommunications market is the second-largest in the region.

The mobile saturation rate in Mexico was approximately 87% in 2014, whereas in Brazil it was approximately 134%. This means Mexico still has a large unexplored broadband market.

According to the OECD, fiber cables account for 3.8% of broadband connections in Chile and the speed at which fiber connections are growing int he South American country is much quicker than in most other OECD nations. In Mexico, fiber cables account for just 1.2%, with the number of connections growing at 36%.

In the mobile broadband segment, Mexico appears to be faring a bit better with 39.9% penetration, although Chile is once again one position higher, with 42.9% penetration. However, the OECD average for mobile broadband is 78.23%, twice the rate in Mexico.

In both countries, smartphones and tablets have been the key drivers of mobile broadband penetration.

Analysts believe that Mexico will claim a higher position in the OECD’s ranking next year because there has been a fundamental shift in Mexico’s telecom market over the past few months, with the decreasing dominance of America Movil and the expansion of AT&T likely to transform the market.

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There is already some evidence of this: according to a statement made by the Mexican telecom regulator this week, cell phone prices in the country have fallen by about 20% in the past two years.

Narayan Ammachchi

News Editor for Nearshore Americas, Narayan Ammachchi is a career journalist with a decade of experience in politics and international business. He works out of his base in the Indian Silicon City of Bangalore.

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