What? Last July, the number of registered mobile SIMs in Brazil topped 267 million, that is, up to 0.4% (1.26 million) month-on-month.
Why it matters: Latin American countries need to narrow the digital gap and pursue a more focused development of mobile content that comprises not only entertainment, but also education, financial services and health. This will be achieved through solid private-sector investments.
A year ago, Eduardo Henrique contributed a guest post for Forbes, where he brought up the fact that Latin American countries, with Brazil as a spear head, where emerging as “the next major opportunity in mobile, with 620 million mobile users in all of Latin America, and Brazil singlehandedly contributing 256 million mobile users to the region.”
Today, those numbers are higher. As Telegeography puts it, “the total number of registered mobile SIMs in Brazil reached 267 million at end-July, up to 0.4% (1.26 million) month-on-month.” In fact, “the country had a higher pace of growth compared to the previous month, adding 215,300 net new users in June (a 0.07% rise compared to May), with Vivo and TIM Participações each gaining market share”.
Latin America is the world’s third largest mobile market, behind the Asia-Pacific and Africa regions. According to GSMA Intelligence, “smartphone penetration is growing rapidly across the region. In Brazil, market-leader Vivo (the local unit of Spain’s Telefonica) noted that smartphones accounted for 78% of contract net additions in Q3, that is, up from 55% a year later. Smartphone penetration at rival TIM Brasil doubled year-on-year to reach 39% of the total base over the same period.”
Vivo closed out July with 28.69% of the market, up from 28.67% the previous month, while Telecom Italia’s TIM Brasil controlled 27.22%, up from 27.17%, says Telegeography.
During the Latin American Summit at this year’s Mobile World Conference, Sebastián Cabello, director of GSMA Latin America, stated that “the expansion of the mobile industry has to do with the region’s economic growth”. In that same event, Bernardo da Silva, Brazilian Minister of Communications, said that “telecommunications should play an important role in economic growth and mobile technologies are fundamental to increasing Internet access across the population.”