What Latin players present at the Mobile World Congress have to say


The Mobile World Congress  (MWC)  finished last Thursday in Barcelona, Spain, and Portada talked to several executives in the Latin space present at the MWC  on what the latest innovations and trends mean for Latin markets.

Alberto Pardo,CEO of Adsmovil, says that Brazil is the fifth largest advertising market on the planet. “That is why for the first time a major focus of the mobile sector is turning towards Brazil. In part, this is also due to the 2014 Soccer World Cup taking place in Brazil.” Alejandro-Campos-Carles, Founder & Co-CEO of StartMeAPP, agrees that the Soccer World Cup will be an important driver for mobile advertising this year.

Latin America is fully mobile

A woman takes pictures in front of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on February 24, 2013, a day before the start of the 2013 Mobile World Congress. The 2013 Mobile World Congress, the world's biggest mobile fair, is held from February 25 to February 28 in Barcelona.  AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENELatin America is one of the regions with the highest percentage of mobile penetration, reaching almost 100%. In some Latin American countries such as Argentina, the penetration rate exceeds 100% because users have more than one mobile phone. In Mexico for instance, IDC consulting group estimates that the market of online Smart Devices this year will grow by 46% reach 30 million devices with connectivity services and access to internet. All experts in the field agree that featured phones are slowly being replaced and this situation helps a continued growth in the market. In Mexico, 6 out of 10 users navigate through their phones and 84% of people over 13 own a cell, according to IAB.

mwc.wearableGaston Bercun, Founder & Co –CEO of Hunt Mobile Ads, which recently was acquired by Opera Networks, says that the MWC reflects , without a doubt, the growth of mobile in the World. The U.S. Hispanic market and Latin America will not be an exception. Alejandro Campos, from StartMeApp, told Portada that at the MWC he noticed “a greater and growing perception of Latam as an emerging market due to the increasing amount of smartphones and tablet penetration.”

Alberto Pardo from Adsmovil says that “while no Latin America country is among the top 10 smartphones users, we see Brazil and Mexico as two major powers. Brazil, for example, is already in the top 5 of apps global downloads like Angry Birds, Cut the rope or Draw Something.” “Latin America is blooming, we have a mobile penetration rate of nearly 100% and a low computers penetration, which means that people will browse on their phones,” Pardo concludes.

wmc.huawei-ascendAndrés Arias, SVP Products & Operations at Adsmovil, notes that many low-cost smartphones offerings were present at the MWC, including Firefox’s launch of the US $25 smart phone and an enormous amount of Asian low-cost providers offered their products. This trend will increase and skyrocket penetration and internet connectivity via mobile phones in lower-income parts of the U.S. Hispanic market and, to a larger extent, in Latin American.

Increasing mobile advertising

mwc.samsungs5eMarketer published the mobile advertising investment expectations per region in 2012. An investment of US $259 million in mobile advertising was projected for the Latin America region, by 2014. In regard to this, Campos Carles says that ” eMarketer anticipated metrics for the region, are becoming real and we see a clear upward trend in terms of investment for RTB in Latam by bidders as: global networks , brokers, brands and agencies. ”