Mobile internet connections are the norm in Mexico
As mobile phone usage has increased in Mexico, a June 2016 GSMA report notes that mobile internet subscriptions have quickly begun to overtake voice-only connections.
In 2000, the vast majority of Mexicans had no mobile phone subscription. In 2005, again, two thirds were not subscribers. By 2010, however, the majority of the population had resumed mobile and the bulk of subscribers had voice-only connections.
Fast forward to last year, however, and the reverse was true. Only 22% of the population had a voice-only subscription in 2015, about half the share in 2010. Meanwhile, 47% had mobile internet subscriptions, including a third of the population with a 3G or 4G mobile internet connection .
By 2020, the GSMA predicts that nearly two-thirds will be connected via 3G or 4G, with just 13% relegated to voice-only subscriptions.
eMarketer estimates that in the same year, 2020, nearly 72% of the total population of Mexico will use mobile phones, and among this group, 84.5% will use the Internet through a mobile phone at least once a month.
eMarketer’s April 2016 estimate projects a total of over 84 million mobile phone users in 2016, currently 69% of the total population. But the growth itself will be steady and slow. What will change faster is the type of technology that mobile phone users will use.
Smartphone use, in particular, is on the rise: eMarketer estimates that 52.4% of mobile phone users in Mexico use smartphones, up from 39% in 2014. By next year, nearly 60% of mobile phone users will be smartphone users, and by 2020, almost 70%.
For marketers looking to reach consumers in the country, mobile is essential. Even those without data plans sometimes use mobile internet: 32% of those who reported to the Instituto Federal de Telecomunicaciones (IFT), the Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (INEGI) and the Secretaría de Comuniaciones y Transportes (SCT) that they access the Internet through their mobile phone do so via Wi-Fi only.