Latin America and Middle East see data boom


Mobile data consumption to explode in Latin America and Middle East

The three regions of Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa will be the only ones globally to see a mobile internet service revenue double-digit compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2013 and 2018, stated new research.

This is underpinned by the strong per subscription data consumption in those regions increasing at CAGRs of 45% to 49%, stated ABI Research. In other words, data traffic will on average double in those areas in less than every two years, thanks to the coming increased availability of affordable smart devices.

In 2018, Latin America and the Middle East are expected to see an average user contributing more than 2.5 Gigabytes of traffic per month.

Meanwhile, in Africa a low literacy rate has resulted in low messaging volumes in Africa to date. However, with the fastest mobile subscription growth and over the top applications being less prevalent, it will be the only region to enjoy consistent positive messaging service revenue growth throughout the entire forecast horizon, said ABI.

'Nonetheless, a key determinant of the future consumption pattern will be the regulatory policies in the regions,' said Ying Kang Tan, research associate at ABI Research. 'For instance, the recent implementation of mobile number portability measure in Nigeria and the reduction in mobile termination rate in Honduras and Jamaica will go a long way in shaping the competitive landscape and encourage cellular usage.'

All these rising trends do not necessarily imply increased profitability, Jake Saunders, VP and practice director, added: 'Operators in the regions need to be prepared to respond to new competition policies. For example, a slash in termination rates means consumers have fewer reasons to subscribe to different operators concurrently. The battle to gain market share will be even more intense.'


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