BOGOTA, Colombia, May 12, 2011 Cisco announced today the results of a new edition of the Cisco Broadband Barometer in Colombia, reporting a growth of 20.8 percent in the number of fixed broadband Internet connections in Colombia during 2010, and an increase of 59.21 percent in mobile connections during the same period.
According to the study, sponsored by Cisco and conducted by the independent firm IDC, 446,118 new fixed broadband subscriptions were added last year (contracts for residential and enterprise connections with speeds higher than 256 kilobits per second) as well as 591,488 mobile Internet subscriptions (from the operators of mobile telephony). According to the information reported by the operators and registered by the Barometer, there are in total 4.18 million broadband subscriptions in the country.
With the new subscriptions, the broadband penetration in Colombia is 5.68 connections per 100 inhabitants. This percentage of penetration is still very much lower than in countries like Brazil (7.11 percent), Chile (10.78 percent), Argentina (11.71 percent) and Uruguay (12.32 percent). However, Colombia is at a higher penetration level than countries like Peru (3.47 percent) and Venezuela (5.57 percent).
Policies, prices and applications: The triggers
The growth in technological infrastructure, the reduction of Internet plan prices and the boom of social networks are some of the factors that contributed to the rise in the number of registered subscribers.
According to the study, the government's efforts to improve the technological infrastructure made by the Ministry of Information and Communication Technologies (MinTIC), increased Internet connectivity in various areas and reduced the technological gap in remote regions and in important cities.
In addition, social networks have been an important accelerator of the Internet market in Colombia. New devices such as smartphones and tablets, as well as portable computers, which are experiencing exponential growth, have also captured new markets.
"It is important to highlight how, due to the initiatives of the MinTIC and the Communication Regulations Commission, we can see an increase in contracts with speeds higher than 1 megabit per second. Also, providers are making an effort to cover both metropolitan and rural areas with Internet connections, and the goal is to increase the use in remote regions with applications that the government is implementing," said Simbad Ceballos, general manager, Cisco Colombia.
The Cisco Barometer noted that broadband penetration still needs to be accelerated in Colombia, with the aim of reducing the gaps that still exist and using the Internet and technology in general to propel the social and economic development of the country.
"Accelerating broadband penetration is a country goal that must involve efforts of both the public and private sectors. Colombia has kept a constant growth in the number of broadband connections. However, it is important that we maintain a five-year goal of reaching a competitive penetration on a global level. Improving the quality of connections and providing access to the rural areas of Colombia are also priorities," Ceballos said.
- Less than half of fixed broadband connections (38 percent) are concentrated in Bogota, 61 percent are in the rest of the country. The broadband penetration in Bogota was 13.4 percent; in the rest of the country, it was 4.2 percent.
- As for fixed connections, 38 percent have speeds of 512 Kbps, and 52 percent have speeds higher than 1 megabit per second. As it was forecast in the previous study, connections of 1 Mbps increased considerably (37 percent to 52 percent) as a consequence of the CRT regulation establishing minimum broadband connections of 1 Mbps.
- On average, between 2009 and 2010 the prices that Colombians paid for high-speed Internet were reduced between 30 and 40 percent.
- The fixed broadband market in Colombia showed a considerable reduction in the price of the minimum-speed DSL connections, going from 50.500 pesos in December 2009 to 30.400 pesos in December 2010. Connections with a maximum speed of 4 Mpbs also decreased in price, going from 162.00 pesos to 95.600 pesos per month.
- Fixed connections like cable modem reduced their prices for the minimum speed of 1 Mpbs, from 72.000 pesos to 59.000 pesos per month while the price for maximum speed of 4 Mpbs rose from 115.000 pesos to 119.250 pesos.
- As of December 2010 mobile subscriptions reached a total of 1,592,888. Almost half (49 percent) of mobile broadband connections are concentrated in Bogotá, with the rest (51 percent) elsewhere in the country.
About the Cisco Broadband Barometer
Cisco Broadband Barometer is an initiative to promote and encourage the accelerated growth of Broadband connections in Latin America. It sets goals regarding the number of connections, establishes a periodical measurement of progress, publishes these results, and develops strategies with service providers and governments.
Currently, the Cisco Barometer measures broadband growth in Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Peru and Uruguay. The Barometer has been supported in each case by the national government.