4G rockets 8,200% in Chile, but 3G remains on top

DetailsJuan Fernandez Gonzalez | 17 June 2015

With nearly eight in ten accesses to the Internet being mobile, Chile has seen a powerful surge of mobile subscribers, reaching 10.3 million accesses through smartphones and nearly one million through LTE networks.

From being almost non-existent a year ago, 4G mobile networks now account for 815,000 subscribers, an 8,200% increase from last year, according to figures from Chile's telecom authority Subtel. Between 3G and 4G, 64.2% of Chileans are covered by mobile Internet, which actually represents nearly 78% of all Internet connections in the country. Looking only at mobile users, 92.8% of these connected to the Internet through their smartphones.

The figures, which also point to increasing opportunities for mobile broadcasters and online video players, were announced by the Minister of Telecommunications, Andrés Gómez-Lobo. "We're developing different initiatives which enable society to access information, and these figures indicate that we're on the right path," said Gómez-Lobo.

3G and 4G services are currently offered by five companies in Chile: Movistar, Claro and Entel - which control over 95% of the market - as well as GTD Móvil and Virgin, who are newcomers but growing fast.

The numbers presented by Subtel also point to a growing pay-TV industry, which reached 52.4% penetration by March 2015, led by VTR with a near 35% market share. "Satellite accesses continue to surpass cable and currently account for 51.6% of subs," added the telecoms sub-secretary, Pedro Huichalaf.