Colombian government aims to quadruple mobile internet subscribers

09.09.2014 By: Business News Americas

Colombia's government has set out plans to quadruple the number of mobile internet connections in the next four years, while fixed-line internet connections will increase twofold.

The country's national ICT strategy 2014-18 aims to triple total internet connections from around 8.8mn currently to 27mn in 2018.

Colombia is one of the few Latin American countries where fixed-line internet penetration is higher than mobile internet. However, that is set to change in the coming years due to explosive mobile growth.

Current fixed-line penetration is 11% while mobile internet penetration reaches just 8%, according to a presentation by ICT ministry Mintic.

However, mobile penetration is expected to expand to 30% by 2018, while that figure will reach 20% for fixed-line internet penetration.

The government also outlined plans to install 1,000 free WiFi hotspots in public spaces during the coming four years.

Total fixed-line internet connections reached 4.59mn in Colombia as of the end of Q1, up 14.4% compared to the same point in 2013, according to Mintic statistics.

Meanwhile, 3G and 4G mobile lines grew 63.8% in the 12 months through Q1 to 4.29mn.

These plans fit within Vive Digital, a technology plan which seeks to give Colombia a big technological boost with the massification of Internet and the development of a national digital ecosystem.

The Plan responds to the challenge of the Colombian government to build democratic prosperity thanks to the appropriation and use of technology. Vive Digital bets on the massification of Internet. It is shown that there is a direct correlation between Internet penetration, the appropriation of Information Technology and Communications (ICT), employment generation and poverty reduction. The Vive Digital Plan will bring significant social and economic benefits.