3G demand in Latin America will be spurred by growing supply, affordable prices and low Internet penetration, experts say.
BY CHRONICLE STAFF
Third-generation telecommunications - which enables fast transfers of data over wireless devices - has great potential in Latin America, industry experts say. In fact, the region is growing faster than other world regions.
"The perspective looks very positive, as we see subscribers adopting and using 3G at a much faster rate than in other regions of the world," says Armando Almeida, the head of the Latin America region for Finland-based telecom infrastructure provider Nokia Siemens Networks. "We see 3G penetration in Latin America happening much faster than in Europe or other early adopting regions, due mainly to the lower cost of terminals and devices and the potential [mass market distribution] of these."
Specific geographic and infrastructure conditions also have limited the availability of fixed broadband in some areas of these countries, he points out. "If cost and tariffs are attractive it is expected that the ease and availability of wireless broadband could detonate demand and traffic," Almeida says.
LOW INTERNET PENETRATION
Unlike the United States or Europe, Latin America still has relatively low Internet penetration rates thanks to the lower purchasing power. "As in other parts of the world, most Latin Americans will access the Internet for the first time using a mobile broadband device," says Celedonio von Wuthenau, director of Latin America programs at the CDMA Development Group.
And unlike other technologies, 3G is by far the best for Internet surfing on wireless phones thanks to the higher data transfer speeds, which also enable video viewing. Meanwhile, wireless phone operators have increasingly offered devices with larger screens and better keyboards for easier access to Internet and multimedia services.
Keywords: Argentina, ARPU, Brazil, CDMA2000 1xEV-DO, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Ericsson, Mexico, Qualcomm, Uruguay, Venezuela, WCDMA-HSDPA