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Peru to see highest internet user growth in Latam

Staff writer |
Peru is home to the fifth-biggest internet user market in Latin America, with 16 million consumers of all ages expected to use the internet in 2015.

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This is a 10.4% year-over-year increase, eMarketer estimates. The country will boast the fifth-fastest internet user growth worldwide this year, trailing India, the Philippines, Indonesia and South Africa.

Peru will continue to see the highest internet user gains in Latin America through 2017. This heated expansion, however, comes from a low base relative to its population. By our estimates, internet user penetration in Peru will stand at 52.6% this year, the lowest among the six individual countries for which we produce internet user forecasts in the region.

When broken down by access type, the picture is not particularly bright either. Fixed broadband subscriptions will total just 1.9 million in Peru this year, up from 1.7 million in 2014, eMarketer estimates, and penetration will reach just 6.2% of the country’s population in 2015—well below the 11.5% average for Latin America.

Similar to markets like Colombia and Mexico, fixed broadband subscriptions will likely be ditched in favor of nimble mobile broadband networks, especially in a country with the mountainous geography of Peru. But for now, mobile phone uptake - both feature and smartphones - is also lagging by regional standards.

eMarketer predicts there will be 18.5 million mobile phone users in Peru in 2015, or 60.7% of the population. Even Mexico, the other notorious mobile laggard in Latin America, will reach a higher mobile phone user penetration rate this year, at 67.2%.

eMarketer expects 6.2 million people of any age in Peru to use a smartphone at least once per month this year. Though it currently trails Chile (home to a smaller population) by that metric, the sheer size of Peru’s population will help lift the country to a more adequate fifth place in Latin America by 2019, the last year of our forecast period, with 10.1 million smartphone users that year, vs. 9.8 million in Chile.

Argentina and Colombia, both with populations roughly one-third larger than Peru’s, will have much bigger smartphone user bases of 20.9 million and 24.3 million, respectively, in 2019.


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