Broadband Internet Access Improvements in Colombia

Cisco presented the results of the Cisco Broadband Barometer 2.0, which for the first time changed its way of measuring broadband. The barometer now classifies fixed connections as 1.0 if they are under 2 megabytes per second and as 2.0 if they are faster.

This edition, which presents the results from January through June 2012, highlights the fact that Colombia reached a total of 4.72 million connections, 3.4 million corresponding to fixed connections and 1.2 million to mobile ones, made through a modem.

According to the barometer, commissioned by Cisco to IDC and compiled from information supplied directly by the operators, fixed connections grew 3.34 percent according to the registration of December 2011, 2.0 connections having a higher increase: 4.47 percent. In total, the number of fixed connections of 2 Mbps or higher was 1.66 million, very close to the 1.8 million that still connect via lower speeds.

“This is a very good piece of news for the country, as it indicates that we are advancing not only in coverage but also in the broadband quality. Having higher speeds allows us to access better services like high-definition content or videoconferences. In addition, it gives us the possibility to make advancements like video security, telemedicine or tele-education even more popular,” explains Simbad Ceballos, general manager, Cisco Colombia.

In the meantime, 3G mobile connections grew 3.7 percent, exceeding the 1.2 million of June 2012. Even though Colombia was one of the first in Latin America with 4G service, it was not registered at the time the study was made.

"We are doing very well in meeting the goals of the Plan Vive Digital. When we started this administration we had 2.2 million Internet connections and we are already over 6 million connections. This year we hope to grow a million connections more, thanks to subsidies provided by the government to connect the country and the natural growth of the market," said Diego Molano Vega, Colombia Minister of ICT.

Reasons for broadband growth in Columbia

Apart from the figures, the Cisco Barometer identifies factors that contributed and continue to contribute to the growth of broadband and the technology market in general. One of these aspects is the technical and commercial effort made by the service providers to offer attractive packages for users. These packages include TV services, fixed and mobile telephony, and voice and mobile data.

In addition, the Colombian government is making an effort to increase the number of geographical points connected to the network through fiber optic, which allows more users to be connected. For some social strata, the government is also subsidizing part of the cost of connections, which brings users and broadband closer.

“It is important to highlight the effort made by the government and some vendors to bring the devices to users. Some vendors finance the sale of equipment like PCs, while the government is giving computers and connectivity to rural schools and other public places,” said Ceballos.

As for the advancement of mobile internet connections, the Cisco Barometer highlights that even if more than 36 mobile connections per 100 fixed ones exist in Colombia, the network modernization and the arrival of 4G open the door to a major increase in the offer of services, which will contribute to the growth not only of connections but also of the quality of services.

Internet connection projections for 2016

It is forecast that by 2016 Colombia will exceed 8.5 million connections, both fixed and mobile. Within that total, mobile connections will represent 25.6 percent, while fixed 2.0 broadband connections will reach 70 percent.

It is also foreseen that there will be 750 newly connected municipalities and that the competition in prices and quality of services will increase along with national and international coverage, which will bring significant benefits to a larger population.

Due to the evolution in the consumption of applications, the growing offers of service providers, and technological advances, the Cisco Barometer updated its definition of “broadband.” The study is now focused mainly on connections faster than 2 Mbps, which allow most typical activities, such as video calls, social networking and video streaming, to be performed efficiently and productively.

About the Cisco Broadband Barometer

The Cisco Broadband Barometer 2.0 is a Cisco campaign to position the importance of broadband for the development of the countries of the Latin American region and to advocate for the proper infrastructure.

Cisco Broadband Barometer 2.0 Brazil

Cisco Broadband Barometer 2.0 Chile

Cisco Broadband Barometer 2.0 Argentina

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