Mobile Ecosystem Adds $40 Billion in Value to Mexico Economy, Finds New GSMA Study

Mobile Powering Wave of Innovation and Digital Investment in Mexico, Driving Economic Growth and Productivity

Cancun, Mexico: The mobile industry in Mexico generated $40 billion in value-added terms last year, accounting for almost 3.5 per cent of the country’s GDP, according to a new GSMA report. ‘Country Overview: Mexico – Mobile Driving Growth, Innovation and Opportunity’, authored by GSMA Intelligence, was published today at the Congreso Latinoamericano de Telecomunicaciones 2016 (CLT16), being held 20-23 June 2016 in Cancun, Mexico.

The study finds that recent market reforms in Mexico have served to increase mobile affordability, competition and investment. This has resulted in rising subscriber penetration levels and accelerated uptake of advanced mobile services and smartphones.

GSMA Intelligence forecasts that the total contribution of the mobile sector to the Mexico economy will increase from $40 billion in 2015 (3.5 per cent of GDP) to $52 billion by 2020, representing 3.8 per cent of projected GDP by this point. This GDP impact includes both direct and indirect contributions, and the productivity gains made possible by mobile technology and services. Approximately 335,000 jobs were supported by Mexico’s mobile industry last year, including 170,000 directly by the mobile ecosystem and approximately 165,000 indirectly in other sectors of the economy.

“Mexico’s mobile ecosystem has expanded rapidly over recent years, helping to create an environment of investment and innovation,” said Sebastian Cabello, Head of Latin America at the GSMA. “Mobile drives significant improvements in productivity and efficiency for workers and firms, providing faster and easier access to information, saving money and time, and facilitating the increased digitisation of businesses across many sectors of the Mexican economy.”

Rapid Subscriber Growth and 4G Momentum Out to 2020
Mexico is the second-largest mobile market in Latin America after Brazil. There were 88 million unique mobile subscribers1 in Mexico at the end of 2015, representing 69 per cent of the population. There were 104 million total mobile connections2 in Mexico by this point – with smartphones accounting for half of connections. Smartphones are forecast to account for 70 per cent of the 129 million connections expected by 2020.

Mexico’s mobile operators are expected to invest $11 billion between 2016 and 2020, focusing particularly on building-out 4G network coverage. It is forecast that national 4G coverage (as a percentage of the population) will rise from 52 per cent in 2015 to 85 per cent by 2020.

Mobile Driving Mexico’s Start-Up and M2M Sectors
Mexico is considered to have one of the most dynamic start-up scenes in Latin America, attracting a high share of risk capital relative to its regional peers. The report highlights that in the last two years, Mexico received more than $1.7 billion in venture capital (VC) funding, the second-highest investment in Latin America (behind Brazil) and representing about a third of all VC funding in the region. Mobile is considered the key technology in helping Mexico realise its innovation potential, supporting the development of entrepreneurs and start-ups. Almost 70 per cent of VC investment in Mexico over the last two years concerned deals in the internet and mobile sectors.

Mexico’s mobile operators are increasingly becoming involved in emerging areas such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and machine-to-machine (M2M), digital commerce, mobile security and all-IP communications. M2M technology is being introduced into several sectors, for example in smart meters, digital signage, telecare, remote monitoring, mobile payments and connected cars. The number of cellular M2M connections in Mexico is forecast to more than triple over the next five years, increasing from 4 million in 2015 to 13 million by 2020.

The new report, Country Overview: Mexico – Mobile Driving Growth, Innovation and Opportunity, can be downloaded at the following links in English and Spanish language versions.





About the GSMA
The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, uniting nearly 800 operators with almost 300 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and internet companies, as well as organisations in adjacent industry sectors. The GSMA also produces industry-leading events such as Mobile World Congress, Mobile World Congress Shanghai and the Mobile 360 Series conferences. 

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1 A unique mobile subscriber represents an individual that can account for multiple mobile connections (SIM cards).

2 A mobile connection refers to an active SIM card registered with a mobile network, excluding M2M connections.