Mobile Phones Rule in Honduras

Mobile penetration in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) is over 94% and well above the world average of 76%. However, the vast majority of mobile subscribers in the LAC region are prepaid.

In South and Central America, 11 countries have passed the 100% penetration milestone: Panama, Uruguay, Suriname, Argentina, Chile, El Salvador, Ecuador, Honduras, Guyana, Venezuela, and Brazil. In the Caribbean, most of the small island nations are above the 100% mark and some are over 200%. The highest rate has been registered in Turks & Caicos, which has a baffling penetration of 453%. In these countries, however, subscription numbers are sometimes pumped up by tourists or migrant workers who are not counted as part of the population.

The success of mobile telephony in Latin America is due in large part to the inadequacy of the basic telephone infrastructure. Also, natural factors have contributed to wireless popularity in a continent where mountainous terrain and remote rural areas make the laying of cable uneconomical, and where hurricanes and earthquakes have caused major destruction to fixed-line networks.

Mobile penetration in Latin America surpassed fixed-line penetration in 2001. By end-2005, cellular subscribers had overtaken their fixed-line counterparts in every Latin American country except Cuba. Paraguay leads the trend, with about fifteen mobile phones for every fixed line in service.

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