The Colombian government announced on Monday that the number of cell phones in Colombia exceeds the number of total, local media reported.
The Ministry of Information Technology and Communications (MinTIC) announced that 51,594,619 cell phones are now in use across Colombia, a country that counts with an estimated population of 47,642,821, an ownership rate of 108.29%, according to a report from Colombia’s Caracol Radio on Monday.
The MinTIC also attributed the 2.58% rise in ownership over the last quarter to new competition in the Colombian market, adding to those statements the most popular cell phone carriers among Colombians, according to the Bucaramanga-based newspaper Vanguardia Liberal.
|Proportion of market control by company|
1. COMCEL/Claro 56.61%
2. Movistar 23.97%
3. Tigo 15.42
4. Virgin Mobile 1.66
5. Other operators 1.54
6. UFF 0.79%
Also expected to increase this statistic, are recent reforms by the MinTIC making it easier for Colombians with contracts more freedom to switch phone contracts.
These reforms mean that customers already using cellphone contracts can pay a fee to switch carrier or upgrade their phone. In addition it will now be possible to purchase a phone and apply for contract separately, with a contract that will remove the cellular device costs from monthly bills.
The high rate of cell phone ownership is accompanied by cell phone theft, a major problem in the South American country, leading the government to impose laws aimed at preventing the use of stolen cell phones, in addition to increasing cooperation with neighboring countries to halt the trade of stolen phones.
- Colombia tiene más celulares que habitantes (Caracol Radio)
- En Colombia los celulares superaron a los habitantes (Vanguardia Liberal)