A new national survey shows that Internet connectivity and use of smart phones is mushrooming in Ecuador.
The Survey of Living Conditions 2014 reports that 26% of households had Internet connections at the end of 2014, compared to only 2.5% in 2005. The survey also reported that more than 24% of cell phones in the country are smart phones.
Another report compiled by cell service providers Claro and Movistar early in the year, showed that Cuenca led all cities in Ecuador in Internet connections and smart phones. The report said that 40% of households in the city had Internet connections while 42% of cell phone users had smart phones. It also reported that Cuencanos log more cell phone minutes than residents of other cities. The report said the high numbers are due to higher levels of education and higher average incomes in Cuenca.
The Living Conditions survey, which was commissioned by the Ecuadorian Institute of Statistics and Census (INEC), also shows a boom in the growth of those using social media. The most popular applications are WhatsApp and Facebook, with 8.5 million and 8 million users nationally.
The Living Conditions Survey shows that 41.4% of Ecuadorians over the age of 12 have at least one account with social media networks.
The survey says that 83% of Internet access minutes are through cell phones, with the rest coming through computers and tablets.
José Rivera, a Quito technology consultant, says the rapid growth will continue. “There are still millions of people in Ecuador who don’t have access to the Internet and, as economic conditions improve, many of those will soon be on-line,” he said. He said the addition of 4G network cell service will also spur more growth.