Continuing Research: WhatsApp, cell phone connectivity, Colombia

We decided to do some early inquiries into Colombia - their rates of internet connectivity, their use of WhatsApp, and their general education levels.  We were initially interested in Colombia because it's Daniella's home country, and we were encouraged after what our initial investigations revealed.

Cell phone usage and connectivity in Colombia:

"The country is the third-largest smartphone market in the region, with 16.7 million users of the advanced mobile device in 2015."

"The number of smartphone users will rise to 24.3 million in Colombia in 2019, bringing the penetration rate of such devices up to 69.7% of all mobile phone users that year." - source

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"Beginning in 2010, Colombia’s Ministry of Information and Communication Technology’s Live Digital Plan (Vive Digital) has raised the country’s online connectivity from 2.2 million to 8.8 million, with the goal of increasing that number three-fold in the next four years." 

"The Colombian government plans to have 27 million people connected to the Internet by 2018, a figure representing 63% of the population, Colombia’s Semana news magazine reported." 

"The program estimates that 80 out of every 100 Colombians access the Internet in some way, a figure that the program hopes to increase by 10% by 2018."  - source

WhatsApp usage in Colombia:

"WhatsApp has gained a significant lead over competitors in the instant messaging category. Fully 88% of IM smartphone users mentioned the platform, acquired by Facebook in 2014. Cross-referencing CIU estimates, that works out to at least 24.4 million WhatsApp users in Colombia in 2014."

“When we connect, for example, a rural school to Internet, when we connect a small school in the middle of the jungle to Internet, those kids in the middle of nowhere have effectively the same opportunity to access the whole of information society — just like any kid in New York, London or Paris.”

"There is; however, at least one major drawback with providing Internet access to poor and rural areas, and that is online access requires electricity and many rural parts of Colombia don’t have it." - source


A map to suggest where we might best focus our efforts: