Why Mobile And Cloud Have Been So Embraced In Mexico
Mobile and cloud computing have changed the way we live our lives. There’s no doubt about that. It’s true all around the world. From Toronto to Taipei, from Michigan to Mexico City, the smartphone has become ubiquitous.
According to the United Kingdom government, over a billion people in the world own a mobile phone but do not have a bank account. In African and middle eastern countries, cellphones are giving people secure access to banking that they didn’t otherwise have. Additionally, there are a number of programs underway to bring healthcare to underserved communities using cellphones. Programs like mHealth and SMS for Life are making great advances, while cell phones are allowing field workers in remote communities to connect to centralized medical specialists.
Strengthening Ties Here In Mexico City
Beyond the health and financial benefits, mobile phones bring people together. In a country like Mexico — where I live — that’s a big deal. The importance of family is celebrated in this country more than any other facet of society. Instead of going out drinking with friends on a Friday night, many people opt for dinner with their extended families. For this reason, the mobile revolution has been fully embraced in Mexico City. Everywhere you look, people’s faces are aglow, their thumbs working feverishly.
That’s not hard to imagine though in this metropolis. Mexico City is often an early adopter of technology. Cloud computing, for example, is largely considered the next great computing revolution. It intersects with mobile in myriad ways, increasing efficiency and lowering costs. That second part, especially, means the technology is sweeping through a country where about 25 million Mexicans make less than $14 a day and a quarter of the workforce is underemployed. A 2013 Forbes article points out that cloud adoption could create 63,000 new jobs in Mexico and reduce costs for SMEs. In the years since that article entrepreneurs seem to have taken note. There are a number of startups here championing the cloud as the city and country embrace technological innovation, with many pointing to Guadalajara, Mexico as the next Silicon Valley.
A Steep Ascent
It’s been a relatively quick climb for Mexico. Twenty years ago, one in 10 people had a telephone of any kind. Today, more than 100 million people have cellphones and more than 70 percent are smartphones. That’s out of a population of 125 million. Smartphone penetration catapulted from 17.9 percent in the second quarter of 2014 to 59.8 percent in the third quarter of 2015 – users tripled in just over a year.
There are a number of factors contributing to this. For one, the dominance (nee monopoly) of Carlos Slim’s America Movil has made it necessary for its competitors to get innovative, offering new innovations and packages for basically every price point. This has been bolstered by the fact that millennials make up Mexico’s largest demographic. They’re plugged in, tech-savvy, and have the buying power to get what they want. Meanwhile, Mexico has grown to the world’s 11th largest economy in terms of buying power over the last two decades.
The growth of mobile computing fits in well with Mexican culture, and as the country’s economy grows so does its demand for new technology. Being connected is part of society here, but as engagement becomes more affordable opportunities spread, which is sorely needed in this country. So the people of Mexico are comfortable taking advantage of technology, but they also sorely need it.