LIVE FROM GSMA MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS AMERICAS 2018: The boom in mobile video consumption is opening up new opportunities for local content creation and distribution in Latin America, a new report from the GSMA revealed.

“As mobile takes the lead in video viewing, convergence between telecommunications and other media intensifies. The emergence of quadplay services in Latin America has opened the door to new services based around content and it’s also spurring new forms of collaboration among mobile operators, media groups, OTTs and film studios,” said Sebastian Cabello, head of Latin America at GSMA.

“Consumers’ appetite for mobile entertainment is not only a game changer for mobile operators and media corporations, it also encourages the participation of entirely new players that can help develop local ecosystems.”

Driving this change is the huge growth in smartphone sales and superfast networks in the region. Smartphones now account for 65 per cent of Latin America’s 717 million mobile connections, up from 23 per cent five years ago. More than a third of connections (35 per cent) are running on 4G.

GSMA Intelligence data shows mobile operators in Latin America are currently investing more than $15 billion a year (capex) in building out new networks, mainly 4.5G. By 2025, it is forecast 4G will account for 64 per cent of connections. By that point, commercial 5G networks will have been launched and will account for about 8 per cent of the regional total.

The GSMA’s new report claims disruptive local content projects promote the emergence of brand new value chains, the creation of jobs and the advent of inventive revenue streams. And opportunities are not limited to traditional media: virtual, mixed and augmented reality, for example, provide a great platform for mobile-powered innovation.