Any casual observer in El Salvador will notice that cell phone use is booming throughout the country. The result is access to communications for many persons and families who did not have such access only four or five years ago. The most recent statistics (through first half of 2006):
Here is a description of El Salvador's market from one telecommunications consulting firm:Total land lines: 985 thousand
Total mobile lines: 3.12 million
Prepaid mobile phones as % of total: 85%
El Salvador: The country's telecom market is among the most open in Central America. The government's liberal approach has allowed new technologies to flourish. Fixed-line teledensity, however, remains low. Despite growing steadily, phone lines, mainly in rural areas, are insufficient to meet local demand. Mobile telcos have capitalised on the underdeveloped fixed-line network by emphasising their ability to offer a fast, high-quality service with nationwide coverage. At more than 42%, El Salvador's mobile penetration is lower than the Latin American average, but is remarkably high considering the country's low GDP per capita. The mobile market is served by five competing operators, and there are about three times as many mobile phones as fixed lines in service. With a budding VoIP market, and cable TV telcos permitted to provide telephony and Internet, El Salvador is a promising country for convergence strategies. Two operators already offer triple play services.
Budde Communications Latin America Telecommunications Reports