One in four Hispanics use mobiles for internet access, says Mintel

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A quarter of Hispanics in the US often or occasionally access the internet via a mobile, according to the latest research from Mintel.

Hispanic women are leading this trend, it says, with 30% of online Latinas reporting their mobile phone is the primary device used; while one in five online Hispanic men say the mobile is their primary device for connecting online.

Meanwhile, 38% of Hispanics who often or occasionally use their mobile to access the internet use it to check activity on social networking sites.

“For many years, a ‘digital divide’ has been seen between Hispanics and the total US online population. Broadband access lags other multicultural groups, largely due to a lack of home internet access among lower-income, Spanish-dominant Hispanics,” said Leylha Ahuile, senior multicultural analyst at Mintel. “But that’s no longer the case — that divide is rapidly being shattered by smartphone usage.”

Whether connecting to the internet from a home computer or mobile phone, Hispanics often use their online time to stay in touch with loved ones across the globe, said Mintel. One third of online Hispanics use the internet to stay connected with family and friends outside the US, while over a quarter (27%) use it to read news about their home country.

“The internet has become an important connector between family and friends for Hispanics of all age groups,” said Ahuile. “It’s vital for news and information from the US and the nation of heritage for many Hispanics. Additionally, video conferencing services — such as Skype — are used more by Hispanics aged 45-54 than among those in younger age groups.”