Business Insider reports today that “tech history” is winding back the clock in Spain, where nearly 160,000 consumers dropped cell phone service in June. The country has seen declines in mobile usage in 10 of the last 11 months as users are moving to cheaper alternatives including Wi-Fi, which can be accessed free at coffee shops and other businesses.
The trend certainly belies the ever-increasing use of mobile data worldwide, and it invites questions of whether Spain might be something of a bellwether for other markets, including the U.S. But as the BI piece notes, Spain’s unemployment stands at a jaw-dropping 26 percent, so the flailing economy is certainly a factor. Also, it’s worth noting that Spain’s mobile penetration rate is still over 100 percent despite the steady drop-off over the last 11 months, and comScore reported in December that the country had the highest smartphone penetration rate of five major European markets. So there’s little reason to other countries are likely to mirror Spain’s waning mobile market.