Symbol image: cell tower

Mobile communications and Internet in El Salvador

The development of telecommunications in El Salvador is roughly equivalent to the United States. Under the country code +503, there were a total of 11.93 million connections in 2021. Among them were 11.07 million mobile phones, which corresponds to an average of 1.8 per person. In the US, this figure is 1.1 mobile phones per person.

With about 24,070 webhosts, El Salvador is below the world's average by population. At the end of 2020, 876 of these, or about 4 percent, were secured with SSL or comparable encryption.

Back to overview: El Salvador

Internet speed for cell phones and fixed network

With an average download speed of 36.43 Mbit/second for fixed-network broadband internet, El Salvador ranks 106th in an international comparison. The upload rate of only 8.2 Mbit/second was significantly lower (140th place).
In mobile internet, i.e., on tablets and smartphones, El Salvador comes 90th with a download speed of 24.70 Mbit/second. The upload speed of around 12 Mbit was enough for 57th place.

The Speedtest Global Index published regularly by Ookla is based on several million individual measurements in April 2023 from 180 countries.

Mobile phone rates in El Salvador

Every year, the International Telecommunication Union calculates for many countries what a mobile phone contract costs to use. A monthly budget averaging US$ 19.70 was calculated El Salvador in 2021. This is about the same value as in the previous year.

The ITU refers to the costs for monthly use and includes 140 telephony minutes, 70 text messages and a data transfer of 2 GBytes. The transfer speed should be the minimum of a 3G connection, i.e. at least UMTS, which is already outdated in many parts of the world. 2 GBytes do not sound much. However, this is already quite a high consumption in a worldwide comparison. If one does not take a fixed amount in US dollars, but converts it to the economic output per inhabitant, a user in El Salvador spends 6.3% of his gross national income on mobile telephony. Worldwide, this rate is around 6.6 percent.

In the USA, the monthly cost was around $38.10.

Lack of network coverage with 5G

A modern 5G network does not yet exist in El Salvador (as of 2021). The penetration rate of 4G, i.e., mobile communications with at least LTE speed, was recently 76 percent. In other words, 1.52 million people in the country had to make do with a maximum Internet speed of the outdated UMTS standard (or even less).

The following diagrams show the development of the various telephone and internet connections as a percentage of the country's population. Values above 100 percent mean that, on average, every inhabitant has more than one connection.

Access to the internet in El Salvador from 1990 - 2021

Broadband internet in El Salvador 2003 - 2021

Symbol image: cell towerEl Salvador is lagging behind in the expansion of broadband internet connections. Around 63 percent of all residents have access to the internet. Around 10 percent have their own fast internet connection, which is at least faster than the former ISDN (more than 256 kbit/s). All fixed connections via DSL, cable or satellite were counted here, but not those connected to the internet via mobile communications.

Landlines 1990 - 2021

Mobile phones 1990 - 2021

All international calling codes

Distribution in 2021El Salvador
El Salvador
Internet users3.97 m62.88 %304.52 m91.75 %
Broadband users613,403.009.71 %125.89 m37.93 %
Landlines856,090.0013.56 %97.82 m29.47 %
Mobile cellulars11.07 m175.34 %361.66 m108.97 %

Comparison: El Salvador / United StatesCountry comparison: El Salvador / United States of AmericaThe United States of America and El Salvador compared: demography, Economy, energy, languages and further dimensions.
United States of America: TelecommunicationTelecommunication in the United States of AmericaComparison of technological development and communication in the United States of America with the countries of the European Union
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