Today the FCC estimates there is more than one smartphone or other mobile wireless device for every two people in New Mexico. In the recent US Census over 32 percent of New Mexicans reported that they accessed the internet from multiple devices.
With these numbers only projected to rise in the future, it will come as no surprise that app development in New Mexico is a burgeoning field. The New Mexico Department of Labor estimates that over the 10-year period leading up to 2022, app developer jobs will grow in the state by nine percent. That’s important for innovation and businesses, as well as the local economy.
The wireless industry trade group CTIA estimates that New Mexico’s app industry generates $18 million each year, and a nine percent increase translates to an additional $1.62 million. The reasons behind the growth of New Mexico’s app industry have to do with developments in internet coverage areas, speed, and infrastructure over the past decade.
New Mexico’s Mobile Device Infrastructure
The growth of the internet in New Mexico can be exemplified by the increase in residential internet connections between 2009 and 2014. In 2009 there were just 539,000 residential internet connections throughout the state. By the beginning of 2014 that number had more than doubled to 1.42 million. In addition to the number of connections, internet speed has also been getting faster.
According to an FCC report released in 2015, 64.4 percent of New Mexicans access the internet with a broadband connection. Up to 20 percent of the state’s rural residents access broadband internet with speeds of at least 25 Mpbs, while more than 10 percent of the state’s total residents have access to broadband speeds of at least 50 Mbps, according to a White House report released in 2013. These figures have undoubtedly increased as of the present time.
The area of network coverage in New Mexico also has a lot to do with the growth of its app industry. Today the vast majority of urban residents can choose from at least four wireless network providers. Coverage is better than ever, with most regions of the state offering a network connection with the exceptions of the Mexican border panhandle, Carlsbad Caverns National Park, the Valles Caldera National Preserve, and areas around the Gila and Cibola National Forests
These increases in access, speed, and connections are the underlying factors behind the growth of New Mexico’s smartphone and app industries.