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Nearly Two-Thirds of US Broadband Subscribers are Wireless - US Ranks 9th in Wireless Broadband Penetration Worldwide - December 2010 Bandwidth Report

Summary: Most broadband subscribers in the US are wireless, according to a recent survey. The United States ranks 9th worldwide in wireless broadband penetration.

More than 62% of the broadband subscribers in the US subscribe to a wireless broadband plan, according to data provided by the OECD (see Figures 1 and 2). The United States ranks 9th overall in wireless broadband penetration, according the same survey.

Total Wireless Broadband Subscriptions per Country, June 2010

Figure 1: Total Wireless Broadband Subscriptions per Country, June 2010
Source: OECD

Most US Broadband Subscribers are Wireless

The majority of broadband subsribers in the United States are on wireless plans, with 137 million wireless subscribers (see Figure 1), while 83 million subscribe to a fixed broadband plan (see Figure 2). While there is certainly some overlap with people subscribing to both types of plans, this data shows that the US population likes their mobility.

Fixed (wired) broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants by technology, June 2010

Figure 2: Fixed (wired) broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants by technology, June 2010
Source: OECD

US Ranks 9th in Wireless Broadband Penetration Worldwide

While the United States leads the world in total wireless broadband subscribers (see Figure 1), it ranks 9th overall in wireless broadband penetration among the general population with 44.4% of the population on a wireless broadband plan (see Figure 3). Korea ranked first in wireless broadband subscribers with 95% of the population using some kind of wireless broadband plan. Rounding out the top five countries surveyed, Sweden followed at second at 75.6% penetration, Japan at 75.3%, Norway at 72.8% and Poland at 48.3% of the population subscribing to a wireless broadband plan.

Wireless Broadband Subscriptions per 100 Inhabitants, by technology, June 2010

Figure 3: Wireless Broadband Subscriptions per 100 Inhabitants, by technology, June 2010
Source: OECD

Note that while most of the countries surveyed had the majority of their subscribers in standard mobile broadband plans, Portugal and Korea in particular had the majority of their mobile broadband subscribers on dedicated mobile data plans (see Figure 3). Korea had 78.6% of the population on dedicated plans, and 16.5% on standard mobile broadband plans.

Conclusion

This data shows that in the US, Japan, and Korea the number of wireless broadband subscribers now dominates the wired. The data shows that in some developed countries, more broadband users are opting to go wireless. If countries want to compete in the global marketplace, widespread wireless initiatives and competitive DSL appear to be two keys to success.

Further Reading

OECD
The OECD broadband survey of Dec. 6, 2010 provided the data used in this report.

By website optimization on 31 Dec 2010 AM

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