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Over 700 Million People on Mobile Broadband - US Drops to 8th in Wireless Broadband Penetration Worldwide - February 2013 Bandwidth Report

Summary: More than 700 million people subscribe to mobile broadband plans worldwide, according to a recent survey. The United States dropped to 8th place in wireless broadband penetration in June 2012, passed by a surging Australia.

More than 700 million people subscribe to mobile broadband plans worldwide, according to a recent survey. The United States dropped from 7th to 8th place in wireless broadband penetration worldwide, passed by a surging Australia. Korea, Sweden and Australia top all countries in wireless broadband subscribers.

More than 700 Million People Subscribe to Wireless Broadband

As of June 2012 699 million people subscribed to wireless broadband plans worldwide. By early 2013 this figure easily exceeds 700 million people. Overall, standard mobile broadband accounts for 84.6% of subscribers worldwide (up from 60.5% in Dec. 2011), with 14.5% on dedicated data plans, 0.7% on fixed terrestrial plans, and 0.2% on satellite (see Figure 1).

Wireless Broadband Penetration By Technology - June 2012

Figure 1: Wireless Broadband Penetration by Technology - June 2012
Source: OECD

US Drops to 8th in Wireless Broadband Penetration

The US dropped from 7th place to 8th place in wireless broadband penetration worldwide, according to a survey from the OECD (see Figure 2). Korea leads all countries surveyed with 104.2 subscriptions per 100 inhabitants (more than 100% penetration, no doubt from multiple devices), followed by Sweden at 101.8%, Australia at 97.4%, Finland at 95.8%, Denmark at 92%, Japan at 83.5%, Norway at 80.5%, and the US at 76.2% (up just one tenth of a percentage point since December 2011). Australia made the biggest jump of 23 percentage points in 6 months, leap frogging the US from 8th place to 3rd. Australia jumped from 74.4% mobile broadband penetration in December 2011 to 97.4% in June 2012.

Wireless Broadband Penetration by Country - June 2012

Figure 2: Wireless Broadband Penetration by Country - June 2012
Source: OECD

Wireless Broadband Trends

Australia made the jump from 8th to 3rd place primarily from an increase in standard mobile broadband subscriptions. Australia went from 74.4% penetration in December 2011 (39.5% of which were standard) to 97.4% penetration in June 2012 with 71.1% on standard plans, a jump of 31.6 percentage points for standard plans in six months (see Figure 3).

Wireless Broadband Penetration by Country and Technology - June 2012

Figure 3: Wireless Broadband Penetration by Country and Technology - June 2012
Source: OECD

Further Reading

Organization for Economic Development
February 7, 2013 Broadband Survey (June 2012 data).
US Jumps to 7th in Wireless Broadband Penetration Worldwide
The United States jumped to 7th place in wireless broadband penetration worldwide in late 2011. Korea, Sweden and Finland top all countries surveyed in wireless broadband.

By website optimization on 23 Feb 2013 AM

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