With smartphones and tablets taking over the world’s computing scene, it is expected that this will be taking a toll at how the internet is accessed and used. But just how much? We take a look here.
According to an estimate by the ITU, or the International Telecommunications Union, there are 2.1 billion mobile web users in the world. That’s an astounding 29.5% of the global world population, or 1 out of 3 humans. Mobile broadband has grown 40% annually in the past 3 years, with mobile outnumbering fixed broadband 3:1.
Worldwide, the US leads 4G network subscribers with 62.5 million, followed by Japan and South Korea. For 3G, China leads the way with 325.5 million subscribers, followed by Italy, Japan and UK.
In terms of actual mobile web users, China is also still king, with more mobile internet users than any other country. According to CNNIC or China Internet Network Information Center, the country has a total of 464 million mobile internet users. However, measuring the percentage of mobile subscribers accessing the web at least once a month, Japan leads with 47%, followed by China and the US. In fact, 80% of all Japanese people access mobile internet on a regular basis.
Interestingly, there is a huge chunk of mobile web users who never or infrequently use other forms of internet connectivity. This is especially true in developing countries, as Egypt, Indi a, South Africa, Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria. In fact, according to CCK.com, in Kenya, 99% of internet connections are purely mobile.
It’s no brainer that most of the online businesses have been moving into mobile applications to market or hook new users. From websites, e-commerce and shopping sites or even gaming they’ve created an app to easily access their online websites through the portable devices. You can check Engadget, Amazon and 888 poker mobile app, respectively for these classifications.
Given this amount of usage, cost per megabyte of mobile internet use has continued to fall while actual usage continues to rise, with Portio Research predicting mobile data usage to grow twenty-fold by 2017. For comparison’s sake, see the table below taken from MobiThinking.com:
|Cost per megabyte (MB) of mobile data (worldwide in US$)|
v Monthly mobile data traffic per smartphone user (worldwide in MB).
Provided such dependence on mobile connectivity, today’s mobile devices and the apps that power them will continue to drive data usage up, while network operators will proactively try to dampen their impact on network performance via policy revisions or unlimited data contracts.