Mobile broadband - additional information
In the early days of the Internet, the service was used exclusively by the military and American universities for scientific purposes. By the mid-1990s, improving technologies allowed individual consumers to also access the online medium through dial-up Internet services by means of telephone lines and modems. A decade later, the introduction of broadband Internet access to the mass market changed the telecommunication industry once again, by improving speed and accessibility. In 2015, the number of wired broadband subscriptions was estimated to have grown to 748 million connections worldwide, from 220 million connections in 2005.
The increasing popularity of mobile technologies and their worldwide availability however has lead to an increased use of portable devices, such as mobile phone and tablet computers for mobile broadband services. The number of registered mobile broadband subscriptions around the world has increased from 268 million connections in 2007 to an estimated 3.4 billion connections in 2015. Regional breakdowns show that the Asia Pacific region leads the market in terms of number of mobile broadband subscriptions. As of 2015, this region alone had over 1.7 billion subscriptions, while the Americas reported some 765 million mobile broadband subscriptions. Europe has the highest mobile broadband penetration rate, with 78.2 percent, almost twice the world average.
Although mobile broadband is traditionally considered slower than fixed broadband connections, it is estimated that the average mobile connection speed will grow from 2 Mbps in 2015 to 6.5 Mbps by 2020.