Mobile Broadband - Statistics & Facts

Mobile broadband is a wireless technology that provides access to the internet via mobile devices. With the vast adoption of mobile phones worldwide, the mobile industry has not only changed in scale, but also in use. The number of unique mobile subscribers worldwide is forecast to increase from around 4.82 billion in 2016 to 5.69 billion by 2020. Asia Pacific is the leading region in regards to number of mobile subscriptions, with China and India accounting for the highest number of mobile-cellular telephone subscriptions in the world.


The growing mobility has a direct impact on lifestyle, as it opens up areas of demand for mobility-related services, such as mobile broadband. The number of mobile broadband subscriptions has been on the rise since 2007; there was an estimate of 3.65 billion mobile broadband subscriptions in use worldwide in 2016, which is more than three times the 2011 figure. Again, the Asia Pacific region has the highest number of mobile broadband subscriptions, while Europe and the Americas have the highest number of mobile-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants.

Within the mobile industry, there are different technologies which are directly related to both network and broadband access. GMS, which stands for Global System for Mobiles, is the most popular mobile technology today, accounting for 42 percent of the market in 2016. Despite the popularity of this technology, the number of mobile GMS subscriptions is forecast to drop in the coming years, as two technologies, LTE (Long-Term Evolution) and HSPA (High-Speed Packet Access) are gaining market share. Together, these two mobile technologies are projected to account for over 80 percent of the global mobile market by 2020.

LTE is particularly dominant in the U.S. and Canada, as the technology already accounts for the majority of mobile subscriptions in 2016, and is forecast to increase its market share to nearly 90 percent by 2020.

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