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Mobile internet usage in Europe - Statistics & Facts

In the constantly evolving digital landscape, mobile internet has acquired a strategic importance: not only it influences consumers behavior online, but it also defines a region’s competitiveness in the global market. In recent years, the share of people in Europe that has been accessing the internet via mobile devices has experienced a constant increase, going from 54 percent of the total population in 2016 to more than 73 percent in 2020. As of 2020, the United Kingdom, Denmark, and Norway ranked as the countries with the highest mobile internet penetration rate in Europe, with approximately 90 percent of their population using mobile devices to navigate the internet.

Mobile internet usage in the region has been favored by the implementation of consumer-attentive policies like the elimination of extra roaming charges for across the EU, as well as considerable investments to improve mobile connectivity networks. While 4G mobile connections are still expected to account for approximately 60 percent of mobile connections in Europe in 2025, the costs for 5G enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) deployments in the region surpassed 20 billion euros in 2020. Moreover, as of 2021, the EU alone has allocated around 95 million euros in funding for research on sixth-generation wireless (6G) and the appropriate infostructure the region would require implementing it.

Mobile internet users in numbers

Mobile internet users in Central and Western Europe are forecasted to exceed 293 million in 2025, an increase of more than 57 percent compared to the 186 million users the region was registering in 2015. By comparison, the number of mobile internet users in Southern Europe is expected to increase by 79 percent in the same period. Mobile internet in Northern Europe is expected to reach more than 90 percent of the region’s population, despite its mobile internet users being forecasted to increase by only 40 percent in the same period. In the ten years between 2015 and 2025, Eastern Europe is projected to have the fastest growing mobile digital population, going from 81 million to 182 million users, up by 125 percent.

Mobile social media and communications

The possibility to access communication and social interactions on the go is one of the key features of having access to mobile internet. Engagement levels on mobile social apps in Europe have experienced a sudden increase between 2019 and 2020, as a secondary consequence of the global outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the first half of 2020, users in Europe were spending 20 percent more time on social media applications than during the last six months of 2019. Social and communication app categories appear to be among the most used mobile internet services in many of the region’s markets, presenting high engagement rates in several European countries.

In 2021, approximately 96 percent of users from the Benelux region reported accessing social media from their mobile devices, while according to a 2020 survey in France, people in the country have increasingly been using their mobile phones to exchange instant messages and make calls via OTT services and apps. WhatsApp was the mobile application users in Germany and in the United Kingdom could least do without, with 60 percent and 24 percent of respondents giving to the instant messaging app primary importance in their digital lives. Accessing messengers and social media was also the main activity in Romania for users aged 34 years younger, while Facebook and Snapchat were the most important apps for users in Norway. In Spain, users spent 760 minutes per month on mobile gaming and approximately half an hour less on communication and social media activities, respectively.

Interesting statistics

In the following 9 chapters, you will quickly find the 67 most important statistics relating to "Mobile internet usage in Europe".

Mobile internet usage in Europe

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Mobile internet usage in Europe - Statistics & Facts

In the constantly evolving digital landscape, mobile internet has acquired a strategic importance: not only it influences consumers behavior online, but it also defines a region’s competitiveness in the global market. In recent years, the share of people in Europe that has been accessing the internet via mobile devices has experienced a constant increase, going from 54 percent of the total population in 2016 to more than 73 percent in 2020. As of 2020, the United Kingdom, Denmark, and Norway ranked as the countries with the highest mobile internet penetration rate in Europe, with approximately 90 percent of their population using mobile devices to navigate the internet.

Mobile internet usage in the region has been favored by the implementation of consumer-attentive policies like the elimination of extra roaming charges for across the EU, as well as considerable investments to improve mobile connectivity networks. While 4G mobile connections are still expected to account for approximately 60 percent of mobile connections in Europe in 2025, the costs for 5G enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) deployments in the region surpassed 20 billion euros in 2020. Moreover, as of 2021, the EU alone has allocated around 95 million euros in funding for research on sixth-generation wireless (6G) and the appropriate infostructure the region would require implementing it.

Mobile internet users in numbers

Mobile internet users in Central and Western Europe are forecasted to exceed 293 million in 2025, an increase of more than 57 percent compared to the 186 million users the region was registering in 2015. By comparison, the number of mobile internet users in Southern Europe is expected to increase by 79 percent in the same period. Mobile internet in Northern Europe is expected to reach more than 90 percent of the region’s population, despite its mobile internet users being forecasted to increase by only 40 percent in the same period. In the ten years between 2015 and 2025, Eastern Europe is projected to have the fastest growing mobile digital population, going from 81 million to 182 million users, up by 125 percent.

Mobile social media and communications

The possibility to access communication and social interactions on the go is one of the key features of having access to mobile internet. Engagement levels on mobile social apps in Europe have experienced a sudden increase between 2019 and 2020, as a secondary consequence of the global outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the first half of 2020, users in Europe were spending 20 percent more time on social media applications than during the last six months of 2019. Social and communication app categories appear to be among the most used mobile internet services in many of the region’s markets, presenting high engagement rates in several European countries.

In 2021, approximately 96 percent of users from the Benelux region reported accessing social media from their mobile devices, while according to a 2020 survey in France, people in the country have increasingly been using their mobile phones to exchange instant messages and make calls via OTT services and apps. WhatsApp was the mobile application users in Germany and in the United Kingdom could least do without, with 60 percent and 24 percent of respondents giving to the instant messaging app primary importance in their digital lives. Accessing messengers and social media was also the main activity in Romania for users aged 34 years younger, while Facebook and Snapchat were the most important apps for users in Norway. In Spain, users spent 760 minutes per month on mobile gaming and approximately half an hour less on communication and social media activities, respectively.

Interesting statistics

In the following 9 chapters, you will quickly find the 67 most important statistics relating to "Mobile internet usage in Europe".

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