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OECD broadband statistics update


23 July 2015

Mobile broadband penetration has risen to 81.3% in the OECD area, meaning just over four wireless subscriptions for every five inhabitants, according to data for December 2014 released by the OECD today. The penetration rate was 72.03% in December 2013.

The addition of 122 million new mobile broadband subscriptions in the 34-country OECD area made a year-on-year rise of 13.5%, driven by growth in smartphone and tablets, and lifted the OECD total above the one billion mark to 1.03 billion subscriptions.

Estonia reached one subscription per inhabitant by end-2014, meaning that eight countries (Finland, Japan, Sweden, Denmark, Australia, Estonia, Korea and the US as ranked in descending order of mobile subscriptions) now lie above the 100% penetration threshold.


OECD mobile broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants, by technology, December 2014

The OECD’s twice-yearly update to its broadband statistics includes machine-to-machine communications for the first time. It shows Sweden, New Zealand, Norway, Finland and Denmark lead the pack in the number of M2M SIM cards in operation, though data is not yet fully comparable for all countries. Sweden counts 63 M2M SIM cards for every 100 inhabitants – much higher than the level of most of the other OECD countries that provided data.


M2M/embedded mobile cellular subscriptions, December 2014

BB-Portal_1.12 M2M _Dec2014

Fixed-line broadband subscriptions in the OECD area reached 357.6 million as of December 2014, up from 344 million at the end of 2013 and making an average penetration of 25.3%. Switzerland, Denmark, the Netherlands and France topped the table with 48.9%, 41.3%, 40.6% and 39.2% respectively.

DSL remains the prevalent technology, making up 47.6% of fixed broadband subscriptions, but it continues to be gradually replaced by fibre, now accounting for 17.1% of subscriptions thanks to a 13% jump in fibre subscriptions in 2014. Cable (32.4%) made up most of the rest.

Please note the OECD adjusted its definitions of fixed and mobile broadband by transferring the categories Satellite and Fixed Wireless from Mobile to Fixed Broadband. This had a small effect on countries like the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic and Poland, which have more of these technologies in their total broadband.

Complete data, charts and broadband penetration maps for different countries are available at: www.oecd.org/internet/oecdbroadbandportal.htm



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