Internet

Internet economy: Wireless broadband subscriptions top half a billion, says OECD

 

22/06/2011 - The fast-growing popularity of smartphones and tablet PCs is driving growth in mobile broadband services.

Wireless broadband subscriptions in OECD countries had exceeded half a billion by the end of 2010, an increase of more than 10 percent on June 2010, according to new OECD statistics.

 

Fixed broadband subscriptions reached 300 million for the first time, but growth slowed to 6% year-on-year, the lowest growth rate since the OECD started collecting broadband statistics just over a decade ago. This reflects higher broadband penetration and market saturation in some countries.

 

The Netherlands and Switzerland lead the table, with 38.1 subscriptions per 100 inhabitants, followed by Denmark (37.7) and Norway (34.6). Fibre subscriptions continue to grow and account for 12.3% of all fixed broadband connections.

 

 

DSL is still the most widely used technology (57.6%), followed by cable (29.4%). Leading countries in fibre are Japan (58%), Korea (55%), Slovak Republic (29%) and Sweden (26%).

 

Korea is the leading country for wireless broadband subscriptions, with 89.8 per 100 inhabitants, followed by Finland (84.8), Sweden (82.9) and Norway (79.9). This compares to an OECD average of 41.6 and a total of just under 512 million.

 

Growth in mobile broadband has been fuelled by inexpensive, flat-rate mobile data plans, according to the OECD Communications Outlook 2011. The communications sector, it notes, has emerged from the financial crisis with a resilience and underlying strength that reflects its critical role in the global economy

 

Link to underlying data - Source: OECD broadband statistics

 

Key factors in the sector’s continuing health include long contract durations of mobile operators, the growing popularity of bundled offers of television, mobile and fixed telephony, and the fact that communication services are increasingly perceived as non-discretionary spending items. Households looking to cut spending seem to be economising in other areas, at least as a first measure, it says.

The increasing prevalence of bundled services has also played a role in this shift by reinforcing customer loyalty and reducing churn, which helped operators during the downturn. Bundled services may benefit consumers by offering lower prices and extra benefits such as unified billing, integrated services or customer assistance.

But, the OECD warns, the complexity of some bundled offers makes them increasingly hard to interpret and poses additional challenges for consumers trying to compare prices and make informed decisions. In addition, bundling may make it harder for users to switch providers or drop a service.

The Outlook also highlights the growing importance of IPv6 as the stock of unallocated IPv4 addresses has nearly run out. It urges quicker adoption by industry as the only long-term solution able to ensure the capability of the Internet to connect billions of people and devices.

 

Three new reports have also been released as background documents for the upcoming High Level Meeting on “The Internet Economy: Generating Innovation and Growth”. The first examines “National Broadband Plans” across the OECD area, providing an overview of common elements and goals in those plans. The second, “Next Generation Access Networks and Market Structures” focuses on developments in broadband market structures emerging from the deployment of high-speed broadband services and the policy and regulatory implications. The third “Fibre Access – Network Developments in the OECD Area”, examines the use of fibre to provide local access networks for the provision of broadband access.

For comment or further information, journalists should contact Agustin Diaz-Pines (agustin-diaz-pines@oecd.org or tel. + 33 1 45 24 19 62) or Frédéric Bourassa (frederic.bourassa@oecd.org or tel. + 33 1 45 24 81 42) of the OECD’s Information, Communications and Consumer Policy division.

 

Related Documents

 

OECD Communications Outlook 2011

 

Countries list

  • Afghanistan
  • Albania
  • Algeria
  • Andorra
  • Angola
  • Anguilla
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Aruba
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bahamas
  • Bahrain
  • Bangladesh
  • Barbados
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Belize
  • Benin
  • Bermuda
  • Bhutan
  • Bolivia
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Botswana
  • Brazil
  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Bulgaria
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Cambodia
  • Cameroon
  • Canada
  • Cape Verde
  • Cayman Islands
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • Chile
  • China (People’s Republic of)
  • Chinese Taipei
  • Colombia
  • Comoros
  • Congo
  • Cook Islands
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Cuba
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Côte d'Ivoire
  • Democratic People's Republic of Korea
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Denmark
  • Djibouti
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • Egypt
  • El Salvador
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Eritrea
  • Estonia
  • Ethiopia
  • European Union
  • Faeroe Islands
  • Fiji
  • Finland
  • Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM)
  • France
  • French Guiana
  • Gabon
  • Gambia
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Ghana
  • Gibraltar
  • Greece
  • Greenland
  • Grenada
  • Guatemala
  • Guernsey
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Hong Kong, China
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Iraq
  • Ireland
  • Islamic Republic of Iran
  • Isle of Man
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Jersey
  • Jordan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kenya
  • Kiribati
  • Korea
  • Kuwait
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Lao People's Democratic Republic
  • Latvia
  • Lebanon
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Libya
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Macao (China)
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives
  • Mali
  • Malta
  • Marshall Islands
  • Mauritania
  • Mauritius
  • Mayotte
  • Mexico
  • Micronesia (Federated States of)
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • Mongolia
  • Montenegro
  • Montserrat
  • Morocco
  • Mozambique
  • Myanmar
  • Namibia
  • Nauru
  • Nepal
  • Netherlands
  • Netherlands Antilles
  • New Zealand
  • Nicaragua
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Niue
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Palau
  • Palestinian Administered Areas
  • Panama
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Puerto Rico
  • Qatar
  • Romania
  • Russian Federation
  • Rwanda
  • Saint Helena
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Samoa
  • San Marino
  • Sao Tome and Principe
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Senegal
  • Serbia
  • Serbia and Montenegro (pre-June 2006)
  • Seychelles
  • Sierra Leone
  • Singapore
  • Slovak Republic
  • Slovenia
  • Solomon Islands
  • Somalia
  • South Africa
  • South Sudan
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sudan
  • Suriname
  • Swaziland
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Syrian Arab Republic
  • Tajikistan
  • Tanzania
  • Thailand
  • Timor-Leste
  • Togo
  • Tokelau
  • Tonga
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • Turkmenistan
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • Tuvalu
  • Uganda
  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • United States Virgin Islands
  • Uruguay
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vanuatu
  • Venezuela
  • Vietnam
  • Virgin Islands (UK)
  • Wallis and Futuna Islands
  • Western Sahara
  • Yemen
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe