19 February 2016
Mobile broadband penetration has risen to 85.5% in the OECD area, meaning more than four wireless subscriptions for every five inhabitants, according to data for June 2015 released by the OECD today. The penetration rate was 76% in June 2014.
The addition of 125 million new mobile broadband subscriptions in the 34-country OECD area made a year-on-year rise of 13%, driven by growth in smartphone and tablets, and lifted the OECD total above the one billion mark to 1.084 billion subscriptions in a population of 1.268 billion people.
Ten countries (Finland, Japan, Sweden, New Zealand, Australia, Denmark, USA, Korea, Estonia and Switzerland, in descending order of mobile subscriptions) lie above the 100% penetration threshold, up from seven countries a year ago, after Estonia, New Zealand and Switzerland passed the level of one subscription per inhabitant. New Zealand rose five places in the ranking table, reflecting a government push to extend mobile broadband coverage through its Rural Broadband Initiative.
*Note: June 2015 data for Israel and Colombia are estimates. Dedicated mobile data subscriptions are mostly data-only; standard mobile broadband subscriptions are mainly voice plus data.
Data on machine-to-machine communications show that Sweden, New Zealand, Norway, Finland and Denmark remain the leaders in the number of M2M SIM cards in use, with the caveat that data is not yet fully comparable for all countries. Sweden counts 67 M2M SIM cards per 100 inhabitants – a much higher level than for most other OECD countries that provided data.
Fixed-line broadband subscriptions in the OECD area reached 365 million as of June 2015, up from 351 million in June 2014 and making an average penetration of 28.8%. Switzerland, Denmark, the Netherlands and France topped the list with 50.5%, 41.9%, 41.2% and 39.7% 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 17.9% of subscriptions thanks to a 13.7% jump in fibre subscriptions since June 2014. Cable (31.5%) made up most of the rest.
The OECD’s broadband statistics cover 34 OECD members plus accession countries Colombia and Latvia. You can download the underlying data, charts and broadband penetration maps for different countries at the Broadband Portal.