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More than half the world now using mobile internet

Mobile AMP

More than half the world now using mobile internet

Data from the mobile network operator group GSMA gives some insight into the rapid development of mobile internet all over the world.

The GSMA’s newly published State of Mobile Internet Connectivity 2021 report shows that 51% of the world is now connected to mobile internet. This represents a huge transformation within just seven years, with just under a third (32%) using it in 2014.

Today, just 6% of the world has no access to mobile internet – just a quarter of the number recorded in 2014. This transformation has been most notable in South East Asia, where the percentage without mobile internet coverage has plummeted from 44% to 5% in the space of seven years. Also impressive is progress in Sub-Saharan Africa, where mobile internet no-go zones have reduced from 50% to 19%.

As striking as these developments are, the report notes that the one sticking point for mobile internet is what it refers to as the “usage gap” – the percentage of people who are living somewhere with access to mobile broadband internet, but are not using it. Globally, this figure remains unchanged from the 43% of seven years ago. In three areas (South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East & North Africa), the usage gap figure has increased from 2014, showing that while the technology to offer mobile internet connectivity almost all around the world may be there, people in some parts of the world face other barriers when it comes to accessing it. The report includes digital literacy, unaffordable mobile equipment and access, and poor online safety among these.

It’s five years this month since mobile devices overtook desktop computers for internet browsing, and today’s figures show that 72% of us in Europe & Central Asia are using it, as are 77% in North America. Having a website that functions smoothly in both desktop and mobile format is essential, so why not speak to Engage Web for innovative web design and engaging content?

John Murray

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