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Mobile data usage causes huge demand for mobile broadband

An increase in mobile data usage has led to a boost in demand for high-speed mobile internet subscriptions, according to the latest update of the OECD’s broadband portal.

According to the research, mobile data usage more than doubled in 18 of the 34 OECD countries in the two years to the end of 2018.

Mobile internet users in the 34 countries downloaded an average of 4.6 GB of data per month per subscription in 2018, up from 2.4 GB in 2016.

The top countries for data usage were Finland (19.4 GB), Austria (16.4 GB), Latvia (12.8 GB) and Lithuania (9.9 GB).

In 2018, broadband subscriptions rose by 8%, or 108 million subscriptions, resulting in mobile broadband penetration reaching just under 110%.

As of December 2018, there were 1.484 billion mobile broadband subscriptions out of a total OECD population of 1.352 billion.

Mobile broadband penetration is highest in Japan, Finland, Estonia, the United States and Denmark, with subscriptions per 100 inhabitants at 172%, 157%, 149%, 144% and 136% respectively.

Fibre, which has now reached 26% of all fixed broadband subscriptions, is the fastest growing broadband technology, with a growth rate of 13% in 2018 and 16% in the preceding two years.

Overall, fixed broadband subscriptions in OECD countries totalled 418 million as of December 2018, up from 406 million a year earlier and averaged 30.9 subscriptions per 100 inhabitants.

Switzerland leads with a penetration rate of 46.8 subscriptions per 100 people, followed by Denmark (43.3%), France (43.3%), The Netherlands (43%) and Norway (41.5%).

Data on machine-to-machine (M2M) communications show that Sweden, Austria, Italy, New Zealand and United States remain the leaders in the number of M2M SIM cards in use per 100 inhabitants.

Sweden counts 126 M2M SIM cards per 100 inhabitants. This is a much higher level than most OECD countries that provided data, and it is due, in part, to use of these SIM cards in other countries by a Swedish operator, according to the OECD.

Overall, M2M/embedded mobile cellular subscriptions grew by over 21% in the last year in countries were the data was available.

The OECD’s broadband statistics cover 37 countries. Working with more than 100 countries, the OECD is a global policy forum that promotes policies to improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world.