International Website

7 Statistics on Global Mobile Usage

Mobile penetration is growing faster than ever. It was predicted that the pace of adoption would slow – but developing nations saw the importance of connection to their growth long ago. Investments in infrastructure have skipped the landline phase, and mobile towers have proven cheaper, easier to install and cover vast areas of countryside that would otherwise have been inaccessible. This has contributed to a massive surge in demand for mobile devices. Now, they are not just ‘nice to have’. They change lives with regards to communication, education, and economic prosperity. You can now get broadband in parts of the desert. If you need it.

Below, we’ve collected some really neat figures, up to date, that show the state of the mobile landscape across the world. How many mobile devices do you own?

  • Global mobile data traffic grew 69 percent in 2014. Global mobile data traffic reached 2.5 exabytes per month at the end of 2014, up from 1.5 exabytes per month at the end of 2013. Divided by every person on the planet, that’s over 350 MB per person per month. And this figure is nearly doubling each year.
  • Up until recently, North Korea had the lowest penetration of smart phones in the world. Within the past 5 years, uptake has soared to over 2.5 million users, though they are still beyond the wage level of many citizens. With 24.9 million citizens, that equates to just over 10% of the population.
  • Eritrea now has the lowest penetration per person. There are just 6 connections per 100 users, symptomatic of poor infrastructure as well as low income.
  • Hong Kong has the second largest number of connections per citizen in the world. The most recent statistics show that there are now over 230 connections per 100 citizens. The next nearest country is UAE with just over 200 connections per 100 citizens. However, their uptake is far outpaced by:
  • Macau (not exactly a country) – As of 2014, there are 323 devices per 100 users across the country. It’s a tiny region, with just over 600,000 citizens. But the residents love devices.
  • Mobile video traffic exceeds 50 percent of total mobile data traffic as of end 2014. People are watching YouTube on the go. A lot.
  • And here’s a really interesting one: Although 4G connections represent only 6 percent of mobile connections today, they already account for 40 percent of mobile data traffic.


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