Mobile broadband take-up slows in the UK – but grows apace in other countries
The roll-out of upgrades to 3G networks (such as HSPA and CDMA 2000 1xEV-DO) in recent years has facilitated the emergence of mobile broadband services and increased the data speeds that consumers can expect.
In all of our comparator countries there has been rapid growth in take-up of mobile broadband (defined as broadband delivered to PCs using dongles, datacards, or SIM cards embedded in laptop PCs) since 2008. Sweden and Australia had the highest number of mobile broadband subscribers per 100 population (32 and 20 respectively).
While many countries saw rapid growth in mobile broadband take-up during 2010, in some countries growth slowed. In the UK, the number of connections per 100 households grew by just one, to eight, while there was also only slow growth in France, Germany, Canada, Japan and the Netherlands. During 2010, mobile broadband take-up per 100 population in Italy (10), and Poland (9) overtook that in the UK (8) as each country experienced greater than 40% growth in the number of connections.
Of course, mobile broadband networks can also be accessed via mobile phones, and Figure 5.2 above shows that use of the internet on mobile phones has increased rapidly in most countries since 2008.