According to OECD figures the number of mobile broadband subscriptions has reached nearly 700 million in OECD countries, with South Korea, Sweden and Australia leading the way in penetration rates.
The OECD figures are based on standings as of June 2012. Mobile broadband saw 18 percent growth in 12 months, driven by continuing strong demand for tablets and smartphones, said the OECD.
The average penetration in the OECD area was 56.6 subscriptions per 100 inhabitants, for a total number of nearly 700 million subscriptions. South Korea (104.2) and Sweden (101.8) topped the table, being the only two countries with more wireless broadband subscriptions than inhabitants.
The UK was above average in the table with 60 connections per 100 inhabitants.
Worldwide mobile data traffic will increase 13-fold over the next four years, according to research from Cisco, and will exceed the amount of data initiated over fixed lines by three to one by 2017.
Cisco said the big increase in mobile traffic is due to continued strong growth in the number of mobile internet connections, which will reach 10 billion and exceed the world's population by 2017.
The OECD figures reveal fixed wired broadband subscriptions reached 321 million in the OECD area in June 2012, for an average penetration rate of 26 subscriptions per 100 inhabitants, a 1.7 percent increase over the previous six months.
DSL subscriptions are being slowly replaced by faster fibre, the OECD said. The share of fibre subscriptions in fixed broadband has increased to 14.2 percent, while DSL represented 54.7 percent of the total fixed wired broadband subscriptions.
By the end of 2009, fibre subscriptions only accounted for 11.2 percent of total fixed broadband. Cable (30.4 percent) accounted for most of the remaining subscriptions as of June 2012.
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.