Mobile connectivity on the rise




Today, the world is more connected than ever. Broadband Internet, smartphones, hand-held connected devices and virtual socializing apps such as Facebook are connecting people to people, businesses to buyers and governments to the governed. The infographics below provides some regional and international insights.



Source: Techpolis


Smartphone penetration in the GCC averages 126% compared with 71% in the selected developed economies


In the GCC, LTE penetration is at 16% compared to 44%, in the US and Canada, and machine-to-machine penetration at less than 3% compared to nearly 12% in the US and Canada.


GCC countries have an average of 186 connected devices per 100 people, compared with 134 per 100 in Japan and South Korea, 93 per 100 in North America and 115 per 100 in Western Europe.


Source: Arab Social Media Report 2015


87% of people in the Arab world used Facebook in 2015


84% of people in the Arab world used WhatsApp in 2015


39% of people in the Arab world used YouTube in 2015


34% of people in the Arab world used Instagram in 2015


32% of people in the Arab world used Twitter in 2015



Source: GSMA Intelligence Study


Mobile broadband connections will account for almost 70% of the global base by 2020.


In 2014, the mobile industry generated 3.8% of global gross domestic product (GDP), a contribution that amounts to more than $3 trillion of economic value across 236 countries.


The mobile ecosystem directly employed nearly 17 million people in 2015, which is expected to rise to 20 million by 2020.


Half of the world’s population now has a mobile subscription – up from just one in five a decade ago.


An additional one billion subscribers are predicted by 2020, taking the global penetration rate to approximately 60%.


Capex is forecast to total $1.4 trillion for the period out to 2020, with 3G coverage set to reach 86% of the population by 2020.


2015 has been a year of continued growth in the mobile industry, with more than 7.6 billion mobile connections (representing 4.7 billion unique subscribers) and operator revenues of more than $1 trillion.


The acceleration of 4G has been a major highlight. The global 4G connection base passed the one-billion mark in late 2015. 4G networks are now available in 151 countries across the world.


The global subscriber penetration rate now stands at 63%, with regional penetration rates ranging from 43% in Sub-Saharan Africa to 85% in Europe.


At the end of 2015, 2.5 billion individuals across the developing world were accessing the Internet through mobile devices, a figure that will increase by more than 1.3 billion by 2020.


Unique subscriber penetration in Middle East and North Africa in 2015 stood at 57% and will be 61% in 2020.


Globally, connections will grow at an annual rate of 3.9% to 2020, leading to an increase in the penetration of connections to 114%.


WhatsApp has increased in size from 200 million users in April 2013 to 900 million in September 2015 and it continues to grow. Facebook Messenger, meanwhile, has 700 million users, while QQ Mobile and WeChat have more than 600 million users each.