For every person in the U.S. there is a mobile or wireless data connection, according to new figures from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). As of December of 2013, the U.S. joined six other OECD countries – Finland, Australia, Japan, Sweden, Denmark and South Korea – in reaching 100 percent penetration for what the OECD considers wireless broadband links.
The OECD’s definition of wireless broadband is a bit looser than what you or I would consider broadband. Its cut-off line is 256 kbps, so 3G and low-bandwidth satellite count alongside 4G technologies and dedicated fixed-wireless broadband connections.
While we may not be connecting to the internet over the airwaves at the same speeds we are with our home and work cable and fiber connections, we’re connecting to the internet using mobile and wireless devices nonetheless.
In the OECD area – which comprises 34 countries in Europe, North America along with a handful of states in Asia and South America – wireless data penetration is at 72.4 percent. That’s higher than wireline penetration, which averages 27 percent across the OECD’s member states.