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2016 Prediction: 2 Billion Mobile Internet Users

Posted on 12.20.2015

3.2 billion, or 44 percent of the world’s population, will have access to the Internet in 2016 according to the International Data Corporation (IDC). Of this number, more than 2 billion will be using mobile devices to connect to the ’Net.

While there is an increase in Internet access taking place around the world, some countries are seeing more growth than others. China, India and Indonesia, for instance, will account for almost half of the gains in access globally over the next five years. This is a result of lower-cost devices and inexpensive wireless networks that make accessibility easier in countries with populations that could not previously afford them.

It is also important to note that the total number of mobile Internet users is expected to rise at a pace of 2 percent annually through 2020 unless significant new methods of accessing the Internet are introduced. What’s more, efforts by Google, SpaceX and Facebook aim to make the Internet available to the remaining 4 billion people via high altitude planes, balloons and satellites.

"Over the next five years global growth in the number of people accessing the Internet exclusively through mobile devices will grow by more than 25 percent per year while the amount of time we spend on them continues to grow. This change in the way we access the Internet is fueling explosive growth in mobile commerce and mobile advertising," said Scott Strawn, Program Director, Strategic Advisory Service.

Additional data sheds light on the activities Internet users conduct online, revealing that more than a billion people use the Internet to bank online, stream music and find a job. Conversely, more than two billion people use email and read news online. Lastly, the data shows that an increasingly popular online activity is shopping, with more than $100 billion spent online in 2015 in the categories of travel, books, CDs and DVDs, downloading apps and online classes.

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