We’ve been placing our bets on wireless as the platform for connecting our people to the Internet. People like Eli Noam have criticized this as a neglect of Fiber. But consumers are communicating their preferences.
The number of wireless-broadband subscriptions rose by 14% last year among the members of the OECD, a mut ainly rich-country club. At the end of 2012 these countries had an estimated 781m subscriptions, of which 85% were standard mobile broadband; satellite and fixed terrestrial wireless systems accounted for less than 1%. In 2011 South Korea became the first OECD country with a wireless-internet penetration of more than 100%. But it has since been overtaken: in 2012 the three countries with the highest penetrations, Finland, Sweden and Australia, all had subscription rates of more than one per person. Mexico had the lowest penetration: just under 11 subscriptions for every 100 people.