Mobile devices are projected to put over half the world’s population online by 2018 — some 3.9 billion internet users — according to Cisco’s State of the Internet Report released today.
Cisco claims that mobile devices, responsible for 33% of all traffic last year, will surge to 57% by 2018, driving the expansion of internet access worldwide.
“The average fixed broadband speed will nearly triple, from 16 Mbps in 2013 to 42 Mbps in 2018,” added the company.
Cisco expects to see the greatest internet access growth in Asia and Africa, which the company predicts will have 2.1 billion and 431 million users by 2018, respectively. This makes sense with their assetion that mobile with drive internet access growth, as smartphones and tablets are generally cheaper than PCs that don’t do that much more online.
Smartphones have finally become cheap enough for these emerging markets. Mozilla recently released a phone for just $US25, undercutting heavyweights like Apple and Samsung. Mark Zuckerberg’s “on-ramp to the Internet” promises to bring more people online who may not fully realise how useful the Internet can be in their daily lives.
Google’s Eric Schmidt is even more bullish than Cisco. Last year he tweeted: “For every person online, there are two who are not. By the end of the decade, everyone on Earth will be connected.”