Mobile Now 66% of Total U.S. Internet Connections
Though it still makes sense, conceptually, to separate fixed network Internet access services from mobile Internet access services, mobile connections now vastly outnumber fixed connections.
Overall, mobile Internet connections represent about 66 percent of all Internet access connections. The distinction is important because blended averages of access speeds, including both fixed and mobile connections, can obscure the differences between platforms.
In June 2013, 15 percent of fixed connections (13.8 million connections) were slower than
3 Mbps in the downstream direction.
At the same time, 46 percent of mobile connections (83.7 million connections) were slower
than 3 Mbps in the downstream direction.
Some 70 percent of fixed accounts (66.3 million connections), more importantly, operated at 6 Mbps or faster in the downstream direction.
About 36 percent of mobile accounts (or 64.7 million connections) operated at 6 Mbps or faster in the downstream direction.
The divergence is even greater for access at speeds of 50 Mbps or 100 Mbps. No mobile connections operated at 25 Mbps or faster, while 22.2 million fixed connections operated at 25 Mbps or faster speeds.
In other words, about eight percent of fixed connections offered 25 Mbps or faster speeds, while no mobile connections could do so.
Also, a negligible number of fixed wireless or satellite connections likewise were able to deliver speeds of 25 Mbps or higher. That basically is the long-term difference between fixed and mobile Internet access.
The fastest networks will always be fixed networks. Overall, three-tenths of one percent of fixed connections operate at 100 Mbps or faster.
About 33 percent of fixed network connections are supplied by telco digital subscriber line, another eight percent by fiber to premises access, for a telco total of about 41 percent of fixed network connections, according to a report by the Federal Communications Commission.
Cable TV companies supply about 56 percent of fixed network connections.
Fixed wireless suppliers represent less than one percent of fixed network connections. Independent ISPs also supply less than one percent of fixed network accounts.
Satellite providers supply about two percent of “fixed” network connections.
The number of connections with downstream speeds of at least 10 Mbps increased by
118 percent over June 2012, to 103 million connections, including 58 million fixed connections
and 45 million mobile connections.
The number of mobile subscriptions with speeds over 200 kbps in at least one direction grew to 181 million, up 18 percent from June 2012.
Between June 2003 and June 2013, total business and residential fixed network connections grew from 23 million to 94 million, a compound annual growth rate of 15 percent per year.
Over the same ten-year period, residential fixed-location connections grew from 21 million
connections to 86 million connections, also at a compound annual growth rate of 15 percent per year.
There are some 94.2 million fixed Internet access connections in service, and 181.4 million mobile Internet connections.
In June 2013, there were 70 million fixed and 93 million mobile connections with download
speeds at or above 3 megabits per second (Mbps) and upload speeds at or above 768 kbps as
compared to 57 million fixed and 43 million mobile connections a year earlier.