While more and more people worldwide have access to the internet — 3.2 billion people (44 percent of the global population) in 2016, according to International Data Corporation (IDC ) — now comes word that more than 2 billion will be using mobile devices to access it.
The most rapid growth areas? China, India, and Indonesia rank highest and could account for half of the gains over the next five years.
The total number of mobile Internet users is expected to grow about 2 percent annually through 2020, barring any new internet methodologies — which indeed are being pursued.
“Efforts by Google, SpaceX, and Facebook among others to make the Internet available to the remaining 4 billion people via high altitude planes, balloons, and satellites are underway,” notes IDC. “However, it remains unclear how successful these endeavors will be and when they will be operational at scale.”
Not only access, but the growing depth of activities conducted online are driving the surge.
“For example, more than a billion people use the Internet to bank online, to stream music, and to find a job,” reports IDC. “More than two billion use email and read news online. And more people than ever before are making purchases online. In 2015, more than $100 billion will be spent online on each of the following categories: travel, books, CDs and DVDs, downloading apps, and online classes. These purchases are enabled by online payment platforms that are making payments, online and off, easier and more secure.”
And notably, almost all of the growth in advertising spending across all of its forms is attributable to the growth in mobile advertising and online video.
IDC’s global data comes from detailed surveys in more than 40 countries.