Australia leads OECD on wireless broadband

But tied with Austria for 18th on wired broadband

Australia has moved into first place among the 34 OECD countries for wireless broadband penetration, with 114 subscriptions per 100 people, the OECD has announced.

A 13 per cent increase in smartphone subscriptions in the first half of 2013 helped Austrlia move up from third place and edge out Finland, which has 112.9 wireless broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants, according to the OECD broadband numbers posted this week.

In total, Australia had more than 25.9 million wireless broadband subscriptions, including mobile broadband, mobile data, terrestrial fixed wireless and satellite.

However, Australia continued to lag other countries on fixed broadband connections, tying with Austria for 18th place in the latest OECD statistics. Australia had 25.6 total wired broadband connections per 100 users, and about 5.8 million subscriptions total, the OECD report found.

Most of the wired connections in Australia (21) were DSL, and fibre accounted for only 0.5. DSL continues to be the prevalent broadband connection among OECD countries, making up 52.7 per cent of all fixed broadband subscriptions. However, fibre has climbed to nearly 15.8 per cent of total OECD connections.

The top five OECD countries for fixed broadband penetration were Switzerland (43.8 per 100 people), the Netherlands (40), Denmark (39.7), Korea (37.1) and France (37). The UK was eighth place with 34.9, New Zealand was 15th with 29.5 and the US was 16th place with 29.3.

Australia had also been in 18th place among OECD countries for fixed broadband at the end of 2012.

On wireless broadband penetration, the top five countries were Australia (114 per 100 people), Finland (112.9), Sweden (107.9), Japan (105.3) and Korea (102.9). The US was seventh with 96, New Zealand was 10th with 82.5 and the UK was 12th with 80.4.

Mobile broadband subscriptions among all OECD countries increased 16.6 per cent from a year earlier to 851 million. Wired broadband subscriptions reached 332 million.

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