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Internet Traffic from Mobile Devices (Jun 2024)

by Josh Howarth
June 5, 2024

Internet use and mobile use are components of everyday life for billions of people.

In fact, for many, the two now go hand in hand.

With the new “mobile-first” world in mind, here’s a breakdown of what we’ll cover about the current state of website traffic from mobile devices in 2024:

Mobile Device Internet Usage Stats (Top Picks)

  • Over 60% of website traffic comes from mobile devices.
  • 92.3% of internet users access the internet using a mobile phone.
  • There are approximately 4.32 billion active mobile internet users.
  • Africa has the highest proportion of internet traffic from mobile devices – 69.13%.
  • There will be over 1 billion 5G connections worldwide by 2025.

What Percentage of Internet Traffic Comes From Mobile Devices?

As of June 2024, people using mobile devices contribute to 61.35% of all website traffic.

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Back in 2011, this figure sat at 6.1%. In 2015, this was up to 37.2%

The percentage of people accessing the internet via mobile devices has increased year-over-year. Q1 2017 was the first time mobile traffic surpassed traffic from desktop computers.

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Here’s a quick look at mobile internet traffic share every Q1 since 2015:

Quarter Share Annual Change
Q1 2015 31.16% -
Q1 2016 39.47% ↑ 26.67%
Q1 2017 50.03% ↑ 26.75%
Q1 2018 51.77% ↑ 3.48%
Q1 2019 48.71% ↓ 5.91%
Q1 2020 51.92% ↑ 6.59%
Q1 2021 54.8% ↑ 5.55%
Q1 2022 59.66% ↑ 4.86%
Q1 2023 60.89% ↑ 1.23%
Q1 2024 61.21% ↓ 1.88%

Over the last five years, website traffic from mobile devices has fluctuated somewhat. However, there has been a steady upward trend.

People access the internet using different devices at different times. A recent survey of internet usage split these into 10 categories (some of which overlap).

The data revealed that around 9 in 10 (92.3%) internet users access the internet using a mobile phone of some kind.

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By comparison, 65.6% use the more traditional laptop or desktop.

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Here is a full breakdown of the findings:

Device Share of Users
Mobile phone (any) 92.3%
Laptop or desktop (any) 65.6%
Smartphone 91%
Feature phone 5.2%
Tablet device 27.3%
Own laptop or desktop 59.1%
Work laptop or desktop 28.6%
Connected television 31.9%
Smart home device 15.4%
Games console 12.7%

Cellular data traffic has increased quarter-over-quarter since Q1 2017.

The amount of monthly cellular data consumed by the average smartphone worldwide has grown from 9.68 EB in Q1 2017 to 133.68 EB in Q2 2023.

The monthly cellular data consumed by the average smartphone now stands at 21.1GB.

Here's how mobile network data traffic has changed over time:

Quarter, Year Monthly Average Global Mobile Network Data Traffic (Upload and Download) in Exabytes
Q1 2017 9.68 EB
Q2 2017 10.63 EB
Q3 2017 11.69 EB
Q4 2017 13.6 EB
Q1 2018 15.94 EB
Q2 2018 18.37 EB
Q3 2018 21.78 EB
Q4 2018 26.54 EB
Q1 2019 29.02 EB
Q2 2019 32.66 EB
Q3 2019 36.49 EB
Q4 2019 39.56 EB
Q1 2020 45.16 EB
Q2 2020 50.03 EB
Q3 2020 54.79 EB
Q4 2020 58.44 EB
Q1 2021 66.14 EB
Q2 2021 72.2 EB
Q3 2021 77.81 EB
Q4 2021 84.16 EB
Q1 2022 92.75 EB
Q2 2022 100.42 EB
Q3 2022 107.58 EB
Q4 2022 118.21 EB
Q1 2023 126 EB
Q2 2023 133.86 EB
Q3 2023 143.14 EB

Android dominates the share of mobile web traffic with 70.48%. Together with Apple (28.8%), the two make up 99.28% of all mobile web traffic.

Here's a breakdown of mobile web traffic share:

Rank Device Type Share Change Over Previous Year
1 Android 70.48% -2.6%
2 Apple 28.8% +6.7%
3 Samsung 0.37% +2.8%
4 KAI 0.14% +27.3%
5 Other 0.21% +16.7%

Sources: StatCounterDataReportal

Mobile Device Internet Usage by Region

Mobile computing is one of the most significant technology trends of the 21st century.

However, there is a significant disparity between mobile internet traffic usage across the globe.

Africa is the region with the highest proportion of internet traffic coming from mobile devices (69.13%).

On the other end of the spectrum, Oceania is the world’s least mobile-centric region for internet traffic (39.51%).

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Here is a more detailed look at the most recent data:

Rank Region Share of Mobile Internet Traffic Difference to Global Average
#1 Africa 69.13% + 12.24%
#2 Asia 65.2% + 8.31%
- Global 56.89% -
#3 South America 51.47% - 5.42%
#4 Europe 49.19% - 7.7%
#5 North America 48.49% - 8.4%
#6 Oceania 39.51% - 17.38%

Worldwide, Sudan has the highest proportion of mobile internet traffic 83.92%.

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Of the countries surveyed, Russia has the lowest proportion of mobile internet traffic (30.2%), with the majority of citizens accessing the internet via desktop. The next-lowest by proportion are Portugal (34.12%) and Canada (37.71%).

Below are the top and bottom 40 nations surveyed for their country's mobile internet traffic share:

Africa

  • Nigeria - 81.43%
  • South Africa - 72.59%

  • Egypt - 67.66%
  • Morocco - 52.51%

Asia

  • India - 75.96%
  • Saudi Arabia - 70.82%

  • Hong Kong - 42.27%
  • Russia - 30.2%

South America

  • Argentina - 57.14%

  • Brazil - 49.49%

Europe

  • Republic of Ireland - 58.1%
  • Poland - 53.05%

  • Portugal 34.12%
  • Russia - 30.2%

North America

  • Mexico - 52.88%
  • US - 47.57%

  • Canada 37.71%

Oceania

  • New Zealand - 41.48%

  • Australia - 40.64%

Taking a look at mobile internet usage from a different angle, at least 20 nations around the world have a mobile internet user penetration rate of over 90%.

And a total of 32 exceed the 85% mark.

The US has a mobile internet penetration rate of 84.37%.

Here’s a breakdown of the top 10 nations by mobile internet penetration rate:

Rank Nation Continent Mobile Internet User Penetration
1 Bahrain Asia 98.2%
2 UAE Asia 96.06%
3 Kuwait Asia 95.92%
4 Singapore Asia 95.41%
5 Canada North America 95.21%
6 New Zealand Oceania 94.86%
7 Brunei Asia 94.11%
8 Denmark Europe 93.61%
9 Japan Asia 93.13%
10 UK Europe 92.85%

Perhaps unsurprisingly, 8 of the top 10 countries by mobile internet speed also rank in the top 25 for mobile internet penetration:

Rank Nation Continent Apr 2024 Mobile Internet Speed Mobile Internet Penetration Rank
1 Qatar Asia 314.78 Mbps 15
2 UAE Asia 278.88 Mbps 2
3 Kuwait Asia 228.96 Mbps 3
4 Iceland Europe 169.8 Mbps 22
5 Denmark Europe 151.29 Mbps 8
6 Norway Europe 151.04 Mbps 16
7 South Korea Asia 150.25 Mbps 12
8 China Asia 133.75 Mbps -
9 Netherlands Europe 130.61 Mbps 25
10 USA North America 125.14 Mbps 37

*Doesn’t feature on the list of 38 ranked nations by mobile penetration.

Source: StatCounter, Statista, Speedtest

Mobile Device Activity Data

As technology has evolved, so too have use cases for mobile devices.

Today, mobile devices are used for entertainment, e-commerce, financial management, business meetings, and more.

However, according to a recent survey, the most common use for a mobile device is gaming. In fact, 68% of people report playing video games on their phones.

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Here’s a breakdown of the 16 most common tasks that people perform using their smartphones:

Rank Activity Share Activity Type
1 Played a game 68% Entertainment
2 Listened to music 67% Entertainment
3 Used social media 63% Entertainment
4 Watched video, TV, or film 61% Entertainment
=5 Paid for something bought online 47% E-commerce/Finance
=5 Accessed bank 47% Finance
7 Ordered a product 42% E-commerce
8 Booked food delivery 41% E-commerce/Health & Wellbeing
9 Used for work 38% Business
10 Sent money to a friend 35% Finance
=11 Paid for something using Google Pay, Apple Pay, etc. 33% E-commerce/Finance
=11 Read a magazine or newspaper 33% Entertainment
13 Used a medical or fitness service 25% Health & Wellbeing
14 Booked a taxi ride 22% Travel
15 Controlled a smart device 20% Entertainment/Misc.
16 None of the above 3% N/A

Looking at the above table, it’s clear that e-commerce is among the most popular uses for mobile devices.

Indeed, more than half of the online population (55.4%) are likely to have bought something online in the past month with their mobile device.

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The 11 countries with a higher proportion of mobile shoppers than the global average are as follows:

Rank Country Region Share of Online Population Using E-commerce
1 Indonesia Asia 79.1%
2 Thailand Asia 74.2%
3 Philippines Asia 69.6%
4 Malaysia Asia 68.4%
5 Saudi Arabia Asia 65.1%
6 China Asia 64.3%
7 Taiwan Asia 63.8%
8 Vietnam Asia 61.4%
9 South Korea Asia 59.9%
10 India Asia 57.3%
11 Singapore Asia 56.9%

*Partially European

Source: Mobile Ecosystem Forum, Data Reportal

5G Adoption Statistics

Mobile internet traffic has grown along with the rollout of 5G. And there are expected to be over 1 billion 5G connections worldwide by 2025.

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China is expected to have over 3x more 5G connections than any other country.

In fact, it is predicted that China will have considerably more 5G connections than the US, Japan, Germany, South Korea, the UK, France, and Canada combined.

Here are the predicted country-by-country 5G connections in 2025:

Country 5G Mobile Connections Share of 5G Mobile Connection
China 866 million 51%
USA 247 million 68%
Japan 138 million 68%
Germany 68 million 58%
South Korea 45 million 73%
UK 42 million 57%
France 35 million 49%
Canada 20 million 51%

Source: GSMA

The Future of Mobile Device Internet Usage

Mobile phone subscriptions have risen year-over-year since 1993 (from only 34 million in 1993 to 8.648 billion today.)

Despite growing at a slower rate in recent years, mobile phone subscriptions are still on the rise.

Here’s a look at the major milestones of worldwide mobile subscriptions over the last 30 years:

Mobile Subscriber Milestone Year
100 million 1996
500 million 2000
1 billion 2002
2 billion 2005
3 billion 2007
4 billion 2008
5 billion 2010
6 billion 2012
7 billion 2015
8 billion 2019

There are 4.66 billion active internet users. And 4.32 billion active mobile internet users. Notably, those figures are almost identical.

The discrepancy between active social media users (4.2 billion) and active mobile social media users (4.15 billion) is even smaller. Not surprisingly, this is leading to people spending more time on their phones than ever before.

As both internet use and social media use grow, it only stands to reason that mobile internet traffic will follow suit.

Source: ITU, DataReportal

Conclusion

That wraps up our look at the current state of global mobile internet traffic.

Developing nations are helping push the surge in mobile internet use.

And countries with established mobile phone usage are continuing to close in on near-ubiquitous mobile internet use. If you found this report valuable, you may also want to check out our recent outlook on the top cloud computing trends over the next few years. Or, more focused on the world of mobile devices, a list of emerging app development trends.