Internet Traffic from Mobile Devices (Nov 2023)
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 2023:
- Mobile Device Internet Usage Stats (Top Picks)
- What Percentage Of Internet Traffic Comes From Mobile Devices?
- Mobile Device Internet Usage By Region
- Mobile Device Activities Data
- 5G Adoption Statistics
- The Future Of Mobile Device Internet Usage
Mobile Device Internet Usage Stats (Top Picks)
- Over 55% 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 November 2023, people using mobile devices contribute to 56.2% of all website traffic.
Back in 2011, this figure sat at less than one-third (6.1%). In 2015, this was up to 37.2%.
The percentage of people accessing the internet via mobile devices has increased quarter-over-quarter. Q1 2017 was the first time mobile traffic surpassed traffic from desktop computers.
Here’s a quick look at mobile internet traffic share every Q1 since 2015:
|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%|
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.
By comparison, 65.6% use the more traditional laptop or desktop.
Here is a full breakdown of the findings:
|Device||Share of Users|
|Mobile phone (any)||92.3%|
|Laptop or desktop (any)||65.6%|
|Own laptop or desktop||59.1%|
|Work laptop or desktop||28.6%|
|Smart home device||15.4%|
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%).
Here is a more detailed look at the most recent data:
|Rank||Region||Share of Mobile Internet Traffic||Difference to Global Average|
|#3||South America||51.47%||- 5.42%|
|#5||North America||48.49%||- 8.4%|
Worldwide, Sudan has the highest proportion of mobile internet traffic 83.92%.
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:
- Nigeria - 81.43%
- South Africa - 72.59%
- Egypt - 67.66%
- Morocco - 52.51%
- India - 75.96%
- Saudi Arabia - 70.82%
- Hong Kong - 42.27%
- Russia - 30.2%
- Argentina - 57.14%
- Brazil - 49.49%
- Republic of Ireland - 58.1%
- Poland - 53.05%
- Portugal 34.12%
- Russia - 30.2%
- Mexico - 52.88%
- US - 47.57%
- Canada 37.71%
- New Zealand - 41.48%
- Australia - 40.64%
*Includes partly-European Turkey
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|
Perhaps unsurprisingly, 8 of the top 10 countries by mobile internet speed also rank in the top 30 for mobile internet penetration:
|Rank||Nation||Continent||Nov 2023 Mobile Internet Speed||Mobile Internet Penetration Rank|
|9||South Korea||Asia||121.07 Mbps||11|
*Doesn’t feature on the list of 38 ranked nations by mobile penetration.
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.
Here’s a breakdown of the 16 most common tasks that people perform using their smartphones:
|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|
|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.
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|
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.
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|
|South Korea||45 million||73%|
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|
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.
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.