Use of mobile devices to access the Internet surged around the world in the past year, pushed by accelerating adoption in Africa, according to a report in InformationWeek.
By July, mobile phones accounted for 17.4 percent of global web use, a significant increase from 11.1 percent the previous year, according to a study by StatCounter.
Africa saw its mobile web use double year-over-year from 11.3 percent in 2012 to 23.7 percent through July.
Nearly 25 percent of all web access across Africa comes from cell phones, the report said. For many users, cell phones are the only way to access the Internet. Wired connections and PCs aren’t as readily available in Africa as they are elsewhere in the world.
South America also saw its mobile Web use double, from 3.2 percent in 2012 to 6.8 percent in 2013. Asia’s mobile Web use didn’t grow as dramatically year-over-year, but now accounts for 26.6 percent of all Internet access across the area. It increased from 18.8 percent in 2012 and remains the world’s largest region for mobile use of the Internet.
More mature markets saw less growth but still posted strong numbers, the report said. Mobile use across the European continent swelled from 5.9 percent of the total in 2012 to 9.7 percent in 2013. Wired connections and PCs are widely available in Europe. The same is true in North America, where mobile phones accounted for 9.4 percent of all Web access in 2012 and 15.2 percent in 2013. Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, and other island nations, saw mobile Web use climb from 8 percent in 2012 to 14.6 percent in 2013.