The State of Mobile Internet Connectivity Report 2022

Coverage Type: 

The GSMA, a global organization focusing on unifying mobile ecosystems, on the state of global mobile internet connectivity for 2022. Growth in mobile internet adoption continues and is nearly entirely driven by people living in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Across the world, 55% of the population was using mobile internet at the end of 2021. The report shows that 95% of the global population now lives in areas served by mobile broadband connectivity, and that enabled by that coverage footprint, 55% of the world’s population is now connected to mobile internet. Providing coverage to the remaining 5% (the ‘coverage gap’) remains an important challenge. Additional key points from the report include: 

  • Use of mobile internet is still growing and driving digital inclusion. By the end of 2021, 4.3 billion people were using mobile internet, or 55% of the world’s population, up from 43% in 2017
  • Almost 300 million people came online in the past year. Most of the people who started using mobile internet in 2021 came from LMICs where 94% of the unconnected population live. As a result, for the first time, half of the population LMICs is now using mobile internet.
  • Globally, the coverage gap reduced substantially over the last 7 years. The percentage of people outside the reach of mobile broadband networks fell from 19% in 2015 to 5% at the end of 2021. However, there is no room for complacency: 400 million people worldwide still do not live in an area covered by a mobile broadband network, and progress has slowed since 2018.

However, barriers persist for those trying to be connected. Such "usage gap" issues include a lack of digital literacy, affordability, access to relevant content and services, and safety and security concerns access.

The State of Mobile Internet Connectivity Report 2022 Mobile Internet’s ‘Usage Gap’ is Almost Eight Times the Size of the ‘Coverage Gap’, GSMA Research Reveals