Internet access

Key insights at a glance


The divide between consumer spend on Internet access and other media will widen. Total Internet access revenue is set to continue its strong growth at an 8.8% CAGR from US$449.45bn in 2014 to US$686.26bn in 2019, far ahead of any other consumer revenue, as more consumers adopt the Internet as a way to access digital versions of new and existing media services for “free” or low prices.


By 2019, mobile Internet access revenue will account for more than 75% of the market in five territories. Mobile Internet access revenue will soar at a 12.7% CAGR, from US$236.83bn in 2014 to US$441.47bn in 2019, accounting for close to two out of every three dollars spent on Internet access in that year. In 2019, Indonesia, Peru, Rest of MENA, Kenya and South Africa will see more than 75% of total Internet access revenue derived from mobile, with South Africa at an industry-leading 90.7%.


One in four people will own a tablet by 2019, but PCs will remain relevant. Tablet ownership will rise at a CAGR of 28.2%, from 420mn in 2014 to 1.46bn in 2019, although the device’s initial disruptive impact will be tempered by larger-screen smartphones and a return in the popularity of laptops.


Smartphone connections will double to account for over half of all mobile phone connections in 2019. As smartphones become cheaper, the number of smartphone connections will increase at a CAGR of 14.9%, from 1.92bn in 2014 to 3.85bn in 2019, equal to 56.0% of all mobile phone connections, with these additional users driving growth.


Pakistan will see the fastest growth rates for mobile Internet access. Mobile Internet access revenue in Pakistan will increase at a CAGR of 35.2%, from US$63mn in 2014 to US$282mn in 2019, as mobile Internet subscribers increase more than sixfold from 9.5mn to 59.3mn. Increasing mobile availability and lower-cost smartphones, as well as the launch of the country’s first long-term evolution (LTE) services in September 2014, will drive growth.


China’s Internet ecosystem will grow in both size and influence. China’s massive base of fixed broadband households and mobile Internet subscribers—amounting to 280.5mn and 962.7mn in 2019, respectively—will provide a platform for its home-grown companies to expand and succeed in media and technology markets worldwide.

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Internet access spend data