Mobile broadband access (individuals)


Share of private households (or: individuals in private households) having mobile broadband access to the Internet

Unit of observation

Private households (or: individuals in private households)

Reporting unit

Individuals in private households


Survey question (adapted from Eurostat model survey): “Do you use a mobile connection to the Internet?

  • Yes, broadband connection (e.g. UMTS [list brand names dominating on domestic market])
  • Yes, narrowband conncetion (GPRS, etc.)”

Complementary indicators

  • Share of individuals using mobile broadband for certain activities (using list of items).
  • Mobile broadband availability (Share of total population who live in areas which are covered by 3G networks or WiFis)
  • Prices for mobile broadband access basket

Relation to existing indicators

The Eurostat model survey does not (yet) capture whether individuals have mobile access to the Internet. A number of national surveys have started to ask in depth about mobile phone usage, including mobile Internet access. The Oxford Internet Survey (Dutton & Helsper 2007) includes a question on usage of mobile phone features, including as an item “accessing e-mail or the Internet”. A distinction between narrowband and broadband access is not made in most surveys.

Methodological issues concerning application of the indicator

Most technology roadmaps and foresight scenarios seem to agree that ubiquitous computing, (partly) based on mobile broadband access, will soon open up manifold possibilities for transformative change in the business as well as in the private/civil sphere (OECD 2006; Srivastava et al. 2006). For this reason we suggest to include mobile broadband access – as the next step toward eventual “always & everywhere on” connectivity – in future benchmarking frameworks.