Pew: Mobile Broadband Users Double Since 2013

Move to mobile for access driven by younger demos
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The percentage of respondents who said their primary online access devices is mobile has effectively doubled since 2013, and many of those are using mobile as a substitute, rather than a complement, to wired broadband service.

That is according to a new Pew Research Center study, which found that 37% us their smartphone to go online, compared with 19% in 2013.


The trend is driven by younger demos, with a majority (58%) of those 18-29 says the mostly go online using their phone. But the 30-49 demo is not far behind at 47%, which, again, is essentially double 2013's 24%.

And among the 27% of respondents who said they don't have a fixed broadband connection, 45% say that is because their mobile device fills the broadband bill. According to the study, "the share of non-broadband users who say their smartphone is the most important reason for not having a high-speed internet connection where they live has nearly doubled over the same time period, from 12% to 23%."

At the same time, affordability is not as big a factor in not having a home fixed broadband connection. The study found that the percentage of people who cited cost as the reason dropped from 33% to 21%.

But 80% of those who do not now have a home fixed broadband connection say they are not interested in getting one.

The study was based on interviews conducted Jan. 8 to Feb. 7, 2019, among 1,502 U.S.adults 18-plus. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.85 percentage points.