South Korea hits 100% mark in wireless broadband

It's marginally ahead of Sweden, which the OECD says has 98 wireless broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants.

South Korea tops the charts for wireless broadband subscribers, according to figures from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The country is the first to pass 100 percent penetration for wireless broadband, according to data from the organization.

Worldwide wireless broadband subscriptions in OECD countries have shown healthy growth of over 13 percent in the last six months, and now total 667 million, up from 590 million in June 2011.

South Korea has 100.6 subscriptions per 100 inhabitants, the OECD said. The agency's data -- based on the rate of high-speed Internet access versus population in South Korea -- doesn't mean that there are more Internet users than people, of course. Regular mobile phone high-speed wireless Internet subscription rates -- in Korea, accounting for 47.6 subscriptions to 100 inhabitants -- and data-only wireless Internet subscriptions (53.1) were analyzed for the study.

The OECD comprises 34 members, including the U.K., U.S., Japan, Finland and Sweden. The average domestic penetration percentage for high-internet mobile wireless based on the organization's metrics came out at 54.3 percent, with the United States rated at 76.1 percent.

South Korea is marginally ahead of Sweden, which the OECD said had 98 wireless broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants. Finland followed with 87.8 and Japan managed to secure 82.4 -- the highest rankings out of all the member countries.

At the bottom of the high-speed rankings were Mexico, Turkey and Hungary -- scoring 7.7, 8.9 and 12.9 percent respectively.

CNET previously reported that a study published last year by Pando Networks gave South Korea the top spot in download speeds. The U.S. only managed to secure 27th place. Mobile technology and staying "connected" seem to be part and parcel of Korean life, where free digital terminals, underground Internet and PC "bangs" or Internet cafes are commonplace.

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    Charlie Osborne writes for ZDNet, SmartPlanet, and CNET. She is based in London and is a freelance journalist, designer, and photographer.

     

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