Effective Measure’s November 2012 website statistics revealed that the majority of South Africa’s netizens access the Internet using ADSL.
Effective Measure’s latest demographic report showed that 51% of South Africa’s Internet users reported that they use ADSL to access the Internet, followed by 39% using mobile (cellular) networks and 28% Wi-Fi.
It should be noted that users can select multiple connection methods – like ADSL and mobile Internet – if they access the Internet from multiple connections.
Over the last year there has been a significant growth in the percentage of users accessing the Internet via mobile and wireless network – potentially fuelled by the strong growth in the uptake of smartphones and tablet PCs.
- ADSL -51.23% (53% in August 2011)
- Mobile network (e.g. iBurst, 3G, Edge, GPRS) – 38.94% (28% in August 2011)
- Wireless network (e.g. WiFi) – 27.98% (17% in August 2011)
- Mobile internet (WAP) using a cellphone -15.45% (9% in August 2011)
- Dial-up (Standard telephone line) – 6.31% (7% in August 2011)
The decline of access via ADSL and strong growth in mobile network connectivity is in line with South Africa’s broadband subscriber numbers. ADSL has seen slowing growth over the last 12 months while mobile broadband subscribers exploded.
Curious Internet access breakdown
These figures may look strange as there are many more mobile data subscribers than ADSL subscribers in South Africa.
World Wide Worx’s Internet Access in South Africa 2012 report showed that there are currently 875,000 ADSL subscribers, far less than the 7 million mobile broadband subscriptions.
The answer to this riddle lies in the fact that mobile broadband connections are typically only used by a single person to access the Internet while an ADSL connection is often shared among numerous people in an office or household.
World Wide Worx MD Arthur Goldstuck showed in his Internet Access in South Africa research report that a single ADSL line typically connects multiple users to the Internet in the small and medium size business environment.
This explains why only 875,000 ADSL lines account for over 50% of people accessing the Internet in SA.
Goldstuck’s research showed that 23% of small business ADSL lines connect an average of between 5 and 20 additional people per ADSL connection to the Internet.
Goldstuck further pointed out that a high proportion of ADSL users also have 3G as a backup connection and for use away from the office.
Goldstuck’s argument is substantiated by Effective Measure’s stats on user’s Internet access location, which shows a high percentage of people accessing the Internet from work.
- Home – 69.23%
- Work – 61.31%
- Smart Phone (iPhone, Blackberry, Android, Other) – 26.28%
- Education Facility / Library – 4.29%
- Internet café – 3.64%
- Tablet (iPad, Galaxy, Other) – 3.09%
- Friend’s or family’s place – 2.67%