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June 17, 2013

10 Fastest Growing Nations in Internet Use

By Ben Bosco, TMCnet Contributing Writer

The Internet is growing, and while it saturates much of the world, its user base is expanding almost everywhere. The Cisco (News - Alert) VNI Global IP Traffic Forecast, a predictor on Internet traffic around the world, said that the Internet user base will grow from 2.3 billion in 2012 to 3.6 billion in 2017 and that in the same time the global Internet traffic will grow from 523 exabytes to 1.4 zettabytes (523 sextillion and 1.4 septillion bytes, respectively). To increase that much, we need to look at the nations whose user population is growing the fastest.

10. Mexico

Out of a population of 118 million, 51 million people currently have Internet access, and they are using 176 million Internet-connected devices. It is the country with the biggest Internet base in Latin America, and Cisco sees Mexico as a driving force in the region and a “focal point for growth” in the coming years.

9. Indonesia

For the next five years, Cisco predicts that this country will see huge growth in its Internet use. While the population of this nation is only supposed to go from 247 million to 259 million in the next five years, its Internet-using population is going to rise from 55 million to 125 million, which is a huge leap. The main reason this is able to be accomplished is that Internet providers will extend their reach to more islands in the archipelago (17,001 in all), and use mobile Internet if no infrastructure can be built in a location.

8. France

Cisco predicts that France will be experiencing a rise of Internet usage from 57 million users in 2012 to 61 million users in 2017, mostly thanks to more affordable Internet plans in metro areas and better infrastructure.

7. Germany

While Germany has a very well-defined system of Internet access, in which citizens have access to low-cost broadband via Deutsche Telekom (News - Alert) and others, in which they are working to boost speeds via an FTTx network (“Fiber to the x”) to about 100Mbits download and 10Mbits upload. Cisco predicts user base will grow in five years from 61 million to 66 million people.

6. Brazil

Brazil’s Internet user base is projected to go from 89 million in 2012 to 110 million in 2017. The Internet has been around in Brazil since 1988, and it is the fifth most populous country on the Internet, thanks in part to megacities such as Sao Paolo and Rio De Janiero and their suburbs.

5. Russia

Cisco predicts the numbers of Russian Internet users to go from 74 million in 2012 to 124 million in 2017. This is due in part to an uptick in the use of mobile and satellite Internet in remote locations around the sizeable nation, such as Siberia and Lappland.

4. Japan

One might expect the country to be saturated with Internet use, but apparently in 2012 only 113 million out of the 131 million living in the island nation had Internet, which Cisco predicts will expand to 129 million by 2017. At that point it will also have 626 million Internet-connected devices, almost 5 times the population of users, and almost twice the 382 million devices in use today.

3. India

India’s growth of Internet users is supposed to rise from 138 million users in 2012 to 348 million users in 2017. This growth will see India’s online data use rising to 2.4 exabytes by 2017. The expansion will be partly due to the proliferation of cell phones and the mobile Internet access, which will be available to all who can own a cell phone; however, Indian telecom providers will also be expanding cable and fiber-optic networks. This expansion leads to Cisco’s 2017 prediction that there will be 1.9 billion devices in use at the time.

2. China

Despite major content filters put in place by the government, China’s Internet use is large, broad-based and only seems to be expanding. From 2012 to 2017, Cisco predicts that the amount of Internet users will increase from 564 million to 929 million, and that the number of devices will go from 2.1 billion to 3.9 billion, a near-doubling in both respects.

1. United States

The United States’ Internet network provided a blueprint for much of the world, as it and many countries in the Anglosphere were early adopters of the Internet, with as much as 75 percent of the United States having access to the Internet in 2004. Still, in rural or impoverished areas of the US, many are still without reliable Internet access. Cisco predicts that from 2012 to 2017, the amount of United States Internet users will go from 245 million to 291 million.

Edited by Alisen Downey
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