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This report accompanies the inaugural Mobile-Only Broadband Forecast published in June 2019. The report discusses global and regional trends, examines the factors driving households to go mobile-only, and outlines what operators should watch out for.


  • 5G doomsday theories on the impact on fixed broadband are grossly exaggerated. Moreover, most mobile-only households will be "cord-nevers," experiencing their first opportunity to access the internet, not fixed broadband "cord-cutters."
  • Between 2017 and 2024, mobile-only households will rise by 14pp to 31% worldwide, driven by higher mobile penetration, larger data allowances, and declining per megabyte prices of mobile plans facilitated by 4.5G and eventually 5G.
  • Among major countries, India and China will have the highest number of mobile-only households, followed by Indonesia, Brazil, and Nigeria. Mobile-only growth will be particularly aggressive in emerging markets with stagnant fixed broadband network coverage, but with affordable mobile services.

Features and Benefits

  • This report provides insight into the Mobile-Only Broadband Forecast. It discusses the drivers and inhibitors underpinning the mobile-only phenomenon.
  • This report highlights the differences between developed and developing regions when it comes to mobile-only households.
  • This report provides context for the Mobile-Only Broadband Forecast by discussing growth in mobile plan data allowances and Ovum's fixed broadband speed forecast. Those are important drivers and inhibitors of growth in mobile-only households.

Key questions answered

  • How does Ovum define the mobile-only household and how fast are such households likely to grow?
  • How fast will mobile-only households grow in developing vs. developed countries?

Table of contents


  • Introduction
  • Download 1: Mobile-Only Broadband Forecast Report: 2019–24