Scandanavia is home to the most wired countries in the world but when it comes to mobile connectivity, Asia is leading the pack.
Norway has been officially named the world's most wired country. That's according to Bloomberg, which crunched data from the ITU World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators database, including fixed broadband penetration, mobile broadband penetration and the percentage of households that use the Internet, to come up with a final wired score.
In fact, the five Scandinavian countries occupy all top five slots on Bloomberg’s list. So, not only do they have a monopoly on natural wonders like Fjords, Aurora Borealis, wild reindeer and obscenely cute polar bears, but they also win the jackpot when it comes to modern connectivity. (Yes, Norway, we know you also came in No. 2 in the UN’s World Happiness Report and have a mega budget surplus – stop rubbing it in!)
And when it comes to the wiredness factor, Norway’s pushing ahead fast. While the rest of us are still racing to send one more email before takeoff, Norwegian Air is now the world’s first airline to offer FREE, high-speed broadband on almost all of it’s European flights. “We take free Wi-Fi for granted when we book into a hotel or even into buses or railways,” Norwegian Air CEO Bjorn Kjos told the Wall Street Journal. “I hate to pay for Wi-Fi so why should I pay for Wi-Fi when I board an aircraft?” Hear hear!
Alright, Londoners, if you’re thinking, “Hey, I just Googled from the Tube station, the UK must be right behind those savvy Nordics,” you’re close. The UK comes in at a respectable No. 9 — outranked by South Korea, which comes in 6th, but beating the US, which lands in spot number 13.
Wondering what became of all those roaring Asian tigers? Turns out they're more into surfing the net on their mobiles than from home. While Singapore’s overall wired score lands it in 14th place, it comes in No. 1 for mobile broadband penetration level alone, with 123.3 mobiles on broadband per 100 people. Yes, loads of Singaporeans have more than one smartphone. Likewise, on the overall wired list, Japan sits at No. 11 and Hong Kong at No. 19, but take away the fixed and home use and Japan shoots to No. 2 with 113.1 mobiles per 100 people, and Hong Kong to No. 10. Meanwhile Norway slides down to 8th place in the mobile-alone category.
Text by Lauren Cooper, TransferWise revolutionary, globe-trotting journalist and battle-hardened expat. An expert on life in the world’s most expensive cities, she grew up in New York before doing tours of duty in Hong Kong and London.