Wednesday, March 28, 2012
ITU says ‘Time to replicate the mobile miracle’
The recent statistics released at the International Telecommunications Union (ITU’s) Connect Arab Summit in Doha, Qatar has shown that information and communication technology (ICT) uptake has continued to accelerate across the Arab region.
The report made available to ITRealms Online also underlined the fact that more effort needed to be put into rolling out broadband infrastructure to meet burgeoning demand from a young, tech-savvy population.
The data from ITU’s ICT Adoption and Prospects in the Arab Region 2012 report revealed that over the past half a decade, the number of mobile cellular subscriptions in the region has almost tripled, from 126 million in 2006, to nearly 350 million by end 2011.
At the beginning of this year, 2012, regional mobile cellular penetration, ITU reported has reached 97 per cent, that is 10 per cent higher than global penetration.
Additionally, the report warned that such figures could obscure wide disparities between the region’s ‘hyper-connected’ economies and its less connected nations.
Also, the report cited an instance stating that for every 100 people in Saudi Arabia, there are around 188 mobile phone subscriptions; in Djibouti, there are fewer than 20. More than 80 per cent of the population in Qatar uses the Internet, but the figure is below five per cent in Mauritania, Iraq and Somalia.
Members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), with their higher incomes, were reported to have more than twice as many Internet users per 100 inhabitants as non-GCC countries.
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