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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Global mobile usage reaches 60% - Report

The latest survey by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has put the global mobile reach to an estimated 60 per cent of the population of the world.
Also the survey indicated that about 25 per cent are now using the internet.

This revelation came 25 years, when the ITU High Level Committee Report popularly referred to as The Missing Link was aimed at prescribing how to make people of the less developed world have access to communications by electronics and bring all mankind within easy reach of a telephone.

According to the report, what has made the difference is the breakthrough in cellular technology and the fact of the ubiquitous internet.

Experts said that it is not really the ‘decision at the highest political level’ which the Report had prescribed in December 1984.

In Nigeria, telephone authorities have recently released a figure of 63 million mobile phones for a population of 140 million. While in Ghana, the officials said the figure is 10 million in a population of 23 million.

These figures, the expert also said, does not indicate whether such number of citizens have mobile phones but that telephone operators have put those numbers into the market sometimes with more than two phones being owned by each of a large proportion of those who have direct access.

Going by the latest ITU report, the figures provided by various administrations in Africa, the conclusion is that while growth has been fastest in Africa, the greatest population of those without access may also be from the continent.

“In the developed economies it is usual to find number of mobiles being higher than total population, again meaning that those without access are still predominantly in the underdeveloped economies whose access figures might have also been rising,” part of the report said.

For internet access, the Report appears to have taken access to mean the use by an individual of the resources of internet, even when the individual may be unaware of such access.

That is, because much of the internet take-up is thought to have been driven by money-transfer services that allow people with or without bank accounts to send money speedily and safely with the recipient; typically a family member receiving cash at the other end or even use bank services which had relied on the internet.

ITRealms Online recalls that three years, a Nigerian industry research company, Telecom Answers Associates, carried out an audit of internet providers in Nigeria and reported that 7.5 million had access to the Internet, a figure which was one million higher than the estimate published by internetworldstats.com within the same year under review.

However, by end of 2008, internetworldstats.com reported that 10 million Nigerian had access; 10.5 in Egypt and 880,000 in Ghana.

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