" ITREALMS: Mobile phone coverage hits 90% mark

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Mobile phone coverage hits 90% mark

Global telecommunications regulator, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has disclosed that 90 per cent of the world’s population is now covered by mobile cellular networks.

According to ITU Statshot Issue number 3, made available to ITRealms Online, the global regulator described this evolution as ‘Ubiquitous mobile’.

ITU has gone ahead to reveal that the number of fixed telephone lines worldwide has continued to drop, but this drop has been massively made up with compensation from the growth in mobile.

ITU Statshot pointed out that between year 2006 and end of 2009 that the mobile growth has recorded about 1,916 billion mobile cellular subscriptions, stressing that in 2006 for instance, the subscription was 2,732 billion and by end of 2009 it has grown to 4,648 billion.

Additionally, ITU highlighted that within the period under review developed countries grew mobile telephony by 284 million, while developing countries went up by 1,632 million, just as the fixed lines instead of increasing, depleted by about 57 million, inferring that in 2006 fixed lines were 1,266 million and by 2009 this figure has gone down to 1,209 million.

“There were around 57 million fewer fixed telephone lines at the end of 2009 than there were at the end of 2006,” part of the report read.

There were 1.9 billion net additional mobile cellular subscriptions globally between the end of 2006 and 2009. Over 1.6 billion of these were in the developing world, compared to fewer than 300 million in the developed world.

“In many developing countries more than half of rural households now have a mobile phone,” ITU said, citing for instance, that in China and India, the two most populous nations in the world, over 90 per cent of villages are now connected, thanks to mobile.

In a related development the ITU Statshot also focused on Internet and broadband, depicting 75 per cent of households worldwide now have Television (TV) sets with only 25 per cent have Internet access.

As said by the report, close to two thirds of people in the developed world now have access to the Internet, while Four fifths of people in the developing world do not.

“Most Internet growth, however, is coming from the developing world, which accounted for 600 million of the 777 million new Internet users worldwide between the end of 2005 and the end of 2009,” they said.

By the end of 2008, ITU said, there were more Internet users in the developing world than in the developed world, just as in the four years to the end of 2009, fixed broadband penetration rates in the developing world almost tripled, and mobile broadband penetration rates grew more than tenfold.

Affirming that data and analysis in the ITU Statshot were drawn from the ITU World Telecommunication cum Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) Development Report 2010 and the ITU World Telecommunication-ICT Indicators database.

Meanwhile the 9th edition of the ITU World Telecommunication/ICT Development Report (WTDR 2010) focuses on Monitoring the WSIS Targets, recalling that the year 2010 marks the midpoint between the 2005 Tunis phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and 2015, the deadline for achieving the 10 targets that governments agreed upon at the WSIS-2.

The Report acts as a mid-term review and provides policy makers with a comprehensive assessment of what has been achieved so far and what remains to be done, even as it was specifically prepared for the WSIS Forum 2010 and the ITU World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC-10); both of which held last May.

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