" ITREALMS: Mobile broadband penetration approaches 32% of global population

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Monday, May 05, 2014

Mobile broadband penetration approaches 32% of global population

Latest figures released by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has shown that mobile-broadband penetration is approaching 32 per cent of the global population, just as three billion Internet users will exist by end of this year, 2014, reports ITRealms.

The latest figures contained in its 2014 Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Reports made available to ITRealms on Monday indicated that, by end 2014 there would be almost 3 billion Internet users, two-thirds of them coming from the developing world, and that the number of mobile-broadband subscriptions reaching 2.3 billion globally.

ITU Secretary-General, Dr. Hamadoun I. Touré revealed to ITRealms that 55 per cent of these subscriptions are expected to be in the developing world.

“The newly released ICT figures confirm once again that information and communication technologies continue to be the key drivers of the information society,” he said.

Brahima Sanou, the Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau, noted that for adequate understanding of the information society, there is need to measure it, stressing that “Without measurement we cannot track progress or identify gaps which require our attention.”

The fixed-telephone subscriptions, the report noted has continued to decline, which result shows that fixed-telephone penetration has been declining for the past five years. By end 2014, there will be about 100 million fewer fixed-telephone subscriptions than in 2009.

Mobile-cellular subscriptions, ITU stated is expected to hit nearly 7 billion, pointing out that 3.6 billion of these will be in the Asia-Pacific region.

“The increase is mostly due to growth in the developing world where mobile-cellular subscriptions will account for 78 per cent of the world’s total,” official said.

Data show that mobile-cellular growth rates have reached their lowest-ever level (2.6% globally), indicating that the market is approaching saturation levels.

Africa and Asia and the Pacific, where penetration will reach 69 per cent and 89 per cent, respectively by end 2014, are the regions with the strongest mobile-cellular growth (and the lowest penetration rates). Penetration rates in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Arab States, the Americas and Europe have reached levels above 100 per cent and are expected to grow at less than two per cent in 2014. The region with the highest mobile-cellular penetration rate is the CIS.

On the growth in fixed-broadband penetration slowing in developing countries, ITU says that by end 2014, fixed-broadband penetration will have reached almost 10 per cent globally.

Forty-four per cent, ITRealms gathered that of all fixed-broadband subscriptions are in Asia and the Pacific, and 25 per cent are in Europe. In contrast, Africa accounts for less than 0.5 per cent of the world’s fixed-broadband subscriptions, and despite double-digit growth over the last four years, penetration in Africa remains very low.

Africa, the Arab States, and CIS are the only regions with double-digit fixed-broadband penetration growth rates. The Americas region stands out with the lowest growth in fixed broadband penetration, estimated at 2.5 per cent and reaching a penetration rate of around 17 per cent by end 2014. Europe’s fixed-broadband penetration is much higher compared with other regions and almost three times as high as the global average.

Mobile-broadband subscriptions will reach 2.3 billion globally, just as penetration will reach 32 per cent by end 2014; in developed countries, mobile-broadband penetration will reach 84 per cent, a level four times as high as in developing countries (21%). The number of mobile-broadband subscriptions will reach 2.3 billion globally and 55 per cent of all mobile-broadband subscriptions are expected to be in the developing world.

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