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Discrepancies still exist despite major mobile penetration

20 November 2009

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International Telecommunications Union’s report The World in 2009: ICT facts and figures points out that mobile technologies and broadband are making major inroads in developing countries. It argues that even though cellular technology is becoming widely popular, there are regional discrepancies in mobile broadband penetration.

The World in 2009: ICT facts and figures

Publisher: International Telecommunications Union, 2009

The report points out rapid growth of information and communication technologies (ICT) in many parts of the world. The latest statistics indicate the growth in several areas, including use of mobile phones, broadband, televisions and computers.

It states that mobile technology is the key driver to ICT growth with global mobile subscriptions expected to reach 4.6 billion by the end of the year. The broadband subscriptions are expected to top 600 million this year having overtaken fixed broadband subscribers in 2008.

According to the statistics, more than a quarter of the world's population is online and using the Internet, as of 2009.

However the report also shows that mobile broadband penetration rates are still low in many African and other developing countries.

It highlights:

  • Asia and the Pacific and Europe have the greatest numbers of mobile broadband subscriptions;
  • There is a dramatic broadband divide, with very few fixed broadband subscribers or mobile broadband subscriptions in Africa;
  • There are substantial differences within regions. The US accounts for 82.6% of mobile broadband in the Americas. In Asia and the Pacific, Japan and the Republic of Korea account for 70%;
  • The relative price for ICT services is highest in Africa, the region with the lowest income levels.
Source : ITU

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