Geneva: By the end of this year, there will be almost 3 billion internet users, two-thirds of them coming from the developing world.
And the number of mobile-broadband subscriptions will reach 2.3 billion globally, new figures released by International Telecomuumications Union (ITU) Monday show. Fifityfive percent 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,” said ITU secretary-general Hamadoun I. Touré.
The data show 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 will reach almost 7 billion by end 2014, and 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 percent of the world's total.
The data show that mobile-cellular growth rates have reached their lowest-ever level (2.6 percent globally), indicating that the market is approaching saturation levels.
Africa, 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 r0ates).
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.
By end 2014, fixed-broadband penetration will have reached almost 10 per cent globally.