Mobile Subscriptions To Reach 4.6 Billion
Global mobile subscriptions are on track to reach 4.6 billion by the end of the year, and mobile broadband subscriptions are set to surpass 600 million in 2009, according to a new report by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
More than a quarter of the world’s population is online and using the Internet, as of 2009. Increasing numbers are opting for high-speed Internet access, with fixed broadband subscriber numbers more than tripling from 150 million in 2004 to a projected 500 million by the end of 2009.
Rapid high-speed Internet growth in the developed world contrasts with the developing world. In Africa, there is only one fixed broadband subscriber for every 1,000 people, compared with Europe where there are 200 subscribers per 1,000 people. The relative price for services (especially broadband) is highest in Africa, the region with the lowest income.
Source: ITU World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Database. *2009 data are estimates.
ITU estimates three quarters of households now own a television and over a quarter of people worldwide now have access to a computer at home.
"We are encouraged to see so much growth across developed and developing regions, but there is still a large digital divide, and an impending broadband divide, which needs to be addressed urgently,"
"Heads of State and industry leaders will collaborate at ITU TELECOM WORLD 2009 to identify the right policies and regulations to support and encourage future ICT growth worldwide," said Sami Al Basheer, Director, Telecommunication Development Bureau.
‘ITU, through its Development Sector, is working with all stakeholders to promote the development of ICT services for all segments of society in all regions of the world."