Internet users are multiplying every day and a latest report from The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is predicting that 3.2 billion people will be online by the end of 2015
By end 2015, there are more than 7 billion mobile cellular subscriptions, corresponding to a penetration rate of 97%, up from 738 million in 2000.
The ITU report adds that 2 billion of these 3.2 billion users will be from developing countries. 3.2 billion turns about to 43 percent of the global population. This is a huge jump from 2000, when 400 million people (around 6.5 percent of the population) were online. The report titled “World in 2015” states many of the internet users from developing countries are using mobile networks instead of broadband connections.
These new figures not only show the rapid technological progress made to date, but also help us identify those being left behind in the fast-evolving digital economy, as well as the areas where ICT investment is needed most,” said Houlin Zhao, ITU Secretary-General.
The report showed that internet penetration has increased almost seven-fold from 6.5 to 43 per cent of the global population in the last 15 years.
The number of households with internet access at home moved up from 18 per cent in 2005 to 46 per cent in 2015, ITU said.
It found that 78 out of 100 people in the US and Europe already use mobile broadband and 69 per cent of the world has 3G coverage – but only 29 per cent of rural areas were served.
Africa lags behind with just 17.4 per cent mobile broadband penetration.
Broadband is also affordable in 111 countries, with the cost of broadband meeting the set target of being less than five per cent of gross national income per capita.
“Over the past 15 years the ICT revolution has driven global development in an unprecedented way”, said Brahima Sanou, director of the ITU telecommunication development bureau.
“ICTs will play an even more significant role in the post 2015 development agenda and in achieving future sustainable development goals as the world moves faster and faster towards a digital society.”