Online world heads for 2bn

INTERNET

|
Image: By ITU
Online world heads for 2bn

ITU says in a report issued for World Statistics Day on 20 October that the world’ s internet users will pass the two billion mark this year, but African countries only have a 9.6% penetration.

The report says the number of worldwide internet users more than doubled in the past five years.

By the end of this year, more than 71% of people in developed countries will be online, compared to 21% of the population in developing countries and under 10% in Africa specifically. In developed countries, 65% of people have internet access at home, compared with only 13.5% of people in developing countries.

ITU notes that internet access is growing fastest in developing countries, however. 162 million of the 226 million new internet users this year are in developing countries.

The report adds that with so few people in developing countries having internet access at home, access at work, schools and public locations is critical.

With the rapidly increasing high-bandwidth content and applications on the internet, there is a growing demand for higher-speed broadband connections. By the end of 2010, fixed broadband penetration will reach 8% globally. But penetration levels in developing countries remain low: 4.4 subscriptions per 100 people compared to 24.6 in developed countries.

ITU considers broadband as a catalyst for growth. ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré says: “ Broadband is the next tipping point, the next truly transformational technology. It can generate jobs, drive growth and productivity, and underpin long-term economic competitiveness. It is also the most powerful tool that we have at our disposal in our race to meet the Millennium Development Goals, the deadline for which is now just five years away.”

Mobile web spread like wildfire

While high-speed Internet is still out of reach for many people in low-income countries, mobile telephony is becoming ubiquitous, with access to mobile networks now available to over 90% of the global population. ITU’ s new data indicate that among the estimated 5.3 billion mobile subscriptions by the end of 2010, 3.8 billion will be in the developing world.

The Director of ITU’ s Telecommunication Development Bureau, Sami Al Basheer said: “ Mobile phone penetration in developing countries now stands at 68% — higher than any other technology before. These countries have been innovative in adapting mobile technology to their particular needs and will be able to draw even greater benefits from broadband once adequate and affordable access is available.”

Overall, the price of ICT services is falling, but high-speed Internet access remains prohibitively expensive, especially in low-income developing countries. In 2009, an entry-level fixed (wired) broadband connection cost on average 190 PPP$ (Purchasing power parity in USD) per month in developing countries, compared to only 28 PPP$ in developed countries.

Mobile cellular services are much more affordable, with an average monthly cost of 15 PPP$ in developing countries compared to around 18 PPP$ in developed countries. The relative price for ICT services (especially broadband) is highest in Africa, the region with the lowest income levels. The region lags behind when it comes to broadband access.

Although subscriptions are increasing, a penetration rate of less than 1 per cent for fixed broadband illustrates the huge challenges that persist to increase access to high-speed, high-capacity internet.



Share the News

Get Daily Newsletter

comments powered by Disqus

MORE INTERNET NEWS

Huawei launches Africa’s first Digital inCloud centre

Huawei has announced the launch of its Digital inCloud Eastern and Southern Africa regional centre. Read More

Vodafone Internet Fair leads the way in Internet education in Ghana

Rawlings Park traders have had the opportunity to experience 3G internet as part of Vodafone’s Internet Fair. Read More

Facebook opens first African office

Facebook has opened its first office in Africa to further the company’s commitment to help businesses connect with people and grow locally and regionally. Read More

Phase 3 Telecom upgrades network

Phase 3 Telecom has embarked on an upgrade of its network to enhance optimal performance. Read More

Jasco activates redundant fibre link between NewTelco data centre and Teraco

Jasco has announced the activation of a dedicated fibre link between its NewTelco data centre located in Midrand and the Teraco data centre in Isando, Johannesburg.  Read More

Orange sets optical transmission record

Orange has achieved a new record, transmitting 38.4 Terabits-per-second over a distance of 762 km. Read More

SEACOM announces DE-CIX peering

SEACOM has added the Deutscher Commercial Internet Exchange in Germany to the list of European Internet exchange points at which it peers.  Read More

A4AI appoints former NCC chair

The Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) has appointed the former CEO of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Ernest Ndukwe to serve as its National Coordinator. Read More

Tigo Ghana leads NCA data subscriptions for Q1 2015

According to records provided by the National Communications Authority, Tigo Ghana has made impressive data subscriber gains to the end of the first quarter of 2015. Read More

Smile boosts First Consultants’ telemedicine with SMiFi

Smile Communications Nigeria Limited has provided First Consultants Medical Center (FCMC), Obalende, Lagos, with SMiFi routers. Read More

PRESS OFFICES

Sage ERP AfricaSAP AfricaSage Pastel AccountingTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionMTN BusinessSchneider ElectricMultichoiceMicrosoft 4Afrika

FEATURED STORY

IHS plans to inject fresh $500m to grow capacityIHS plans to inject fresh $500m to grow capacity

Mohammed Darwish, managing director of IHS Towers, says the firm will soon inject another $500million into the business after raising some $2.5billion to finance expansion drives. Darwish spoke with biztecafrica.com in Lagos.

IN DEPTH

As curtain falls on MDGs, what next?As curtain falls on MDGs, what next?

Dr. Bjorn Lomborg, president of the Copenhagen Consensus Centre, speaks to Biztechafrica about setting smart targets.