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

Satellite as key element for the Financial Services Industry

Satellite networks provide an effective solution to reduce cost, increase network availability and mitigate business risks, says Q-KON. Read More

iWayAfrica re-launches Ka-band service with exclusive no equipment contracts

Dandemutande Investments (Private) Limited, a licensed Internet Access Provider operating the AfricaOnline, iWayAfrica, Utande and uMAX brands in Zimbabwe, has announced the re-launch of its iWayAfrica Ka-band VSAT service with a new nationwide campaign targeting households and businesses.  Read More

Terragon Group releases Digital Insights on the Nigerian banks

Terragon Group has released its Research Report which highlights the use of digital media by Nigerian banks and what impact these activities have on their overall business. Read More

BOFINET concludes Sekoma-Tsabong optic fibre project

Botswana Fibre Networks has successfully concluded its 360km Sekoma-Tsabong route optical fibre project. Read More

MainOne extends cable to Cameroun

MainOne has announced the extension of its world-class submarine fiber optic cable network from its Cable Landing Station in Lagos, Nigeria to Kribi, Cameroun.  Read More

PayPal, MallforAfrica join forces to give Kenyan shoppers more online payment options

MallforAfrica, a global e-commerce company that enables African consumers access to over 8.5 billion items, is teaming up with PayPal, one of the world’s most-loved ways to pay and get paid, through internet and mobile, to make online shopping from key markets outside of Kenya as easy as ... Read More

Alan Knott-Craig Jr to launch new venture

Former Mxit CEO Alan Knott-Craig Jr has announced the imminent commercial launch of HeroTel, a new venture seeking to consolidate Wireless Internet providers (WISPs). Read More

Click n Compare takes off Africa

CNC Group, parent company of the Click n Compare comparison website, is expanding its African footprint. Read More

Surfline Communications – one year of leading 4G LTE revolution in Ghana

Ghana’s leading 4G LTE network provider, Surfline Communications, is celebrating its first anniversary in grand style. Read More

MTN Business announces a partnership with Microsoft to offer a cloud solution

MTN Business has announced a strategic partnership with Microsoft to provide a pan-African cloud platform that offers customers a true hybrid cloud solution serviced from MTN’s data centres.  Read More

PRESS OFFICES

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

FEATURED STORY

Young innovators shine during pitch sessionsYoung innovators shine during pitch sessions

Botswana saw an array of upcoming tech wizards selling their ideas during the Vendors’ Day pitch sessions this week.

IN DEPTH

High tech homes: Just press playHigh tech homes: Just press play

High tech, digital homes where everything is automated and connected aren’t the stuff of science fiction any longer, says BNC Technology.