Three-quarters of world now has phone access

TELECOMS

|
Image: By BiztechAfrica
Three-quarters of world now has phone access

By Semaj Itosno, Nairobi, Kenya

A new World Bank report indicates that around three-quarters of the world's inhabitants now have access to a mobile phone.

The report, Information and Communications for Development 2012: Maximizing Mobile, says the number of mobile subscriptions in use worldwide, both pre-paid and post-paid, has grown from fewer than 1 billion in 2000 to over 6 billion now, of which nearly 5 billion in developing countries.

“Ownership of multiple subscriptions is becoming increasingly common, suggesting that their number will soon exceed that of the human population…the mobile communications story is moving to a new level, which is not so much about the phone but how it is used,” says the report by the World Bank and infoDev, its technology entrepreneurship and innovation program.

The report says more than 30 billion mobile applications were downloaded in 2011 - extending the capabilities of phones, for instance to become mobile wallets, navigational aids or price comparison tools.

In developing countries, citizens are increasingly using mobile phones to create new livelihoods and enhance their lifestyles, while governments are using them to improve service delivery and citizen feedback mechanisms. 

The report, the third in the World Bank's series on Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) for Development, analyzes the growth and evolution of mobile telephony, and the rise of databased services, including apps, delivered to handheld devices.

"Mobile communications offer major opportunities to advance human and economic development - from providing basic access to health information to making cash payments, spurring job creation, and stimulating citizen involvement in democratic processes," said World Bank Vice President for Sustainable Development Rachel Kyte.

"The challenge now is to enable people, businesses, and governments in developing countries to develop their own locally-relevant mobile applications so they can take full advantage of these opportunities."

The report also explores the consequences for development of the emerging "app economy", especially in agriculture, health, financial services and government, and how it is changing approaches to entrepreneurship and employment.



Share the News

Get Daily Newsletter

comments powered by Disqus

MORE TELECOMS NEWS

BTCL shares to be floated in November

The Botswana Telecommunications Corporation Limited (BTCL) Initial Public Offering, which has been in the pipeline for some time, has reached an advanced stage, says the government. Read More

Outsourcing of telecoms towers management a win-win situation - analysts

The sale of tower assets by African telecoms operators to independent management firms is a win-win situation, according to analysts, with operators benefitting from reduced costs and the buyers obtaining potentially valuable long-term assets.  Read More

Smartphones fail to break into DRC market

Despite harvesting an unprecedented success in other parts of the African continent, smartphones have failed to make any significant impact in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Read More

Zamtel, NEC in microwave transmission project

Dr Nobuhiro Endo, President at NEC Corporation, and Dr Mupanga Mwanakatwe, CEO  of Zamtel Zamtel and NEC Corporation have agreed to build a new digital microwave radio transmission network to boost mobile coverage and capacity across Zambia. Read More

Nokia, oRn partner for Rwanda’s first commercial LTE network

olleh Rwanda Networks (oRn), a joint venture between the Rwandan government and KT Corporation, has chosen Nokia Networks to provide network and managed services for the country’s first commercial LTE network. Read More

Murielle Lorilloux is Vodacom Congo new MD

Murielle Lorilloux, a French citizen and former Orascom Algeria marketing director, has been appointed as the new managing-director (MD) of Vodacom Congo. Read More

Africell DRC’s star performance makes headlines

Africell is the darling of the media in DRC on the back of winning five million subscribers in under two years. Read More

Kinshasa is DRC’s mobile epicentre: report

A recent report published by market research company Target has revealed that Kinshasa, the buoyant capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is the mobile epicentre – the country’s biggest market – where all cellphone companies concentrate their efforts to get their business going and win many customers. Read More

NCR urges Blu, Goldkey telecom to roll out before deadline

The Network of Communication Reporters has urged two Broadband Wireless Access licensed companies, Blu and Goldkey Telecommunications to roll out before their 18 month deadline, which ends in November 2014.  Read More

Improved power will improve telecoms services, says Huawei

Chinese telecoms equipment vendor Huawei Technologies Limited has blamed erratic power supply from the national grid for the poor telecoms services in Nigeria. Read More

PRESS OFFICES

Sage ERP AfricaSAP AfricaSage Pastel AccountingTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionSage HR AfricaMTN BusinessSchneider ElectricMultichoice

FEATURED STORY

MFarmer SMS redefines market access for Ugandan farmersMFarmer SMS redefines market access for Ugandan farmers

Ugandan smallholder farmers are benefitting from an ambitious innovative ICT mobile phone initiative that offers weather reports and up-to-date market information about changes in prices for agricultural commodities, thus granting them lucrative returns from their farming ventures. 

IN DEPTH

NIG President speaks his mindNIG President speaks his mind

Bayo Banjo, CEO, Disc Communications and President, Nigeria Internet Group (NIG) says the proposed licensing of infrastructure companies by the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) will breed corruption and entrench monopolistic practices. Kokumo Goodie reports.

COMPANY NEWS

VMware announces general availability of new solutions for building, managing and protecting softwar

VMware has announced the general availability of VMware NSX 6.1, VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager 5.8, VMware vCloud Suite 5.8, VMware vRealize Operations Insight, VMware vRealize Suite ...