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

Huawei rolls out new base stations in Zambia

Vice President Dr Guy Scott makes a call from the new tower Chinese communications equipment giant Huawei Technologies has launched the first of a series of 169 base stations that will connect rural communities in Zambia to the mobile phone network. Read More

Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda strike deal to lower roaming rates

Plans are underway to lower roaming rates among Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda. Tanzania is not part of the deal because it has missed a number of talks that led to the pact. Read More

Kenyans making longer calls - CAK Report

Robust marketing by telecoms and lowered call rates saw Kenyans use mobile phones more in 2013, the latest sector report shows.  Read More

Telecom Namibia, XON Systems, Juniper Networks invest in network academy

Frans Ndoroma Telecom Namibia has set up a Telecom Namibia Juniper Networks Academy in conjunction with XON Systems and Juniper Networks to boost the training of network engineersin its training facility. Read More

Nokia X excites Ghana smartphone lovers

Nokia Ghana has unveiled one of its new smartphone products, the Nokia X, onto the Ghanaian mobile phone market. Read More

XDSL signs agreement with DFA, Conduct for more fibre

Internet Service Provider XDSL has entered into an agreement with Dark Fibre Africa (DFA) and Conduct, DFA’s last-mile fibre network subsidiary.  Read More

Glo clinches two new brand awards

Kamaldeen Shonibare, Globacom’s Head of Corporate Sales, receiving the Brand of the Year Award Globacom won two prestigious brand awards at two separate awards ceremonies in Lagos at the weekend. Read More

Airtel Chad awarded 3G/4G licence

Bharti Airtel has been awarded a 3G/4G license by the Chad Government.  Read More

Samsung unveils Galaxy S5 in Kenya

Samsung East Africa Director of Internet & Mobile, Manoj Changarampatt (left) and SEEA VP Robert Ngeru Mobile phone maker Samsung has unveiled its latest smartphone, the Galaxy S5, in Kenya. Read More

Disruption looms in Kenyan telecoms

With the entry of three more companies in Kenya’s mobile sector, telecoms competition is expected to be stepped up a notch.  Read More

PRESS OFFICES

Sage ERP AfricaSage Pastel AccountingTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionSage HR AfricaMTN Business

FEATURED STORY

Kenyan shift to Green Economy would generate USD 45bn by 2030 Kenyan shift to Green Economy would generate USD 45bn by 2030

Kenya’s transition to a green economy could produce major economic benefits  equivalent to an estimated USD 45 billion by 2030, a new  study shows.

IN DEPTH

E-waste threatens Ghana’s beachesE-waste threatens Ghana’s beaches

Many beaches in Ghana, already stressed by pollution and poor maintenance, are now facing a new threat: e-waste.