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

Airtel emerges top Social Media brand in Kenya

Airtel has been recognized as the top Social Media Brand in Kenya by the Africa Brand Index, a listing of the most successful brands in Africa on social media, according to key metrics such as community growth, content engagement, sentiment and dozens of others.     Read More

How NCC will tackle service quality: Prof Danbatta

The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof Umar Danbatta, says the Commission will take steps to address issues of such as multiple taxation, vandalism and others to ensure that the quality of service (QoS) headache becomes a thing of the past in the country. Read More

MTN, Liquid Telecom partner in Africa

MTN Group and Liquid Telecom have partnered to jointly offer customers access to the largest fixed and wireless footprint across the continent. Read More

Danbatta constitutes service quality Task Force

Worried by the general outcry about declining Quality of Service (QoS), in the telecommunications sector, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) at the weekend set up a 9-member Task Force to proffer solutions to this problem. Read More

MTN’s position on Competition Commission ruling

MTN has responded to the recommendation by the South African Competition Commission that the proposed MTN and Telkom transaction be prohibited.  Read More

MTN Business presents the first Supplier Development Programme workshop to Gauteng entrepreneurs

MTN Business conducted the first Supplier Development Programme (SDP) and Accelerator Programme (AP) workshop at its headquarters in Johannesburg.  Read More

Telecom Namibia slams network vandals

Telecom Namibia has expressed concern over an upsurge of network vandalism impacting its fibre optic network. Read More

Mascom myzaka promo ends on high note

The Mascom Recharge 4 Zaka promotion has just ended with 36 lucky winners walking away with cash, airtime and phones to the total value of P358,000.00 (About $44 750.00). Read More

Tigo customers live the Digital Experience at Expo 2015

Tigo Rwanda has brought the real digital lifestyle to thousands of visitors at the International Trade Fair 2015 – EXPO 2015 in Kigali.   Read More

Airtel Nigeria grows subscribers to 30m

Bharti Airtel has announced the acquisition of its 30 millionth customer in Nigeria.  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.

COMPANY NEWS

MTN Business launches Supplier Development Programme in Mpumalanga

MTN Business has reaffirmed its commitment to develop small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) within Nelspruit by extending its Supplier Development Programme (SDP) and Accelerator Programme (AP), the company’s enterprise ...