ITU has released the latest ICT statistics today, showing that mobile broadband subscriptions will reach 2.3 billion globally in 2014 with 55 percent in developing countries. Mobile broadband remains the fastest growing market segment, with continuous double-digit growth rates in 2014. Mobile broadband is growing fastest in developing countries, where 2013/2014 growth rates are expected to be twice as high as in developed countries (26% compared with 11.5%).
According to the statistics, mobile broadband penetration levels are highest in Europe (64% ) and the Americas (59%), followed by the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) (49%), the Arab States (25%), Asia-Pacific (23%) and Africa (19%). However, Africa will lead in the mobile broadband growth, since penetration in Africa reaches close to 20% in 2014, up from 2% in 2010.
The Americas region, with the second highest penetration levels, will be home to more than half a billion mobile broadband subscriptions by end 2014, and the growth rate will remain above 15%. Although by the end of 2014 Asia-Pacific will be home to close to 1 billion mobile broadband subscriptions, the region’s penetration rate lags behind other regions, including the Arab States and CIS.
Meanwhile, 44 percent of households in the world will have Internet access by end 2014. 31 percent households in developing countries will be connected to the Internet against 78 percent in developed countries. The analysis shows that household Internet access is approaching saturation levels in developed countries. In Africa, only about one out of ten households will be connected to the Internet. However, household Internet access in Africa continues to grow at double-digit rates.
“I am pleased to present the latest ICT statistics. The new figures show that, by the end of 2014, there will be almost 3 billion Internet users, two-thirds of them coming from the developing world, and that the number of mobile-broadband subscriptions will reach 2.3 billion globally. Fifty-five per cent of these subscriptions are expected to be in the developing world,” said Brahima Sanou, Director of the ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau
“Behind these numbers and statistics are real human stories. The stories of people whose lives have improved thanks to ICTs. Our mission is to bring ICTs into the hands of ordinary people, wherever they live. By measuring the information society, we can track progress, or identify gaps, towards achieving socio-economic development for all,” he added.