More than half of the world now have cell phones. According to a new United Nations report, there are now 4.1 billion mobile subscriptions in the world, which means a global penetration rate of 61.1 %. Interestingly, just in 2002, only 15% of the world’s population had access to cell phones. This increase in penetration rate is mostly due to increase in mobile subscribers in developing countries.
According to the data released by the International Telecommunication Union, one of the specialized agencies of the United Nations, there was dramatic growth in mobile technology and communication field over the last 10 years. The agency also looked at global Internet use and found that 23 out of 100 inhabitants globally used the Internet at the end of 2008. But penetration levels in the developing countries remain low. In Africa, Internet penetration is just 5%. When it comes to broadband penetration, figures are even lower.
International Telecommunication Union also released the ICT Development Index (IDI) for 2008, which ranks countries according to their use of information and communications technology. Due to increase in mobile subscribers in developing countries a slight decrease of the digital divide waas observed between countries in the “high” ICT group and those in the other groups. The most advanced countries in ICT are from Northern Europe. The exception is the Republic of Korea. Sweden tops the new ITU ICT Development Index, followed by the Republic of Korea, Denmark, the Netherlands, Iceland and Norway. They are followed by other, mainly high-income countries from Europe, Asia and North America.
Via: International Telecommunication Union http://www.itu.int