ITU’s latest statistics published yesterday in The World in 2010 reveal that the number of Internet users worldwide doubled in the past five years and will surpass the two billion mark in 2010. The number of people having access to the Internet at home has increased from 1.4 billion in 2009 to almost 1.6 billion in 2010.
162 million of the 226 million new Internet users in 2010 will be from developing countries, where Internet users grow at a higher rate. By the end of 2010, 71% of the population in developed countries will be online compared to 21% of the population in developing countries. While in developed countries 65% of people have access to the Internet at home, this is the case for only 13.5% of people in developing countries where Internet access in schools, at work and public locations is critical. Regional differences are significant: 65% of Europeans are on the Internet, compared to only 9.6% of Africans.
The Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau, Sami Al Basheer said, “Mobile phone penetration in developing countries now stands at 68% - higher than any other technology before. These countries have been innovative in adapting mobile technology to their particular needs and will be able to draw even greater benefits from broadband once adequate and affordable access is available.” In developed countries, growth in mobile subscriptions has slowed considerably during the past five years, with a year-on-year growth from 2009-2010 of only 1.6%. In those countries, the mobile market is reaching saturation levels with on average 116 subscriptions per 100 inhabitants.
The trend from voice to (mobile) data applications is reflected in the growing number of SMS, or text messages sent, which tripled over the past three years to reach a staggering 6.1 trillion in 2010. In other words, close to 200 000 text messages are sent every second.
The United Nations has designated today (20-10-2010) as World Statistics Day. The celebration of World Statistics Day acknowledges the importance of national and international statistics and aims to strengthen the awareness and trust of the public in official statistics.
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