Sunday, May 1, 2011

The latest numbers of internet users, text messages & more from ITU Statshot.

ICT development has been astonishing in every region of the world over the past five years.

  • In Africa, mobile cellular penetration, at 41.4% in 2010, was higher than it had been in Asia-Pacific three years earlier – where it reached 36.4% in 2007.

    Increased Competition

  • The Commonwealth of Independent States has the highest mobile cellular penetration of any region in the world, reaching over 130% in 2010.
  • 40 billion SMS messages were sent in the Arab States in 2010, up from under 10 billion in 2005.
  • There are more than 400 million Internet users in Europe. With two thirds of the population online, Europe is the region with the highest Internet penetration in the world.
  • Most of 2010’s mobile growth was in Asia-Pacific, which saw the number of mobile cellular subscriptions grow by 490 million (of 630 million globally), to reach 2.6 billion.

    Mobile Cellular Subscriptions

  • For the first time, Asia-Pacific now has over half the world’s mobile cellular subscriptions.
  • In Africa, mobile broadband subscriptions grew almost 15-fold over the last three years – from 2 to 29 million. Despite strong growth, however, Africa remains easily the least Internet-enabled continent, with fewer than one in ten Africans online, and mobile broadband penetration below 4%.
The developing world – catching up…
  • There were as many fixed broadband subscriptions in the developing world in 2010 as there were in the developed world in 2008, just two years earlier (251 million vs 253 million). China alone accounts for around half of all the developing world’s fixed broadband subscriptions.
  • There were more mobile broadband subscriptions in the developing world in 2010 (309 million) than there were in the whole world in 2007 (307 million), just three years earlier.
  • There were almost as many mobile cellular subscriptions in the developing world in 2010 (3.8 billion) as there were in the whole world in 2008 (4 billion), and half a billion more than there were in the developed world in 2007.
  • By 2010, developing world Internet users accounted for 58% of the global total, with 1.2 billion in the developing world, compared to 900 million in the developed world. But with most of the world’s population living in developing countries, only a fifth of people there are online, compared to almost three quarters in richer nations.
Keep texting…
  • At current growth rates, there will be well over a thousand SMS messages sent in 2011 for every person on the planet (there were 2.8 trillion SMS messages sent in 2008; 4.3 trillion in 2009; and 6.1 trillion in 2010).

SMS Messages

Data and analysis in this ITU Statshot are drawn from the ITU World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators database.

Further ICT statistics are available online at ITU’s ICT Eye:

ITU also publishes a full range of current statistics and analyses. For further information see:

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