Global Internet, mobile-broadband numbers climbing
Dec. 9, 2013
by Mark Ollig

As we draw nearer to the end of 2013, I thought it might be interesting to check out some numbers regarding Internet and mobile-broadband usage.

Recently, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) published their Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Facts and Figures report for 2013.

Here’s a question for you: who has the greater percentage when it comes to using the Internet on a global scale; women or men?

It turns out, more men than women are using the Internet. The ICT report reveals 37 percent of all women are online, as compared with 41 percent of all men.

About 40 percent of the world’s population, or 2.7 billion people, are online and using the Internet.

For 2013, there are approximately 6.8 billion mobile-cellular subscriptions throughout the world, which just about equals the total population on the Earth (7.1 billion). Slightly more than half (3.5 billion) of these mobile-cellular subscriptions are located in the Asia-Pacific region.

There are an estimated 750 million households on the Earth connected to the Internet; this represents 41 percent of the world’s households.

In developed world locations, 78 percent of all households show being connected to the Internet, as compared with only 28 percent in developing world regions.

Of the 1.1 billion households in the world not connected to the Internet, 90 percent are located in developing world regions.

In Europe, 77 percent of the households are connected to the Internet, while in Africa, only 7 percent are.

In North America, 61 percent of all households have an Internet connection.

Surprisingly, there are 960 million households in the world without an Internet connection.

When the ITU reported on the world’s high-speed broadband Internet access, they defined it as a data transfer speed of at least 10 Megabits per second (Mbps).

Asian countries found to have high-speed broadband Internet availability included China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Hong Kong.

There are also several European countries offering high-speed broadband Internet, including Portugal, Iceland, and Bulgaria.

In contrast, less than 10 percent of the fixed (wired) broadband subscriptions in Africa offer Internet speed of even 2 Mbps.

Mobile-broadband is the common term used for wireless Internet access.

It was projected by the end of 2013; more than 2 billion mobile-broadband subscriptions would be in use worldwide.

For all of North, Central, South America, and the Caribbean, there are 460 million mobile-broadband subscriptions, representing a 48 percent penetration rate within the population.

In Europe, a reported 422 million subscriptions for mobile-broadband are active, which represents a 68 percent penetration.

In the Commonwealth of Independent States, which include Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, and six others, there are 129 million mobile-broadband subscriptions, representing a 46 percent penetration rate.

Arab states, including Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Algeria, Morocco, Iraq, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and 15 others, have 71 million mobile-broadband subscriptions.

In Africa, there are 93 million mobile-broadband subscriptions, representing an 11 percent penetration.

The Asia-Pacific region has the most mobile-broadband subscriptions, with a reported 895 million. This represents a 22 percent penetration rate.

The ITU report says the total number of mobile-broadband subscriptions has increased from 268 million in 2007, to an incredible 2.1 billion in 2013.

Africa is reported with the highest mobile-broadband growth rate during the past three years; from 2 percent in 2010, to 11 percent in 2013.

Another study by the large communications company, Ericsson states mobile phone subscriptions by the year 2019 will reach an incredible 9.3 billion.

VeriSign, a global leader in providing Internet domain names, reported 265 million Internet domain names were registered throughout the world during 2013. This represents an 8 percent increase from last year.

Per the Internet Stats Today website, China has reached 604 million Internet users as of September 2013. The majority of these users are accessing the Internet via mobile smartphones.

Internet World Stats is predicting global Internet usage by 2020 will be approaching a 75 to 85 percent world-wide penetration.

The Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), reports more than 45 million people in Iran were using the Internet as of March 2013.

The website for the ITU’s telecom page can be found at http://tinyurl.com/bytes-itu.

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