10.06.2009 03:00 PM
Mobile Subscriptions to Reach 4.6 Billion by Year’s End
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND: Mobile communications subscriptions are expected to
reach 4.6 billion by the end of this year, according to the International
Telecommunication Union. The ITU said mobile broadband subscriptions alone will
reach 600 million, having overtaken fixed broadband subscriptions last year.
“More than a quarter of the world’s population is online and using the
Internet, as of 2009,” the ITU said. “Ever-increasing numbers are opting for
high-speed Internet access, with fixed broadband subscriber numbers more than
tripling from 150 million in 2004 to an estimated 500 million by the end of
The rate of broadband growth varies across nations in conjunction with the
state of their development. The ITU said that there is one fixed broadband
subscription in Africa for every 1,000 people. In Europe, there are 200
subscribers per 1,000 people. Africa also had the highest price for broadband
as well as the lowest income levels. The average cost of broadband in Africa
was 41 percent of the region’s average monthly income. The cost in Europe was
the lowest at around 2 percent.
China had the largest fixed broadband market with 6.2 subscribers per 100 people,
pulling ahead of the United States at the end of 2008.
The ITU also said that three-quarters of the world’s households now have a TV
set, and that about one-fourth of the population--around 1.9 billion
people--have access to a computer at home.
“This demonstrates the huge market potential in developing countries, where TV
penetration is already high, for converged devices, as the mobile, television
and Internet worlds collide,” the ITU said.
The statistics are summarized in the ITU’s report, “The World in
2009: ICT Facts and Figures.”