Data published by ITU's Market, Information and Statistics Division highlights continued high growth rates in the mobile market, and particulaly in developing regions. By the end of 2007, over 70% of the world's mobile subscribers were from developing countries. A positive trend, since in 2006 developing countries represented 67% of all mobile subscriber. Five years earlier, in 2002, they represented less than 50%. Africa remains the region with the highest growth rate (32% in 2006/2007) and mobile penetration in Africa has risen from just one in 50 people at the beginning of this century to almost one third of the population today. Africa’s mobile penetration of 28% compares to 37% in Asia, 72% in the Americas, and 110% in Europe. [The latter number, which surpasses the 100 percent mark, confirms that mobile subscriber data do not strictly correspond to mobile phone users. Double counting takes place, especially when one person owns multiple SIM cards and when operators do not identify active subscribers.]
In absolute numbers, China and India are the countries that have added the greatest number of mobile subscribers during the year - some 86 million and 68 million, respectively.
Mobile cellular is increasingly dominating the telephone market and worldwide, mobile subscribers represent no less then 71 percent of all (fixed and mobile) telephone subscribers. In Africa, this percentage is close to 90 percent. The continued growth in the mobile sector is matched by no-growth in the fixed line sector, which has been stagnating at just under 20% globally for the last years. Exceptions include some developing countries, such as Nigeria. Africa’s most populated country has been able to increase fixed-line penetration from below one, to over 4% within five years, mainly through fixed-wireless systems.
ITU's Internet and broadband data suggest that more and more countries are going high speed. By the end of 2007, over 50 percent of all Internet subscribers had a high speed connection. Dial-up is being replaced by broadband across developed and developing countries, including Senegal, Chile and Turkey, where broadband subscribers represent over 90 percent of all Internet subscribers. At the same time, major differences in broadband penetration levels remain and the number of broadband subscribers per 100 inhabitants varies significantly between regions. While broadband penetration stood at less than one percent in Africa, it had reached much higher levels in Europe (16%) and the Americas region (10%). The difference in the uptake of broadband is also reflected by the regional distribution of total broadband subscribers.
Some of ITU's key World Telecommunication/ICT data, encompassing over 200 economies worldwide, for the fixed line, mobile cellular, and Internet/broadband market, are available through the ITU's ICT Eye , the one-stop shop for ICT information and statistics. For more information on ITU's World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators, see: World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Database.