In 2006 AFRICA
… accounted for 14% of the world’s population, but for only
all fixed and mobile subscribers worldwide.
… had by far the world’s lowest penetration of fixed lines, with a
continental average of around 3 main lines per 100 people.
… had over 20 countries which had a national average of fewer than 1
main line serving every 100 people.
… had 221 million total telephone subscribers, 198 million of
which were mobile cellular subscribers. The continent has the highest ratio of
mobile to total telephone subscribers of any world region, and has been
dubbed "the least wired region in the world".
...had its own digital divide. For example, Egypt had 11 times the
fixed line penetration of Nigeria. While sub-Saharan Africa (excluding
South Africa), had an average teledensity of one percent, North Africa
(Algeria, Egypt, Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia) had a comparable average
of eleven percent. Almost three quarters of the continent’s fixed lines
were found in just 6 of the continent’s 55 countries.
… was the region with the highest mobile cellular growth rate. Growth
over the past 5 years averaged around 50% year on year. The total
number of mobile cellular subscribers continent-wide at end 2006 was 198 million.
…added some 61 million new mobile subscribers– a figure almost
equivalent to the total number of telephone subscribers (fixed and
mobile) in Africa in 2002.
… had some 22 million Internet users, for an Internet penetration of
just 5%. Europe’s Internet penetration is 7 times higher.
In 2006, the AMERICAS region
… showed continued growth in the mobile sector, with most countries
in South and Central America showing mobile penetration rates of over 50
percent. Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua, Bolivia and Peru had about 30
percent mobile subscribers. Argentina and Chile, on the other hand, had
mobile penetration rates of 80 and 76 percent, respectively.
…had its own North-South divide in terms of Internet users: the
United States and Canada had roughly four times the Internet penetration
rate of Central America and the Caribbean, where it stood around 15
percent. In South America, about 20 percent of the population used the
…’s three largest fixed telephone networks – in the US, Canada and
Brazil – account for more than 80% of all fixed lines on the two
…showed continued growth in broadband penetration. In South America,
Chile (at 6%) has the highest number of broadband subscribers per 100
population, followed by Argentina (4%) and Uruguay (3.1%). At 24%,
Canada was leading the Americas region.
…had the highest ratio of broadband subscribers to total Internet
subscribers. While in the Americas 81% of all Internet subscribers have
a broadband connection, the ratio is much lower in other regions: 74. 4%
in Europe, 57.5% in Asia Pacific and only 10% in Africa.
In 2006 in ASIA-PACIFIC
… Internet penetration ranges from below 1% in economies like
Timor-Leste, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Lao P.D.R. and Nepal, to
above 65% in Japan, Republic of Korea, Australia and New Zealand.
…mobile penetration ranges from below 1% in economies like Myanmar
and Kiribati, to 90% or more in Australia, Taiwan (China), Singapore,
Hong Kong (China) and Macao (China).
…During 2006, India was the top country to add an average of 6.3
million new mobile subscribers every month. However China represents
almost 43% of the entire Asia-Pacific mobile market in terms of
subscriber numbers. The domestic penetration in China still hovers at
…India has overtaken China in terms of mobile growth rates. India has
growth rates of 91% per annum since 2001. With just total mobile
penetration rates of over 14%, potential for growth is enormous.
…the Republic of Korea leads the region in broadband penetration,
with high-speed lines serving more than 29% of its population.
EUROPE/CIS in 2004
… Europe lead the world in terms of mobile penetration, with over 570
million subscribers and a mobile penetration of over 70%. This compared
with 9% mobile penetration in Africa, 42% in the Americas, and 19% in
… Europe had more mobile subscribers than fixed phone lines in almost
….showed strong mobile growth, particularly in Central and Eastern
European countries, where 2004 mobile penetration levels rivaled those
of the west. A few examples: Bulgaria (60%), Croatia (58%), Czech
Republic (105%), Hungary (89%), Poland (60%), Slovak Republic (79%), and
Slovenia (87%). While Central and Eastern European mobile penetration
levels have been catching up to those in Western Europe, its Internet
penetration level still lags behind, at some 20% (compared with almost
50% in Western Europe).
… the region’s fastest growing mobile market, Russia, more than
doubled the number of cellular subscribers during 2004, from 36.5
million to 74.4 million. During 2004, Russia overtook Germany, France,
Spain and the UK to become the largest mobile market in Europe. Despite
Russia’s impressive subscriber numbers, it has its own digital divide,
with the vast majority of subscribers located in large urban centres.
…the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have succeeded in
leapfrogging to new technologies fast, with Internet and mobile
penetration rates already nearing 71% and 95% respectively of the
average penetration in Western Europe.
…the Netherlands was ranked third worldwide in terms of broadband
penetration, behind the Republic of Korea and Hong Kong (China). The top
20 economies worldwide in terms of broadband penetration now include
twelve European economies, five Asian economies, as well as Israel, the
USA, and Canada.