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Tells you what's happening in Telecommunications around the world

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ITU at a glance
Mobile cellular subscriptions to reach 5 billion worldwide in 2010
 
 
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Photo credit: © Alamy

ITU predicts that mobile phone subscriptions will reach 5 billion worldwide in 2010, up from an estimated 4.6 billion at the end of 2009 (see Figure 1). Growth is expected across all regions and all major markets, and is being driven by advanced services and handsets in developed countries and uptake of mobile health services and mobile banking in the developing world.

Mobile broadband — which connects mobile users to the Internet — is a key area for growth. ITU predicts that mobile broadband subscriptions will exceed 1 billion worldwide in 2010, having already reached 600 million at the end of 2009. If mobile broadband continues to grow at current rates, more people will access the Internet via laptops and smart mobile devices than from desktop computers within the next five years, according to ITU projections.

Speaking at the GSMA World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, in February 2010, ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun I. Touré said that “even the simplest, low-end mobile phone can do so much to improve health care in the developing world.” He cited the example of sending reminder messages to patient’s phones when they have a medical appointment, or need a pre-natal check-up. “SMS messages too are being used to deliver instructions on when and how to take complex medication such as antiretrovirals or vaccines. It is such a simple thing to do, saves millions of dollars — and can help improve and even save the lives of millions of people,” Dr Touré commented.

Figure 1 — A decade of ICT growth driven by mobile technologies
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Source: ITU World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Database.
* Estimates.

 

Figure 2 — ICT at home
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Source: ITU World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Database.
* Estimates.

 

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