Archived Newsroom • Press Release
ITU releases 2014 ICT figures
Mobile-broadband penetration approaching 32 per cent
Three billion Internet users by end of this year
Geneva, 5 May 2014 – New figures released by ITU today
indicate that, by end 2014, there will be almost 3 billion Internet users,
two-thirds of them coming from the developing world, and that the number of
mobile-broadband subscriptions will reach 2.3 billion globally. Fifty-five per
cent of these subscriptions are expected to be in the developing world.
“The newly released ICT figures confirm once again that information and
communication technologies continue to be the key drivers of the information
society,” said ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun I. Touré.
“If we want to understand the information society, we have to measure it,”
Brahima Sanou, the Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau, said.
“Without measurement we cannot track progress or identify gaps which require our
Fixed-telephone subscriptions continue to decline
Results show that fixed-telephone penetration has been declining for the past
five years. By end 2014, there will be about 100 million fewer fixed-telephone
subscriptions than in 2009.
Mobile-cellular subscriptions to hit nearly 7 billion
Mobile-cellular subscriptions will reach almost 7 billion by end 2014, and
3.6 billion of these will be in the Asia-Pacific region. The increase is mostly
due to growth in the developing world where mobile-cellular subscriptions will
account for 78 per cent of the world’s total.
Data show that mobile-cellular growth rates have reached their lowest-ever
level (2.6% globally), indicating that the market is approaching saturation
Africa and Asia and the Pacific, where penetration will reach 69 per cent and
89 per cent, respectively by end 2014, are the regions with the strongest
mobile-cellular growth (and the lowest penetration rates). Penetration rates in
the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Arab States, the Americas and
Europe have reached levels above 100 per cent and are expected to grow at less
than two per cent in 2014. The region with the highest mobile-cellular
penetration rate is the CIS.
Growth in fixed-broadband penetration slowing in developing countries
By end 2014, fixed-broadband penetration will have reached almost 10 per cent
Forty-four per cent of all fixed-broadband subscriptions are in Asia and the
Pacific, and 25 per cent are in Europe. In contrast, Africa accounts for less
than 0.5 per cent of the world’s fixed-broadband subscriptions, and despite
double-digit growth over the last four years, penetration in Africa remains very
Africa, the Arab States, and CIS are the only regions with double-digit
fixed-broadband penetration growth rates. The Americas region stands out with
the lowest growth in fixed broadband penetration, estimated at 2.5 per cent and
reaching a penetration rate of around 17 per cent by end 2014. Europe’s
fixed-broadband penetration is much higher compared with other regions and
almost three times as high as the global average.
Mobile-broadband subscriptions will reach 2.3 billion globally
Globally, mobile-broadband penetration will reach 32 per cent by end 2014; in
developed countries, mobile-broadband penetration will reach 84 per cent, a
level four times as high as in developing countries (21%). The number of
mobile-broadband subscriptions will reach 2.3 billion globally and 55 per cent
of all mobile-broadband subscriptions are expected to be in the developing
Mobile-broadband penetration levels are highest in Europe (64%) and the
Americas (59%), followed by CIS (49%), the Arab States (25%), Asia-Pacific (23%)
and Africa (19%).
Home internet access approaches saturation levels in developed
By end 2014, 44 per cent of the world’s households will have Internet access.
Close to one-third (31%) of households in developing countries will be connected
to the Internet, compared with 78 per cent in developed countries. The analysis
shows that household Internet access is approaching saturation levels in
More than one out of two households in the CIS will be connected to the
Internet. In Africa, only about one out of ten households will be connected to
the Internet. However, household Internet access in Africa continues to
grow at double-digit rates.
Three billion people will use the Internet
By end 2014, the number of Internet users globally will have reached almost 3
billion. Two-thirds of the world’s Internet users are from the developing world.
This corresponds to an Internet-user penetration of 40 per cent globally, 78 per
cent in developed countries and 32 per cent in developing countries. More than
90 per cent of the people who are not yet using the Internet are from the
In Africa, almost 20 per cent of the population will be online by end 2014,
up from 10 per cent in 2010.
In the Americas, close to two out of three people will be using the Internet
by end 2014, the second highest penetration rate after Europe. Europe’s Internet
penetration will reach 75 per cent (or three out of four people) by end 2014,
the highest worldwide. One-third of the population in Asia and the Pacific will
be online by end 2014 and around 45 per cent of the world’s Internet users will
be from the Asia-Pacific region.
ITU statistics are widely recognized as the world’s most reliable and
impartial global data on the state of the global ICT industry. They are used
extensively by leading intergovernmental agencies, financial institutions and
private sector analysts worldwide.
The latest ITU statistics are available at
For more information, please contact:
Chief, Media Relations and Public Information
Telecommunication Development Bureau