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ITU releases 2015 ICT figures
Statistics confirm ICT revolution of the past 15 years
Geneva, 26 May 2015 -
New figures released by ITU indicate that over the past 15
years, information and communication technologies (ICTs) have grown in an
unprecedented way, providing huge opportunities for social and economic
The new figures track ICT progress and show gaps in connectivity since the
year 2000, when world leaders established the United Nations Millennium
Development Goals (MDGs).
Today, there are more than 7 billion mobile subscriptions worldwide, up from
738 million in 2000. Globally, 3.2 billion people are using the Internet, of
which two billion live in developing countries.
“These new figures not only show the rapid technological progress made to
date, but also help us identify those being left behind in the fast-evolving
digital economy, as well as the areas where ICT investment is needed most,” said
ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao, at the press conference to launch the report
today at the
2015 WSIS Forum in Geneva.
“ICTs will play an even more significant role in the post-2015 era and in
achieving future Sustainable Development Goals as the world moves faster and
faster towards a digital society,” said Mr Brahima Sanou, the Director of the
ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau. “Our mission is to connect everyone
and to create a truly inclusive information society, for which we need
comparable and high-quality data and statistics to measure progress.”
Internet user penetration increased seven-fold since 2000
Between 2000 and 2015, Internet penetration has increased almost seven-fold
from 6.5 to 43 per cent of the global population.
The proportion of households with Internet access at home advanced from 18
per cent in 2005 to 46 per cent in 2015.
ITU figures also indicate that four billion people in the developing world
remain offline. Off the nearly one billion people living in the Least Developing
Countries (LDCs), 851 million do not use the Internet.
3G mobile-broadband coverage rapidly extending
Mobile broadband is the most dynamic market segment, with mobile-broadband
penetration globally reaching 47 per cent in 2015, a value that increased
12-fold since 2007. In 2015, 69 per cent of the global population will be
covered by 3G mobile broadband, up from 45 per cent in 2011.
There is also a rapid extension of 3G mobile broadband into rural areas, and
ITU estimates that 29 per cent of the 3.4 billion people worldwide living in
rural areas will be covered by 3G mobile broadband by the end of 2015. Among the
four billion people living in urban areas, 89 per cent will have access to 3G
Fixed-broadband uptake growing at a slower pace
Fixed-broadband uptake is growing at a slower pace with a seven per cent
annual increase over the past three years. While the prices of fixed-broadband
services dropped sharply between 2008 and 2011 in developing countries, they
have been stagnating since then and even increased slightly in LDCs.
Broadband now affordable in many countries
The figures indicate that broadband is now affordable in 111 countries, with
the cost of a basic (fixed or mobile) broadband plan corresponding to less than
five per cent of Gross National Income (GNI) per capita, thus meeting the target
set by the Broadband
Commission for Digital Development. The global average cost of a
basic fixed-broadband plan, as measured in PPP$ (or purchasing power parity $),
is 1.7 times higher than the average cost of a comparable mobile-broadband plan.
Read the full report
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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 www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/statistics
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Chief, Media Relations and Public Information
Head, ICT Data & Statistics