Two-Thirds Of The Developing World Will Be Internet Users by 2014​

According to the United Nations International Telecommunications Union report, globally, Internet users are expected to hit 3 billion by the end of 2014, which accounts for about 40 ​%​ of the world’s population.

Among those users, over three quarters are from developed countries while two-thirds come from the developing world​, with mobile-broadband penetration approaching 32​%​. Moreover, people from developing countries make up for more than 90​%​ of those who are not yet using the Internet.

“The newly released ICT [information and communications technology] figures confirm once again that information and communication technologies continue to be the key drivers of the information society,” said Hamadoun I. Touré, ITU Secretary-General.

“Behind these numbers and statistics are real human stories. The stories of people whose lives have improved thanks to ICTs,” said Mr. Sanou, adding “our mission is to bring ICTs into the hands of ordinary people, wherever they live. By measuring the information society, we can track progress, or identify gaps, towards achieving socio-economic development for all.”

Internet penetration MENA Middle east

Source: WeAreSocial

In Africa, about one-fifth of the population will have access to the Internet; while in the Americas, nearly two-thirds of the population will be online by the end of the year. Further, Europe has the highest Internet penetration rate of 75​%, while the Asia-Pacific region has the largest population of Internet users.

Turning to mobile-broadband penetration, the number of its subscriptions will achieve 2.3 billion globally.

55​%​ of them are expected to be in the developing world. As shown in the ITU statistics, mobile-broadband remains the fastest growing market segment, with continuous double-digit growth rates in 2014. In addition, Africa takes the lead in its growth, from 2 ​% in 2010 to almost 20​% in 2014.

Compared to the spike of mobile-broadband, fixed-broadband, however, reflects slowing growth in the developing world. The ITU report expects its penetration to reach 10​%​ by end 2014. Similar to Internet subscriptions, Asia-Pacific region also dominates the most users in fixed-broadband, while Africa has the least, with lower than 0.5 ​% of its population.

Regarding mobile-cellular, a significant step towards which subscriptions is that the number will reach 7 billion by end of 2014, with developing countries home to over 75​%​ among the users. This increase indicates the growing markets in the developing world.

Even as the worldwide growth trend of these ICTs continues, fixed-telephone penetration, however, lags behind. According to ITU, fixed-telephone users have been declining for the last five years. In addition, there will be about 100 million fewer subscriptions than in 2009.

“If we want to understand the information society, we have to measure it,” said Mr. Sanou, adding that “without measurement we cannot track progress or identify gaps which require our attention.”

Media, content and technology research specialists at IPSOS, the leading research agency in MENA, which has covered 20 MENA countries for over 25 years, prepared a study compiling the figures related to internet penetration in the MENA region.

From an internet population (those accessible to the internet) of 1.9 million in Lebanon, internet penetration reached 61% in 2013. In KSA, while the internet population was 12.3 million, internet penetration hit 82%. Accordingly, UAE saw a 92% penetration out of the internet population of 6.1 million, Egypt saw a 44% penetration out of the internet population of 9.2 million, Kuwait experienced a 79% penetration out of the internet population of 2.1 million, and Jordan witnessed a 56% penetration out of the internet population of 2.3 million.


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