Chicago (IL) - A U.N. report published today states that six in ten people (60%) of the world's population has a cell phone subscription. The driving growth trend is coming from poor, developing countries. This 60% figure is up from just under 15% in 2002.
Internet use has more than doubled to 23% in 2008 up from 11% in 2002. Only 1 in 20 people in the same poor countries have Internet access, however in rich countries the fixed broadband services increased to almost 20% market penetration, while on average only 1 in 20 worldwide have high speed Internet.
Mobile broadband has also shown its fastest increase, with 3% of people worldwide having it on average, compared to 14% in rich countries.
Fixed line subscriptions (home phones) have increased at a slower rate, from 1 billion in 2002 to 1.27 billion in 2009, meaning cellular phones outnumber direct-wired phones in excess of 3:1.
The 106-page U.N. report also ranked countries by how advanced their information and communications technology (ICT) is. The order went as follows:
2) South Korea (getting nation-wide Gigabit broadband by 2012)
Myanmar's militaristic government gave that country the only cited decline over the same period, with Internet bandwidth dropping 90%. This came following the Internet being shut down at times, along with several bloggers being jailed for published content.