Global mobile users reach 6b: ITU

Staff writer
12 Oct 2012

The world's mobile subscriber base reached 6 billion by the end of 2011, meaning roughly 86 of every 100 people now have a mobile phone, according to new figures released by the ITU.

The data from the ITU’s annual report “Measuring the Information Society 2012” shows that with continuous double-digit gains, developing countries now account for the lion’s share of market growth. Both China and India each account for one billion subscriptions.

The report also ranks South Korea as the world’s most advanced ICT economy, followed by Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and Finland. Of the 10 top-ranked countries, eight are from Europe, and two from Asia-Pacific. Japan, ranked 8th, is the other Asia-Pacific country managed to secure a place in the top ten list.

Mobile broadband continues to be the most promising and fastest growing ICT service, with growth continued at 40% globally and 78% in developing countries over the past year.

There are now twice as many mobile broadband subscriptions as fixed-broadband subscriptions worldwide. In developing countries, mobile broadband services are more widely accessible and, in the case of low-volume packages, less costly than fixed-broadband internet services, the report says.

Meanwhile, the price of ICT services dropped by 30% globally between 2008 and 2011. The biggest decrease was in fixed-broadband services, where average prices have come down by 75%, according to the report’s ICT price basket.

While prices in developed economies have stabilized, those in developing countries continue to fall at double-digit rates, the ITU notes.

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