2.3 Billion Internet Users and 6 Billion Cellphone Subscriptions
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), an agency of the United Nations, issued the report Measuring the Information Society 2012 that reported increasing mobile phone use in developing countries increased global cellular phone subscriptions to 6 billion in total, while 2.3 billion people out of a global total of 7 billion (about one-third) were found to use the Internet. Canada reported 26 million mobile phone subscriptions with 78% of households reporting that they had at least one mobile phone. China reported 1 billion mobile phone subscriptions with India close behind. Click here to access the executive summary of the ITU report.
The annual ITU report ranked 155 countries on accessibility to, usage of and skills relating to information and communication technology (ICT). The Republic of Korea continued to place first in ICT rankings, followed by Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, and Finland rounding out the top 5 countries once again. The Netherlands, Luxembourg, Japan, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland comprised the remainder of the top ten ranked ICT nations. Canada finished in 22nd position just behind Australia while the United States placed 15th. The following table showed the top 5 countries in each of Europe, Asia/Pacific, Americas, Arab States, CIS, and Africa:
Table 1: Top five IDI economies in each region and ranking in the global IDI, 2011
Consider the following chart that showed Canada in 12th position amongst the top 20 telecommunication markets in terms of revenue from telecommunication services in 2010:
Chart 4: Top 20 telecommunication markets in terms of revenue from telecommunication services, 2010
The ITU also reported an increase in mobile broadband services by 40% worldwide and 78% in developing countries alone. However, fixed broadband access remained too expensive in developing countries at over 40% of monthly gross national income (GNI) per person, while globally, average prices in fixed broadband have declined by 75% between 2008 and 2011. Consequently, there are ongoing concerns about the “digital divide” in the world between developed (“rich”) and developing (“poor”) countries.