The UN’s latest telecom numbers: 3 billion people on the ‘net in 2014, and 2.3 billion of them get it on their mobiles

by Joey deVilla on May 7, 2014

3 billion on the net most on mobile broadband
The United Nations’ news center points to a paper by their International Telecommunications Union that says that by the end of 2014, the internet will have:

  • Nearly 3 billion users,
  • Two-thirds of whom — nearly 2 billion — from the developing world, and
  • And most internet users — 2.3 billion of them – will be accessing it via mobile broadband. That 5 times the number from 2008, a mere six years beforehand.

This chart, taken from the ITU’s report, The World in 2014: ICT Facts and Figures [1.7MB PDF], shows the rate of mobile broadband adoption for the past six years and a projection for the end of this one:

mobile broadband subscriptions 2007 - 2014

Click the photo to see the source.

Mobile broadband should used by 84% of the developed world by the end of the year, if the current 11.5% growth rate holds. That growth rate is more than double in the developing world, who should hit 21% penetration by December 31st, 2014.

The average person in the developed world has 1.21 mobile subscriptions. Here are the regions with the highest subscription rates:

regions w most mobile subscriptions 2014

Click the photo to see the source.

Here’s a look at the worldwide mobile subscription numbers over the past 8 years, plus a look forward to the end of this one. We’ll hit the 7 billion subscription mark by the end of the year, and the lion’s share of those numbers will come from the developing world:

mobile subscriptions worldwide

Click the photo to see the source.

For the full story, including numbers on fixed (or “wireline”, as we like to say at GSG) broadband, see the ITU’s report, The World in 2014: ICT Facts and Figures.

this article also appears in the GSG blog

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