Mobile broadband subscriptions to reach 3.6 bn by 2016: ITU

ITU telecom chart on mobile network
The number of mobile broadband subscriptions is expected to reach 3.6 billion by 2016 from 3.2 billion in 2015, said ITU.

ITU says 60 million homes have Internet connection in India.

Advanced mobile broadband networks (LTE) have spread quickly over the last 3 years and reach almost four billion people today or 53 percent of the population.

While the number of mobile broadband subscriptions grows at double digit rates in developing countries to reach a penetration rate of close to 41 percent, mobile broadband penetration growth has slowed overall.

95 percent of the global population – or some seven billion people – living in an area is covered by 2G cellular network.

3.9 billion people does not have access to Internet.

ICT Facts & Figures 2016 shows that developing countries now account for the vast majority of Internet users, with 2.5 billion users compared with one billion in developed countries.

Internet penetration is 81 percent in developed countries, 40 percent in developing countries and 15 percent in the Least Developed Countries.

Mobile broadband subscriptions in 2015“Interconnectedness is expanding, however more needs to be done to bridge the digital divide and bring the more than half of the global population not using the Internet into the digital economy,” said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao.

ITU noted that fixed broadband growth is strongest in developed countries.

Fixed broadband subscriptions are expected to reach around 12 per 100 inhabitants in 2016. Europe, the Americas and the Commonwealth of Independent States regions have the highest rates of fixed broadband penetration. Growth in China is driving fixed broadband subscriptions in the Asia Pacific region, where penetration is expected to surpass 10 percent in 2016.

Mobile broadband services have now become more affordable than fixed-broadband services, with the average price for a basic fixed broadband plan more than twice as high as the average price of a comparable mobile broadband plan.

By the end of 2016, more than half of the world’s population – 3.9 billion people – will not be using the Internet.

While almost one billion households in the world now have Internet access (of which 230 million are in China, 60 million in India and 20 million in the world’s 48 Least Developed Countries), figures for household access reveal the extent of the digital divide, with 84 percent of households connected in Europe, compared with 15.4 percent in the African region.

By early 2016, international Internet bandwidth had reached 185,000 gigabits per second, up from a low of 30,000 gigabits in 2008. Lack of bandwidth remains a major bottleneck to improved Internet connectivity in many developing and Least Developed Countries.