Why ITU Broadband 2015 report disappoints

ITU forecast on key telecom segments
ITU Broadband 2015 report will disappoint many because that target of 4 billion Internet users will not be surpassed before 2020.
On top of this, the growth in both mobile cellular subscriptions and Internet usage has slowed sharply, said ITU.

The good news is that there is strong growth in mobile broadband and Facebook usage.

ITU said mobile cellular subscriptions exceeded 7 billion for the first time during 2015.

The UN Broadband Commission’s 2011 targets have not been achieved by the target date of 2015 and seem unlikely to be achieved before 2020.

Internet growth

By end 2015, 3.2 billion people — 43.4 percent of world population – will be online against 2.9 billion a year earlier or almost 40.6 percent of the population.

Internet penetration in the developing world will surpass 35.3 percent in 2015. Internet penetration will be under 10 percent at 9.5 percent in the UN-designated Least Developed Countries.

Even though Internet penetration is approaching saturation in the developed world, with 82.2 percent of the population online, the global target of 60 percent set by the Broadband Commission in 2011, to be achieved by 2015, is unlikely to be achieved before 2021 at the earliest.

Internet user penetration in the developing world is unlikely to achieve the Broadband Commission target of 50 percent before 2020. By the end of 2015, there will still be 57 percent of the world’s population – or four billion people – still offline.

Household Internet access in developed countries is close to saturation, with more than 81.3 percent of households connected.

The proportion of households in the developing world with Internet access has increased from 31.5 percent at the end of 2014 to over 34.1 percent a year later – still well short of the Broadband Commission target of 40 percent by 2015.

200 million more men are online than women in 2013.

Mobile growth

ITU forecasts that the milestone of 7 billion mobile cellular subscriptions or , equivalent to a global penetration rate of 97 subscriptions per 100 people will be exceeded in 2015.

There will be almost 3.5 billion mobile broadband subscriptions in 2015. Industry analysts predict 6.5 billion mobile broadband (3G/4G/5G) subscriptions by 2019.

Asia-Pacific now accounts for half of all mobile broadband subscriptions against just under 45 percent in 2014.

Ericsson forecasts that the number of smartphones in service could exceed basic phones by 2016.

The year 2014 is likely to prove a tipping point as the year in which growth in 3G’ services began to slow, as growth in 4G services accelerated.


Fixed broadband prices as a share of GNI per capita have dropped by 65 percent on average worldwide.

By 2014, most countries in the world had reached the Commission’s target of basic fixed-broadband service at less than 5 percent of monthly GNI per capita.

By the end of 2014, a basic fixed broadband subscription cost less than 5 percent of average GNI per capita in 111 countries, of which 44 were developed nations and 67 were developing countries compared with 57 developing countries at the end of 2013, and 48 developing countries at the end of 2012.

Baburajan K
[email protected]


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