With Internet coverage rapidly expanding across the globe, especially in the developing nations, the world is set to have about 3 billion netizens (Internet users) by end of this year. Mobile cellular subscription will increase to almost 7 billion by 2014-end. The predictions were made in a report by the UN's International Telecommunications Union (ITU).
The report further says 44% of the global households will have internet access by end of 2014. About 31 percent of households in developing nations will be having internet access. The figures shoots up to 78 percent in developed countries. The ICT report further points out households internet access in reaching a saturation level in developed countries.
"The newly released ICT (information and communications technology) figures confirm once again that information and communication technologies continue to be the key drivers of the information society," ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Toure said.
For mobile cellular subscriptions, the number is expected to hit 7 billion by 2014-end, while 3.6 billion will be in the Asia-Pacific region. Developing nations are expected to account about 78% of the world's total.
Brahima Sanou, the director of ITU's Telecommunication Development Bureau, says: "Behind these numbers and statistics are real human stories. The stories of people whose lives have improved thanks to ICTs," Sanou said, adding "our mission is to bring ICTs into the hands of ordinary people, wherever they live. By measuring the information society, we can track progress, or identify gaps, towards achieving socio-economic development for all".
According to the report, one-fifth of population in Africa will have access to the Internet, while two-thirds of population in Americas will have the access by end of this year. Europe has the highest internet penetration rate of 75%, while the Asia-Pacific region has the largest population of internet users.
Source: Times of India