Third of world's population has Internet: UN

October 11, 2012
An employee displays an Apple' iPhone 4s (L) and a Samsung's Galaxy S3 at a mobile phone shop in Seoul on August 27, 2012. More than a third of the world's population is online while mobile phone uptake increased by more than 600 million in 2011 to around six billion, a UN agency said Thursday.

More than a third of the world's population is online while mobile phone uptake increased by more than 600 million in 2011 to around six billion, a UN agency said Thursday.

But the (ITU) highlighted huge disparities in the cost of services, with the poorer parts of the world tending to pay the most.

"On the back of the increase in worldwide, the number of people using the Internet grew by 11 percent over the past year ... ie, 2.3 billion people," the ITU said in its 2012 report on information and (ICT).

In terms of affordability, Macau, Norway and Singapore topped the list of 161 countries featured in the report.

Madagascar came bottom, just behind Togo and Niger.

In Africa, prices were almost seven times higher than in the Americas, and 20 times higher than Europe in 2011.

Mobile phones with broadband showed the sharpest growth of all ICT sectors between 2010 and 2011, the agency said, with almost 1.1 billion subscriptions by the end of 2011.

Despite a surge in mobile phone broadband, "prices for ICT services remain very high in many low-income countries," said Brahima Sanou, director of the ITU's Telecommunication Development Bureau.

Income from the telecommunication sector reached $1.5 trillion (1.2 trillion euros) in 2010, around 2.4 percent of the world's gross domestic product, the report said.

Explore further: Five billion people to use mobile phones in 2010: UN

Related Stories

Five billion people to use mobile phones in 2010: UN

February 15, 2010

The ranks of cell phone subscribers will swell to five billion people this year thanks to the growth of smartphones in developed nations and mobile services in poor nations, a UN agency said Monday.

OECD says IT sector resisting economic crisis

October 4, 2012

The information and communication technology (ICT) sector has resisted the economic crisis and is becoming a key infrastructure for the world's economy, the OECD said Thursday.

Recommended for you

Team creates functional ultrathin solar cells

August 27, 2015

(Phys.org)—A team of researchers with Johannes Kepler University Linz in Austria has developed an ultrathin solar cell for use in lightweight and flexible applications. In their paper published in the journal Nature Materials, ...

Magnetic fields provide a new way to communicate wirelessly

September 1, 2015

Electrical engineers at the University of California, San Diego demonstrated a new wireless communication technique that works by sending magnetic signals through the human body. The new technology could offer a lower power ...

Smart home heating and cooling

August 28, 2015

Smart temperature-control devices—such as thermostats that learn and adjust to pre-programmed temperatures—are poised to increase comfort and save energy in homes.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.