By end 2013 there will be 6.8 billion mobile-cellular subscriptions – almost equal to the world’s population, according to an annual ITU report.
New data from the 2013 edition of Measuring the Information Society reveals mobile broadband over smartphones and tablets has become the fastest growing segment of the global ICT market, driven by buoyant global demand for ICT products and services, steadily declining prices for cellular and broadband services, and unprecedented growth in 3G uptake.
An estimated 2.7 billion people will also be connected to the internet – though speeds and prices vary widely across, and within, regions.
Mobile broadband connections over 3G and 3G+ networks are growing at an average annual rate of 40%, equating to 2.1 billion mobile broadband subscriptions and a global penetration rate of almost 30%. Almost 50% of all people worldwide now have access to a 3G network.
South Korea leads the world in terms of overall ICT development for the third consecutive year, followed closely by Sweden, Iceland, Denmark, Finland and Norway. The Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Luxembourg and Hong Kong also rank in the top ten.