updated 04:39 pm EDT, Wed May 7, 2014
Governance group expects two-thirds to be from the developing world
Releasing new statistics today, the United Nations International Telecommunications Union (ITU) announced that by end of 2014, there will be nearly three billion Internet users -- two-thirds of them from the developing world. Notably, the ITU is expecting mobile broadband penetration approaching 32 percent worldwide.
In Africa, about one-fifth of the population will have access to the Internet; while in the Americas, nearly two-thirds of the population will be online by the end of the year. Europe has the highest Internet penetration rate of 75 percent, while the Asia-Pacific region has the largest population of Internet users.
Turning to mobile broadband penetration, the number of its subscriptions will achieve 2.3 billion globally. 55 percent of them are expected to be in the developing world. As shown in the statistics from the ITU, mobile broadband remains the fastest-growing market segment, with continuous double-digit growth rates in 2014. In addition, Africa takes the lead in its growth, from two percent in 2010 to almost 20 percent in 2014.
Even as the worldwide growth trend of Internet penetration continues, fixed-telephone installation lags behind. Fixed-telephone users have been declining for the last five years -- there will be about 100 million fewer subscriptions than in 2009.