Nearly half of the global population will be using the Internet by the end of this year, according to a report by The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a United Nations body.
The report predicts that 3.2 billion people will be online. The population currently stands at 7.2 billion. About 2 billion of those will be in the developing world, the report added, but just 89 million will be in countries such as Somalia and Nepal. These are part of a group of nations described as “least developed countries” by the United Nations, with a combined population of 940 million.
There will also be more than 7 billion mobile device subscriptions. The ITU found that 78 out of 100 people in the US and Europe already use mobile broadband, and 69 per cent of the world has 3G coverage – but only 29 per cent of rural areas are served. Africa lags behind with just 17.4 per cent mobile broadband penetration.
By the end of the year 80 per cent of households in developed countries and 34 per cent of those in developing countries will have Internet access in some form, the report predicts.