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September 20, 2011

Over 10% world population has mobile broadband: UN

Adoption of mobile Internet sharpest in poor nations at about 160% year-on-year, says report

By CBR Staff Writer

The UN has said that mobile broadband has reached one in eight people, or slightly over 10%, of the total world population.

A UN report by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has found that the number of active worldwide mobile broadband subscriptions increased in 2010, reaching 872 million, up from 531 million in 2009, according to an AFP report.

However, there remains a huge disparity in the availability of mobile Internet in rich and poor countries. While in the rich ones, almost every second person has a high-speed mobile subscription, in poor countries, it is just one in every 20 people, said the report.

But the rise in adoption of mobile Internet was also the sharpest in poor nations at about 160% year-on-year. The report said that the reason for such an anomaly is because of the affordable cell phone plans offered by cell phone companies.

The report also said that over 5 billion people are connected in the world with all them having some kind of cellular subscription.

The study placed South Korea at the top as the best country for information and communications technology, followed by Sweden, Iceland, Denmark and Finland. The US remained in 17th place.

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"This is mainly due to penetration rates for mobile cellular subscriptions and households with computer and Internet, where the U.S. has lower figures compared to the countries ranked above the U.S.," the ITU said.

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