The UN's International Telecommunications Union released new figures that predict that the world will have nearly 3 billion internet users by the end of this year, with most coming from the developing world.
Internet has become an integral part of most of our daily lives. With the convenience of shopping online, ordering food, buying electronics and even cars, people around the world have rapidly adapted to the growing technology. While it is clear that the Internet has a massive network connecting different parts of the world, there have been no recent statistics to put this massive web connection into perspective. But a new report by the UN's International Telecommunications Union (ITU) revealed the extensive growth of Internet, which will reach almost 3 billion people across the world by the end of 2014.
The latest statistics by the ITU give more than just the expected expansion of Internet usage. ITU adds that the majority, two third of the Internet-connected users globally, will come from the developing world. Also, the mobile cellular subscriptions will continue to rise while the fixed lines will decrease. According to the report, published Monday, mobile-cellular subscriptions will reach almost 7 billion by the end of this year, a little more than half of which will be in the Asia-Pacific region.
"Behind these numbers and statistics are real human stories. The stories of people whose lives have improved thanks to ICTs [information and communications technologies]," Brahima Sanou, the Director of ITU's Telecommunication Development Bureau said. "Our mission is to bring ICTs into the hands of ordinary people, wherever they live. By measuring the information society, we can track progress, or identify gaps, towards achieving socio-economic development for all."
If the ITU report's predictions come true, about 40 percent of the world's population will be online by the end of this year. The report specifically revealed that in Africa about one-fifth of the population will have internet access and in the U.S. nearly two-third will be online by the year end. The Asia-Pacific region will record the largest population of Internet users and Europe will have the highest penetration rate with three out of four people connected to the Internet during this period.
Other revelations by the ITU include the mobile-broadband subscriptions that will reach 2.3 billion globally and 55 percent of the massive audience is expected to be in the developing world. As for the fixed line subscriptions, which have continuously declined over the past five years, it will decrease by 100 million by the end of this year than it was in 2009, ITU said.