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October 11, 2012

6 billion mobile subscriptions and US$1.5 trillion global telecommunications revenue

New figures released today by ITU (International Telecommunications Union) show that information and communication technology (ICT) uptake continues to grow worldwide, spurred by a steady fall in the price of telephone and broadband Internet services.

The new data, released in ITU’s flagship annual report Measuring the Information Society 2012, rank the Republic of Korea as the world’s most advanced ICT economy, followed by Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and Finland.

Mobile broadband continues to be the ICT service displaying the sharpest growth rates. Over the past year, growth in mobile-broadband services continued at 40% globally and 78% in developing countries. There are now twice as many mobile-broadband subscriptions as fixed-broadband subscriptions worldwide.

Global revenues from telecommunication services reached USD 1.5 trillion in 2010, corresponding to 2.4 % of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP). In the same year, investment (measured by capital expenditure) in telecommunications amounted to more than USD 241 billion, or an estimated 2% of the world’s total gross fixed capital formation.

There were about 6 billion mobile subscriptions by the end of 2011 — roughly one for 86 of every 100 people.

* The International Telecommunication Union said China alone accounted for 1 billion subscriptions, and India is expected to hit the 1-billion mark this year.

* 2.3 billion people — or about one in three of the world's 7 billion inhabitants — were Internet users by the end of 2011, but there's a strong disparity between rich and developing countries.



The price of ICT services dropped by 30% globally between 2008 and 2011, with the biggest decrease in fixed- broadband Internet services, where average prices have come down by 75%.

By beginning 2011, nine of the top 20 telecom markets globally in terms of revenues were developing country markets – including Brazil, China, India and Mexico – and developing countries accounted for 35% of world telecommunication revenue

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