Some ICT Facts and Figures 2016

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Wednesday, July 27th, 2016
Brahima Sanou

Brahima Sanou, Director of the ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau

“2016 marks the year when the international community is embarking on the implementation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their 169 targets.

The International Telecommunication Union, given the tremendous development of ICTs, has a key role to play in facilitating their attainment.

Our new data show that in 2016, over two-thirds of the population lives within an area covered by a mobile broadband network and that ICT services continue to become more aff ordable. Despite these unprecedented opportunities, more than half of all people are not yet using the Internet and large diff erences in terms of broadband speeds and quality exist. ITU data inform public and private-sector decision makers, and help us accomplish our mission: to make use of the full potential of ICTs for the timely achievement of the SDGs.”

Mobile network coverage and evolving technologies

Seven billion people (95% of the global population) live in an area that is covered by a mobile-cellular network. Mobile-broadband networks (3G or above) reach 84% of the global population but only 67% of the rural population. LTE networks have spread quickly over the last three years and reach almost 4 billion people today (53% of the global population), enhancing the quality of Internet use.

More than half the world’s population is not using the Internet

By end 2016, 3.9 billion people - 53% of the world’s population – is not using the Internet. In the Americas and the CIS regions, about one third of the population is offline.
While almost 75% of people in Africa are non-users, only 21% of Europeans are offline. In Asia and the Pacific and the Arab States, the percentage of the population that is not using the Internet is very similar: 58.1 and 58.4%, respectively.

internet use


Large differences in fixed-broadband penetration and speed persist

In early 2016, three out of four fixed-broadband subscriptions had advertised speeds of 10 Mbit/s and above in the developed countries, compared with two out of four in the developing countries.

In the LDCs, overall fixed-broadband penetration remains very low and only 7% of fixed-broadband subscriptions are advertised at speeds above 10 Mbit/s.


Broadband Speeds

The Internet of Things (IoT) is in its early stages

Based on available data, there were 22 mobile-cellular subscriptions for each machine-to-machine (M2M) subscription worldwide at the beginning of 2015.

The countries with the highest M2M penetration rates are highly industrialized, advanced economies, including the Northern European countries of Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark.