Poorer nations are the driving force behind phone usage growth

While the greater part of the western world has wholly embraced the portable phenomenon that is the mobile phone, a new report published by the United Nations has shown that developing countries are now pushing sustained growth for the handset market.

According to the report, compiled by the International Telecommunication Union, there are currently approximately 4.1 billion mobile service subscriptions across the global populace, which is an increase of more than three billion when measured against usage figures for 2002.

While noting that fixed-line subscription growth only increased from around one billion in 2002 to 1.27 billion in 2009, the report also revealed that poorer nations now account for approximately two-thirds of all mobile phones being used on the planet.

In 2002 that subscription service estimation was less than half of the worldwide market.

However, while mobile phone usage has leapt since 2002, the majority of people in developing nations are yet to fully benefit from the related advantages of Internet connectivity.

Specifically, while global Internet usage has more than doubled since 2002, rising from 11 percent of the population to a buoyant 23 percent, only around 5 in every 100 people on the African continent have Internet access (according to latest reliable figures from 2007).

Many of the world’s richest and most capable countries emerged at the top of the report’s listing when assessing the advancement of information and communications technology (ICT).

Scandinavian nations ranked highly, with Sweden placed as the number-one player, while South Korea followed close behind and Denmark, Holland and Iceland rounded out the global top-five positions.

Interestingly, of the 154 nations assessed, the United States placed at 17, while China managed only 73 and India hobbled in at 118 – though it’s worth pointing out this is mainly due to the large populations attributed to each country.

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