Practically three quarters of individuals over the age of 10 now personal a cell phone, doubtlessly opening the best way to broader web use, the United Nations mentioned Wednesday.
The UN’s Worldwide Telecommunication Union has supplied its first estimate of regional and world possession, revealing that 73 p.c of the world’s inhabitants over 10 years of age owned a cellphone in 2022.
“Mobile phones are the most common gateway to internet use, with the percentage of ownership serving as an indicator of internet availability and access,” the ITU mentioned because it launched its annual report on world connectivity.
Nevertheless it cautioned that cell phone possession stays larger than web use—particularly in lower-income international locations, with broadband normally costlier than cellular-only providers.
The ITU discovered that mobile phone possession had grown steadily in recent times, estimating it had risen from below 67 p.c in 2019.
The net inhabitants additionally noticed an enormous “bump” up in 2020 throughout the first 12 months of the COVID-19 pandemic, ITU senior economist Thierry Geiger instructed AFP.
Unsurprisingly, possession was highest in rich international locations, the place 95 p.c of individuals at the moment personal a mobile phone, and lowest in low-income countries, the place solely 49 p.c do, the ITU mentioned.
The UN’s telecoms company says roughly a 3rd of the planet has nonetheless by no means been on-line.
However the on-line inhabitants has been rising and an estimated 5.3 billion individuals, or 66 p.c of individuals worldwide, are actually utilizing the web.
“Access to the internet is increasing, but not as quickly and evenly across the world as it needs to,” Doreen Bogdan-Martin, who heads the ITU’s telecommunications growth division and can quickly take over as company chief, mentioned within the assertion.
“Too many people still live in digital darkness.”
Estimates of world web use usually have a look at the value of mobile-broadband providers, which permit customers to entry the web from a smartphone and are comparatively cheap in comparison with a hard and fast web service.
In keeping with Wednesday’s report, the worldwide median value of mobile-broadband providers dropped from 1.9 p.c of common gross nationwide earnings (GNI) per capita final 12 months to 1.5 p.c now.
Nonetheless, the price nonetheless stays too excessive for the common client in most low-income economies, the place a fundamental cell knowledge plan is estimated to value 9 p.c of GNI per capita.
The ITU referred to as on all international locations to make sure inexpensive broadband entry, outlined as costing lower than two p.c of GNI per capita.
Whereas the price of connectivity seems to be persevering with its decline, Geiger warned rising prices for different requirements may drive many to maneuver offline.
The ITU report additionally discovered a big gender hole: some 259 million fewer girls have entry to the web than males.
Solely 63 p.c of ladies are at the moment utilizing the internet, in comparison with 69 p.c of males, it mentioned.
© 2022 AFP
Three-quarters of individuals over 10 personal a cell phone: UN (2022, November 30)
retrieved 30 November 2022
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