The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has published the report "ICT Facts and figures 2016", containing estimated figures for information and communication technologies (ICT) development in the world for 2016. The document contains the analysis on some ICT development key issues; the basic information is presented below.
It is reported, that by the end of 2016 about 3.46 billion people (47% of the world population) will have the Internet access (in 2000 the number of Internet users did not exceed 200 million people). Meanwhile, the regions having the lowest percentage of people with Internet access include Africa (25.1%), Arab countries (41.6%) and Asia-Pacific region countries (41.9%).
By the end of 2016 in the CIS countries about 66.6% of the population will have Internet access that would be the second highest measure among the regions of the world (the first place belongs to Europe – 79.1%).
As far as households are concerned, 84% of households will be connected in Europe, 67.8% - in the CIS countries, 64.4% - in North and South America, 15.4% - in Africa.
Analyzing data on the number of users/households having Internet access, it is worthwhile noting that within the period from 2005 to 2016 one can observe a linear measures increase with regard to certain regions and the world in the whole.
Moreover, it is underlined that by the end of 2016 44.9% of female population and 51.1% of male population will have Internet access. For CIS these measures are 65% and 68.5%, respectively. Meanwhile the increase in digital gender inequality from 11% in 2013 to 12% in 2016 is observed.
The trends on the reduction of gender inequality are observed in CIS. It is predicted that from 2013 to 2016 the gap will be reduces from 7.5% to 5.1%.
The development of mobile and stationary (fixed) telecommunications networks
By the end of 2016 mobile telecommunications network will cover 7 billion people (95% of the world population). Mobile broadband network (3G and above) are supposed to cover 84% of the population and only 67% of rural population. LTE-networks will cover 4 billiard people (53% of the population).
The number of active users of mobile broadband Internet access will reach 49.4 per 100 people by the end of 2016 (27.3 in 2013). Meanwhile, in North and South America this measure amounts to 78.2 users per 100 people (55.7 in 2013), in Europe – 76.6 (56.1 in 2013), in the CIS countries – 53 (42.3 in 2013).
The number of users of fixed broadband Internet access will reach 11.9 per 100 people by the end of 2016 (9.9 in 2013). Meanwhile in Europe this measure amounts to 30 users per 100 people (27.7 in 2013), in North and South America – 18.9 (17 in 2013), in the CIS countries – 15.4 (12.7 in 2013).
It is apparent that the development of mobile broadband networks is more rapid in comparison with the fixed ones. It is connected with fewer expenses on the construction of mobile broadband infrastructure that ultimately influences the cost of services for a subscriber. An average cost of a basic service on the basis of fixed broadband more than twice exceeds an average cost comparable service on the basis of a mobile broadband network.
By the end of the 2016 international internet-traffic bandwidth has reached 185 000 Gbps, while in 2008 it amounted to just 30 000 Gbps. However, the bandwidth is unevenly distributed across the world that prevents the development of ICT-based services.
More details are available in ITU’s web-site.