By the end of 2014, the ITU predicts 40 percent of the global population--approximately 3 billion people--will have access to the Internet in some way, shape or form, with most new users coming from third- or fourth-world nations.
A USTelecom blog reviewing the ITU's numbers points out that, in Africa alone, Internet use is expected to rise to 20 percent by year-end, double the users counted in 2010.
Nearly 80 percent of the population in developed countries will be connected by year's end, ITU forecasts, with the largest penetration in Europe, followed by North America and South America, and finally Asia-Pacific.
It looks like wireless will continue to leapfrog fixed broadband services moving forward, with global mobile-broadband penetration reaching 32 percent by the end of the year. The ITU believes mobile-broadband subscriptions will reach 2.3 billion globally, with 55 percent of all mobile-broadband subscriptions expected to come from new developing-world users.
On the down side, the ITU predicts an ongoing decline in fixed-telephone penetration. When December rolls around, the agency warns that global operators will have lost some 100 million lines dating back to 2009.
- see this USTelecom blog
Global wireline broadband growth is slowing, says ITU
ITU cautions over global web divide