More people are signing up to mobile broadband services than fixed connections, a United Nations study has found.
According to data from the International Telecommunications Union, the telecommunications arm of the UN, subscriptions to mobile broadband are set to top 600 million by the end of the year, 100 million more than traditional broadband services.
The research found that over a quarter of the world’s population is now online and using the internet. However, the statistics still show a distinct regional split in terms of mobile penetration rates.
“There is still a large digital divide, and an impending broadband divide, which needs to be addressed urgently,” said Sami Al Basheer, director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau.
According to the report, in Africa there is only one in 1,000 people has a broadband subscription, compared with Europe where there around 200 per 1,000 people is signed up.
The relative price for IT services, especially broadband, was found to be highest in Africa – the region with the lowest income level.