Internet-TelephoneAre you interested in how well mobile broadband is penetrating different markets around the world? If you're employed in a company whose major product has to do with mobile broadband, then you bet you're interested.

What follows, then, are some statistics that may be of interest to you. The ITU, or the International Telecommunications Union, is an arm of the United Nations. They deal with ICTs — information and communication technologies, help in developing standards that help technologies and networks interconnect seamlessly, assist with allocating radio spectrum on a global basis, and work to improve access to ICTs in underdeveloped communities around the globe.

The ITU, then, has recently released figures that stated by the start of 2015, there will be nearly 3 billion users of the Internet. Nearly 66% of these will be coming from developing countries, and of those 3 billion users, nearly 2.3 of them will be mobile broadband subscriptions. 55 percent of these mobile users are said to be in the developing world.

Landline Usage Continues to Decline

At the same time, it is expected that fixed-line, or non-VoIP telephone service usage will continue to decrease at about the same rate as it has over the last five years. The ITU expects that by the beginning of 2015, there will be roughly 100 million fewer landline subscriptions than there were in years past.

Cellular Contracts Expected to Reach Almost 7 Billion

Mobile-cellular contract signings are supposed to top out at nearly 7 billion by the beginning of 2015. Nearly 3.6 billion of these are expected to be in the fast-growing Asia-Pacific area. The developing world is largely responsible for the growth in this area, where subscriptions of this type are accounting for nearly 78 percent of the global total.

However, the data also shows that growth rates of mobile-cellular devices have reached their lowest level ever — a global 2.6% — which suggests the market is now nearing its saturation point.

Developing Countries Showing a Slowdown in Static Broadband Penetration

By the time 2015 begins, global penetration of static broadband lines will have reached about 10 percent globally.

Roughly 25 percent of these contracts are accounted for in Europe. About 44 percent of them are located in the Asia-Pacific region. Penetration in the African region remains very low (about 0.5 percent), regardless of growth factors in the double digits over the past four years being in the double digits.

There still are several areas that retain double digit figures for static broadband penetration: the Arab States, Africa and CIS. By contrast, the Americas has the lowest growth in static broadband penetration, judged to be at around 2.5 percent and topping out at a rate of around 17 percent by the beginning of 2015.

Mobile Broadband Contracts Remain a Hot Item

Worldwide, the penetration of mobile broadband is estimated to reach 32 percent by the start of 2015. Developed countries will see it reaching up to 84 percent, or a level nearly four times the amount as found in countries in developing areas, which is 21 percent. Overall, the number of global mobile broadband contracts is expected to reach 2.3 billion, and over half of those (55%) are coming from the developing segments of the world.

Penetration levels in other areas of the world are as follows:

• Africa, 19%

• Asia-Pacific, 23%

• Arab States, 25%

• CIS, 49%

• The Americas, 59%

• Europe, 64%

Developing Countries Showing Signs of Saturation Regarding Broadband at Home

As the year turns over into 2015 and the number of Internet users reaches nearly three billion, it is expected that roughly 44 percent of the homes in the world have direct access to the Internet. Close to 78 percent of households in developed countries have access, where developing countries have slightly less than a third (31%). Over 90 percent of those people who are not already using the Internet come from the developing nations.

About The Author. Tanya Williams is excited with the new technologies that are threatening to change the way we stay in touch and communicate, particular in business. She works with companies that are introducing these technologies to make understanding them easy for regular people.