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ITU’s ‘The World in 2010: ICT Facts and Figures’

November 8, 2010  »  MobileNo Comment

Infographic showing estimated 2G or 3G service by nation. Click to enlarge. {ITU}

Recently, the ITU released the annual, “The World in 2010: ICT Facts and Figures,” which highlights noteworthy trends in ICT access and usage. The 8-page (1.78mb) document provides an overview of standard metrics such as mobile subscriptions, Internet penetration, fixed broadband subscriptions, and costs for these services. Much of the information is the same old story; that is, developing nations show an affinity for mobile access, but plod along with Internet and broadband subscriptions. And, since this report is merely a snapshot of larger trends, all of Africa is grouped into one entity. In several instances, the authors mention nations that have made unique contributions to ICT in the past year; unfortunately, none are African.

Still, there are some interesting facts worth sharing.


  • Most African nations offer 3G at least somewhere.
  • Mobile penetration rates will reach an estimated 41% at the end of 2010 (compared to 76% globally) leaving a significant potential for growth.
  • Africa’s 2010 Internet penetration stands at 9.6%, which is less than half that of the developing country mean estimate.
  • Despite some growth, Africa still lags the rest of the world in terms of fixed broadband subscriptions.


  • Fewer than 20% of mobile subscriptions are on 3G networks.
  • 80% of the rural population has access to a mobile network.
  • USD $14,000 is generated every second by SMS.
  • Estonia, Finland, and Spain have declared access to the Internet as a legal right for citizens.
  • Even minimum broadband speeds (256kbps) cannot quickly load video files.