The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has said the population of mobile broadband users across the world will hit 3.9billion by 2020.
The ITU Secretary General Houlin Zhao, who disclosed this at the just concluded ITU Telecom World conference in Bangkok, Thailand, also added the number of mobile broadband subscriptions is expected to reach 3.6 billion by end of 2016 from 3.2 billion it was in 2015.
But Mr Zhao later told journalists during a question and answer session after a press conference that Nigeria was contributing a large chunk to these rising figures as the country’s telecom sector keeps adding more operators and more subscribers.
The ITU scribe also revealed that Nigeria “is the most viable telecoms investments destination in Africa”.
According to him, the numbers of mobile broadband subscriptions continue to grow at double digit rates in developing countries.
But he said 95% of the global population – or some seven billion people – is still covered by 2G cellular network.
This means 3.9 billion people does not have access to Internet as at now, he said.
He said the vast majority of Internet users are in the developing economies with 2.5 billion users compared with only one billion in developed countries.
Internet penetration is 81 percent in developed countries, 40 percent in developing countries and 15 percent in the Least Developed Countries, he said.
He however noted that fixed broadband growth is strongest in developed countries.
He said fixed broadband subscriptions are expected to reach around 12 per 100 inhabitants in 2016. Europe, the Americas and the Commonwealth of Independent States regions have the highest rates of fixed broadband
One of the Thailand’s most senior officials, Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhornat who declared the ITU 2016 conference opened in Bangkok Monday said only ICT could develop economies across the world.
She said Thailand rediscovered itself when it latched on ICT as the enabler of economic growth.