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Half of the world’s population will be online by 2015 end: Report

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Around half of the world’s population will be online by 2015 end, according to a new United Nations (UN) report.

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU), an agency of the UN, predicts that 3.2 billion of the world’s entire 7.2 billion population will be connected to the World-Wide Web in 2015. The report added that about 2 billion of those will be in the developing world, while just 89 million will be in countries such as Somalia and Nepal, which are considered as the “least developed countries.”

The report also expects mobile subscriptions to shoot up worldwide from 738 million in 2000 to 7 billion this year. In the US and Europe, 78 out of 100 people already use mobile broadband – in contrast, only 17.4 per cent of Africa has access to mobile broadband.

It is expected that by the end of the year 80 percent of households in developed countries and 34 percent of those in developing countries will have internet access in some form.

While Internet penetration has increased seven-fold in the past 15 years from 6.5 to 43 percent of the global population, the report states that there are still 4 billion people in developing countries who do not have internet access.

Launching the report launch on Tuesday at the 2015 WSIS Forum in Geneva, ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao said “These new figures not only show the rapid technological progress made to date, but also help us identify those being left behind in the fast-evolving digital economy, as well as the areas where ICT investment is needed most.”

“ICTs will play an even more significant role in the post-2015 era and in achieving future Sustainable Development Goals as the world moves faster and faster towards a digital society‚” added Brahima Sanou‚ the Director of the ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau.