Measuring the Information Society 2012

This report draws on innovative and authoritative benchmarking tools developed by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to monitor information-society developments worldwide.

Overview of recent ICT developments

New information and communication technologies (ICT) continue to penetrate countries in all regions of the world, as more and more people are getting connected. The past year has seen persistent growth in ICT uptake worldwide, with an increase in all key indicators except the number of fixedtelephone lines, which has been in decline since 2005. Indeed, more and more countries are reaching a critical mass in terms of ICT access and use.

Based on the ubiquity of mobile telephones, the introduction of mobile-broadband services in the majority of countries in the world, coupled with the availability of smartphones and tablet computers, has sparked a steep increase in mobilebroadband subscriptions, which have experienced average annual growth of 41 per cent since 2007. The trend away from traditional mobile-cellular services, such as voice and sms, towards mobile-web services and uptake is gradually shifting mobile traffic volumes from voice to data, with all this implies in terms of speed, price, available spectrum, revenue and investment. At the same time, fixed-broadband Internet is still growing continuously – albeit at lower rates in developing countries.

On the back of the increase in broadband services worldwide, in particular wireless-broadband services in developing countries, the number of people using the Internet grew by 11 per cent over the past year. By end 2011, more than one-third of the population worldwide was online, i.e. 2.3 billion people.

A copy of the full report is available on the ePractice.EU web site.