More than half world’s population still not using internet —ITU

As Nigeria plans big for ITU Telecom World 2016

The new data released late last week by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the United Nation’s (UN) agency for Information and Communication Technology (ICT), showed that 3.9 billion people remain cut-off from the vast resources available on the internet, despite falling prices for ICT services.

ICT Facts & Figures 2016 shows that developing countries now account for the vast majority of internet users, with 2.5 billion users compared with one billion in developed countries.

But internet penetration rates tell a different story, with 81 per cent in developed countries, compared with 40 per cent in developing countries and 15 per cent in the least developed countries.

“Access to information and communication technologies, particularly broadband, has the potential to serve as a major accelerator of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Global interconnectedness is rapidly expanding, however more needs to be done to bridge the digital divide and bring the more than half of the global population not using the Internet into the digital economy,” said ITU Secretary-General, Mr Houlin Zhao.

“2016 marks the year when the international community is embarking on the implementation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their 169 targets. ITU, given the tremendous development of ICTs, has a key role to play in facilitating their attainment,” Mr Brahima Sanou, the Director of the ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau added.

“ITU statistics inform public and private-sector decision makers, and help us accomplish our mission: to make use of the full potential of ICTs for the timely achievement of the SDGs,” he stated.

The new edition of ITU’s ICT Facts & Figures reveals that mobile phone coverage is now near-ubiquitous, with an estimated 95 per cent of the global population or some seven billion people, living in an area covered by a basic 2G mobile cellular network.

Meanwhile, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) innovators, industry players and stakeholders are among the large number of delegates to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Telecom World 2016.

The event, which is due to hold in Bangkok, Thailand between 14 and 17 November, will provide participants the opportunity to network, showcase their innovations and tap new business models in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Terrain.

Participants will explore importance of collaboration in the digital economy through best approaches, business models and technologies to forge flourishing inclusive ecosystem.

Nigeria has adopted a theme: ‘Smart Communities: the key to a digital Nigeria.’

This theme according to Director, Public Affairs, of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Mr Tony Ojobo underscores the importance Nigeria attaches to the ITU Telecom World 2016.