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Sixty percent of the world uses mobile phones

Over half world's population now has a mobile phone, and a quarter of humanity is on the internet, according to a United Nations survey
Written by Colin Barker, Contributor

About 60 percent of the world's population now use mobile phones, with approximately 4.1 billion mobile-phone subscriptions annually, according to a United Nations survey. The figures reveal an increase from around one billion users in 2002.

The International Telecommunication Union, a UN agency, publishes its ICT Development Index as a regular comparison of the technology development in 154 countries. It forms part of the international development index.

According to the latest ITU report, published on Monday, more than 60 percent of the world's citizens now own a mobile phone, due in part to a jump in use in poor, developing countries.

The report also found that internet use had roughly doubled, with use of the internet now at approximately 23 percent of the world's population, up from 11 percent in 2002.

But use among poorer nations is still low, with only one in 20 people in Africa, for example, having access to the internet. Globally, 23 out of 100 people used the internet at the end of 2008, but the "digital divide" between rich nations and poorer nations persists, according to the report.

The report also found that the cost of ICT relative to general national prosperity was lowest in Singapore, the US, Luxembourg, Denmark, Hong Kong, United Arab Emirates, Taiwan, Sweden, Norway and Finland.

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