Even though China and India are now the largest Internet markets on the planet, they are also among the six countries that together account for 55 per cent of the global ‘offline’ population, according to a new report of a United Nations commission.
Furthermore, 20 countries including United States, China and India make up almost three-fourths of the world population not using the Internet.
“These findings suggest that targeted efforts in just a few key markets could help enormously in redressing the gaping ‘digital divide’ between those who are online and those still offline,” said the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a specialized UN agency, in a news release today.
Released just ahead of the 14th meeting of the UN Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development, to be held on 18 September, in New York, the report The State of Broadband 2016 also highlighted the potential of mobile broadband, with 165 countries now having deployed the 4th generation or ‘4G’ high-speed mobile networks.
“As smartphone penetration reaches near-saturation in the US, Europe and mature markets in Asia like Japan and [Democratic Republic of] Korea, India and Indonesia in particular are expected to drive future growth,” ITU added.
Findings from the report also revealed that that India, which overtook the US to become the world’s second largest Internet market (333 million users), also overtook that country to become the world’s second-largest smartphone market, with an estimated 260 million mobile broadband subscriptions.