Snapshot: Global state of the Internet in 2015

Select facts and figures from the ITU on fixed and mobile/cellular broadband Internet worldwide in 2015.
Earlier this week the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) published ICT Facts and Figures: The world in 2015, which provided global statistics on the evolution of ICT over the past 15 years. The following facts and figures have been drawn directly from the report, which is available on the ITU report.

General points

  • Internet user penetration increased seven-fold, from 6.5% to 43% of the global population between 2000 and 2015
  • The proportion of households with Internet access at home increased from 18% to 46 % between 2005 and 2015
  • Globally, 3.2 billion people will be using the Internet by end 2015, of which 2 billion will be from developing countries
  • For every Internet user in the developed world, there are two in the developing world
  • 4 billion people from developing countries remain offline, representing two-thirds of the population residing in developing countries
  • Of the 940 million people living in the least developed countries (LDCs), only 89 million use the Internet, corresponding to a 9.5% penetration rate.

Mobile/cellular broadband Internet

  • Mobile-broadband penetration globally has increased 12-fold, and is estimated at 47% in 2015
  • An estimated at 69% of the global population will be covered by 3G mobile broadband in 2015, up from 45% in 2011
  • Approximately 29% of the 3.4 billion people worldwide living in rural areas will be covered by 3G mobile broadband by the end of 2015
  • Approximately 89% of the four billion people living in urban areas will have access to 3G mobile broadband in 2015
  • By end 2015, there will be more than 7 billion mobile/cellular subscriptions, corresponding to a penetration rate of 97%, up from 738 million in 2000
  • The proportion of the population covered by a 2G mobile-cellular network has grown from 58% in 2001 to an estimated 95% in 2015.

Fixed broadband Internet

  • Fixed-broadband uptake is growing at a slower pace, with a 7% annual increase over the past three years and is likely to reach 11% penetration by end 2015
  • Fixed-broadband penetration remains at less than 1% in LDCs.

Broadband Internet affordability

  • In 2014, the Broadband Commission’s target of having the price of a basic (fixed or mobile) broadband plan correspond to less than 5% of average GNI per capita was achieved in 111 countries worldwide
  • The global average price of a basic fixed broadband plan is 1.7 times higher than the average price of a comparable mobile-broadband plan
  • In developing countries, average monthly fixed broadband prices are 3 times higher than in developed countries; mobile broadband prices are twice as expensive as in developed countries.


In the coming weeks we, here at ICT Pulse, will be updating our own ICT facts and figures for telecoms/ICT in the Caribbean, for example for Internet and mobile/cellular spend and affordability, to name a few. Stay tuned…


Image credits:  photostock (