According to the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) 2015 Development Index (IDI), although some 3.2 billion people are now online, representing 43.4 per cent of the global population, the number still falls significantly short of reaching the anticipated goal of 60 per cent by 2020.
The number of Internet users in developing countries has almost doubled in the past five years (2010-2015), with two thirds of all people online now living in the developing world.
The number of mobile broadband subscriptions rose from 0.8 billion in 2010 to 3.5 billion in 2015, while the number of fixed broadband subscriptions has reached 0.8 billion.
3G population coverage reached 69 per cent in 2015 against 45 per cent in 2011, according to the report. 3G rural population coverage has reached 29 per cent, while 3G urban population coverage stands at 89 per cent.
Further, 34 per cent of households in developing countries have Internet access, compared with more than 80 per cent in developed countries in 2015. In least developed countries (LDCs), 7 per cent of households have Internet access, compared with the world average of 46 per cent.
Internet penetration in developing countries stands at 35 per cent; LDCs lag behind with only 10 per cent. In Africa, one in 5 people uses Internet today, compared to almost 2 in 5 in Asia Pacific and 3 in 5 people in the CIS.
Mobile broadband penetration in Europe and the Americas is around 78 active subscriptions per 100 inhabitants. Africa is the only region where mobile broadband penetration remains below 20 per cent.
Fixed broadband penetration remains at less than 1 per cent in LDCs. Africa and Arab States stand out as the regions with the fewest fixed-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants, at less than 1 and less than 4, respectively.
Fixed broadband uptake slow in developing countries and particularly in LDCs, where penetration rates are now at 7 per cent and less than 1 per cent, respectively.