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Internet access to reach 44% of global population by 2016


World Wide Web (internet)

World Wide Web (internet)

. Nigeria has 97.1m users . Over $100m spent on online activities in 2015

THE International Data Corporation (IDC ) has estimated that 3.2 billion people, or 44 per cent of the world’s population, will have access to the Internet in 2016.

Of this number, more than two billion will be using mobile devices to do so.

Already, through the narrow band (GSM platform) about 97.1 million Nigerians currently have access to the Internet. Nigeria’s broadband penetration is still at a meagre 10 per cent with 108 per cent teledensity penetration.

However, Nigeria, through the National Broadband Plan, targets 30 per cent broadband penetration by 2018.

According to IDC, growth in Internet access is taking place around the world, but some countries are particularly experiencing rapid growth.

IDC claimed that China, India, and Indonesia lead the way and will account for almost half of the gains in access globally over the course of the next five years. It stressed that the combination of lower-cost devices and inexpensive wireless networks are making accessibility easier in countries with populations that could not previously afford them.

The report said the total number of mobile Internet users is forecast to rise at a pace of two per cent yearly through 2020 unless significant new methods of accessing the Internet are introduced.

The study revealed that efforts by Google, SpaceX, and Facebook, among others, to make the Internet available to the remaining four billion people via high altitude planes, balloons, and satellites are underway.

However, IDC said it remains unclear how successful these endeavours will be and when they will be operational at scale.

“Over the next five years global growth in the number of people accessing the Internet exclusively through mobile devices will grow by more than 25 per cent per year while the amount of time we spend on them continues to grow. This change in the way we access the Internet is fueling explosive growth in mobile commerce and mobile advertising,” said Program Director, Strategic Advisory Service, Scott Strawn.

According to him, measuring what Internet users are doing online shows that many activities are enjoyed by billions of people. For example, more than a billion people use the Internet to bank online, to stream music, and to find a job.

He added that more than two billion use email and read news online. And more people than ever before are making purchases online.

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