At the end of 2011, the number of mobile phone subscriptions worldwide reached six billion and the UK made it into the top ten of the most advanced information and communication technology (ICT) economies on the planet.
This is according to the latest annual report by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the Geneva-based United Nations agency responsible for monitoring and coordinating global ICT initiatives. The mobile subscription number has been calculated on the basis of SIM card count and monthly subscriptions. India and China each contributed about one billion to the global tally. The ITU also found that the number of Internet users reached nearly two billion in 2011, which amounts to roughly a third of the global population.
The report, ""Measuring the Information Society 2012"", said that mobile broadband remained the fastest-growing ICT service, driven by double-digit growth in developing economies. In 2011 the global rate stood at 40%, jumping to 78% in the case of developing countries. According to the ITU, the number of mobile broadband subscriptions currently exceeds twofold that of fixed broadband subscriptions.
There has been no change in the top five of the ICT Development Index, which ranks 155 countries on the basis of ICT access, use and skills. South Korea continues its reign at the top, followed by Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and Finland. The UK is the only new name in the top ten club, rising from number 14 in 2011 to number nine in 2012. With the exception of Korea and Japan (which occupies the eighth position), the rest of the top ten are countries from Europe.
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