The UNESCAP 2007 Statistical Yearbook for Asia and the Pacific has some interesting figures on the growth of ICTs in general and mobile phone telephony in particular in the region.
Sri Lanka has more mobile phone subscribers per 100 population than Pakistan and India. Other interesting statistics include:
- Mobile phone growth is stifling fixed line growth across the region, but particularly in low income countries, SAARC member countries and least developed countries in the region (e.g. 97% of all phones in Cambodia are mobiles)
- Internet use is growing, though the statistics don’t register wireless broadband internet access (via mobiles).
- The Maldives, unsurprisingly, has the highest number of cellular subscriber per 100 population with Sri Lanka coming in second in South Asia.
- SAARC member states and least developed countries show the highest growth for mobile phone subscribers in the Asian and Pacific country / area groupings noted in the report.
Not sure why in the report Sri Lanka doesn’t register any growth in (wired) broadband subscribers from 2004 – 2006, though it does show an increase in the number of Internet users. I thought SLT alone would have given out a fair number of ADSL subscriptions over the past two years.
It will be interesting to see the data that comes in for 2007 / 2008 on how the introduction and growing usage of wireless broadband connectivity (3G and WiMax) over mobiles and PCs impacts these figures.
For me, these stats are vital determinants in favour of strengthening and promoting citizen journalism and user generated content in the region.