Mobile subscriptions below average

Fifty nine per cent of Zimbabwe’s population had subscribed to a mobile phone by the end of last year, but the figure is still below average for developing economies.

This was revealed in a recent report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

At the end of 2010, global mobile penetration was estimated at 79 subscriptions per 100 up from 69 in 2009. Unctad noted developed and transition economies now boasted more than one subscription per inhabitant, while penetration in developing economies last year was about 77 per 100.

The report indicates that in 2005 only five in 100 people made use of the mobile phone. It also noted that Internet users have jumped from 8/100 in 2005 to 11,5/100 in 2010.

Zimbabwe’s usage of fixed broadband internet subscriptions rose from 0,08 to 0,26 from 2005 to 2010.

Unctad economic affairs officer, Remi Lang, last week said the rapid expansion of mobile money systems was creating new opportunities for micro and small enterprises — particularly in low-income countries such as Zimbabwe, to access financial services.

“There appears, however, to be a gender gap in mobile phone ownership in the developing world, with 300 million fewer women than man owning a mobile phone,” the report noted.

On internet use, Unictad said developing economies continued to lag behind developed ones and the world average.

“While Internet use by enterprises continues to grow in developing countries, large differences still remain in the type of use according to enterprise size and economic sector,” reads the report.

Post published in: Business

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