The International Telecommunication Union, which looks after information and communication technology issues for the United Nations, has calculated that 90% of the world population has access to mobile networks. It's one of the figures from the agency's The World in 2010 report.
ITU data also shows that, by the end of this year, there'll be 3.8 billion mobile subscriptions in the developing world. The global total is expected to be 5.3 billion. Text messaging has trebled in the last three years, with a total of 6.1 trillion SMS messages expected in 2010 – the equivalent of almost 200,000 per second.
Sami Al Basheer, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau, said "Mobile phone penetration in developing countries now stands at 68% — higher than any other technology before. These countries have been innovative in adapting mobile technology to their particular needs and will be able to draw even greater benefits from broadband once adequate and affordable access is available."
In addition, the number of mobile and fixed-line internet users is expected to exceed 2 billion worldwide this year, with almost 1.6 billion going online at home. By the end of 2010, 71% of the population in developed countries will be online, compared to 21% of the population in developing countries.